Inflammation mediates varying effects in neurogenesis: Relevance to the pathogenesis of brain injury and neurodegenerative disorders

Nicholas P. Whitney, Tess M. Eidem, Hui Peng, Yunlong Huang, Jialin C Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

246 Scopus citations


Brain inflammation is a complex cellular and molecular response to stress, injury or infection of the CNS in attempt to defend against insults, clear dead and damaged neurons and return the CNS to a normal state. Inflammation in the CNS is driven by the activation of resident microglia, astrocytes and infiltrating peripheral macrophages, which release a plethora of anti- and pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, neurotransmitters and reactive oxygen species. This inflammatory state inadvertently causes further bystander damage to neurons and produces both detrimental and favorable conditions for neurogenesis. Inflammatory factors have varying effects on neural progenitor cell proliferation, migration, differentiation, survival and incorporation of newly born neurons into the CNS circuitry. The unique profile of inflammatory factors, which depends on the severity of inflammation, can have varying consequences on neurogenesis. Inflammatory factors released during mild acute inflammation usually stimulate neurogenesis; where as the factors released by uncontrolled inflammation create an environment that is detrimental to neurogenesis. This review will provide a summary of current progress in this emerging field and examine the potential mechanisms through which inflammation affects neurogenesis during neurological complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1343-1359
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2009



  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation
  • Neural stem/progenitor cell
  • Neurodegenerative disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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