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Adult Neurogenesis: A Comparative Approach

16th National Meeting of the British Neuroscience Association, Harrogate, April 2001

Editor(s): Zupanc G.K.H. (Manchester/Bremen) 
Society/Societies: British Neuroscience Association 

Status: available   
Publication year: 2002
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Provides new aspects and findings on brain regeneration
This special issue of ‘Brain, Behavior and Evolution’ provides an authoritative overview of recent advances in the study of adult neurogenesis by adopting a comparative approach.
In an introductory essay, Günther K.H. Zupanc highlights the historical landmarks which have led to the abolition of the ‘no new neurons’ dogma and stresses the importance of the comparative approach for an integrative appreciation of adult neurogenesis. In a second article, he reviews adult neurogenesis in teleost fish and discusses its link to the enormous capability of fish to regenerate neuronal tissue by the production of new neurons. Enrique Font, Ester Desfilis, M. Mar Pérez-Cañellas, and Jose Manuel García-Verdugo examine these two phenomena in reptiles and, by comparison with other vertebrate groups, show how to approach a functional and evolutionary understanding of adult neurogenesis. The biomedical potential of a comparative approach for the development of novel therapeutic strategies to replace neurons lost to injury or degenerative disease by newly generated ones is demonstrated by the article by Thomas A. Reh and Andrew J. Fischer. They provide evidence that, similar to cold-blooded vertebrates, birds and mammals have, unexpectedly, also a capacity for regeneration of the retina. Fiona Doetsch and Constance Scharff, in their review, compare the developmental processes associated with adult neurogenesis in birds and mammals. By integrating these findings, they address how comparative analysis at the molecular level may be used for effective brain repair.
This attempt to achieve an integrative understanding of adult neurogenesis by using a comparative approach will stimulate both neurobiologists and biomedically oriented neuroscientists.