Adult neurogenesis, the generation of new, functional neurons, occurs in two main niches within the adult mammalian brain⎯the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus (DG) and the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricle. We have previously shown that the hippocampus contains a population of quiescent neural stem and precursor cells which can be activated by mimicking neural activity (depolarisation with KCl in vitro). Interestingly, depolarisation of the SVZ precursor cells has the opposite effect, indicating that the stem cells in the two neurogenic niches appear to be under very different regulatory control. To better understand the differences between the two neurogeneic zones, we compared the transcript profiles of the neural precursor cells isolated from the SVZ and DG.  This revealed redox regulation to be particularly enriched in the DG neural precursor cells. Several redox-related proteins, including SelenoproteinP (SEPP1), were highly up-regulated in the DG.

SEPP1 is the major transporter of the trace element selenium from the plasma into the brain. Selenium is necessary for normal brain function and its deficiency is correlated with a number of neurodegenerative diseases. We show that selenium can directly activate latent hippocampal precursor cells and increase neuronal differentiation in vitro, and increase both proliferation and net neurogenesis in vivo. Furthermore, we show that this effect is likely mediated by selenium's antioxidative properties, functioning to reduce levels of ferroptosis-mediated cell death and thus significantly reducing levels of reactive oxygen species, in a NOX2-dependent manner. 

About Neuroscience Seminars

Neuroscience seminars at the QBI play a major role in the advancement of neuroscience in the Asia-Pacific region. The primary goal of these seminars is to promote excellence in neuroscience through the exchange of ideas, establishing new collaborations and augmenting partnerships already in place.

Seminars in the QBI Auditorium on Level 7 are held on Wednesdays at 12-1pm, which are sometimes simulcast on Zoom (with approval from the speaker). We also occassionally hold seminars from international speakers via Zoom. The days and times of these seminars will vary depending on the time zone of the speaker. Please see each seminar listed below for details. 


Neuroscience Seminars archive 2005-2018