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Subventricular zone

Subventricular zone (abbreviated form: SVZ) is a paired brain structure situated throughout the lateral walls of the lateral ventricles. Along with the subgranular zone of dentate gyrus, subventricular zone serves as a source of neural stem cells in the process of adult neurogenesis. It harbors the largest population of proliferating cells in the adult brain of rodents(1,2,3), monkeys (4,5,6,7,8,9) and humans(10,11). In some animals, Neurons generated in SVZ travel to the olfactory bulb via the rostral migratory stream. Humans, however, do not have any organized rostral migratory stream (12), but evidence of new neurons have been found in the human olfactory bulb, which may or may not have originated in the SVZ.

Four cell types have been described in the SVZ:

  • ciliated ependymal cells (type E) facing the lumen of the ventricle, whose function is to circulate the cerebrospinal fluid;
  • proliferating type A neuroblasts, expressing PSA-NCAM, Tuj1, and Hu, and migrating in "chains" toward the olfactory bulb (OB);
  • slowly proliferating type B cells expressing nestin and GFAP, and unsheathing migrating type A neuroblasts
  • actively proliferating type C cells or "transit amplifying progenitors" expressing nestin, and forming clusters interspaced among chains throughout the SVZ


  • Abrous DN, Koehl M, Le Moal M. (2005) Adult neurogenesis: from precursors to network and physiology. Physiol Rev. 85(2):523-69. PMID 15788705 free fulltext
  • Alvarez-Buylla A, Garcia-Verdugo JM. (2002) Neurogenesis in adult subventricular zone. J Neurosci. 22(3):629-34. PMID 11826091 free fulltext


  1. Altman J. Autoradiographic investigation of cell proliferation in the brains of rats and cats. Anat Rec 145: 573–592, 1963.
  2. Privat A and Leblond CP. The subependymal layer and neighboring region in the brain of the young rat. J Comp Neurol 146: 277–302, 1972
  3. Smart I. The subependymal layer of the mouse brain and its cell production as shown by radioautography after thymidine-H3 injection. J Comp Neurol 116: 325–347, 1961.
  4. Gould E, Reeves AJ, Fallah M, Tanapat P, Gross CG, and Fuchs E. Hippocampal neurogenesis in adult Old World primates. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 96: 5263–5267, 1999.
  5. Gould E, Reeves AJ, Graziano MS, and Gross CG. Neurogenesis in the neocortex of adult primates. Science 286: 548–552, 1999.
  6. Gould E, Vail N, Wagers M, and Gross CG. Adult-generated hippocampal and neocortical neurons in macaques have a transient existence. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98: 10910–10917, 2001.
  7. Kaplan MS. Formation and turnover of neurons in young and senescent animals: an electronmicroscopic and morphometric analysis. Ann NY Acad Sci 457: 173–192, 1985.
  8. Kornack DR and Rakic P. The generation, migration, and differentiation of olfactory neurons in the adult primate brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98: 4752–4757, 2001.
  9. Pencea V, Bingaman KD, Freedman LJ, and Luskin MB. Neurogenesis in the subventricular zone and rostral migratory stream of the neonatal and adult primate forebrain. Exp Neurol 172: 1–16, 2001.
  10. Bernier PJ, Vinet J, Cossette M, and Parent A. Characterization of the subventricular zone of the adult human brain: evidence for the involvement of Bcl-2. Neurosci Res 37: 67–78, 2000.
  11. Eriksson PS, Perfilieva E, Bjork-Eriksson T, Alborn AM, Nordborg C, Peterson DA, and Gage FH. Neurogenesis in the adult human hippocampus. Nat Med 4: 1313–1317, 1998.
  12. H. Troy Ghashghaei, Cary Lai, E. S. Anton. Neuronal migration in the adult brain: are we there yet? Nature Reviews: Neuroscience, Volume 8: 141-151, 2007
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Subventricular_zone". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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