Early stem cell aging in the mature brain

Albina Ibrayeva, Maxwell Bay, Elbert Pu, David J. Jörg, Lei Peng, Heechul Jun, Naibo Zhang, Daniel Aaron, Congrui Lin, Galen Resler, Axel Hidalgo, Mi Hyeon Jang, Benjamin D. Simons, Michael A. Bonaguidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Stem cell dysfunction drives many age-related disorders. Identifying mechanisms that initially compromise stem cell behavior represent early targets to promote tissue function later in life. Here, we pinpoint multiple factors that disrupt neural stem cell (NSC) behavior in the adult hippocampus. Clonal tracing showed that NSCs exhibit asynchronous depletion by identifying short-term NSCs (ST-NSCs) and long-term NSCs (LT-NSCs). ST-NSCs divide rapidly to generate neurons and deplete in the young brain. Meanwhile, multipotent LT-NSCs are maintained for months but are pushed out of homeostasis by lengthening quiescence. Single-cell transcriptome analysis of deep NSC quiescence revealed several hallmarks of molecular aging in the mature brain and identified tyrosine-protein kinase Abl1 as an NSC aging factor. Treatment with the Abl inhibitor imatinib increased NSC activation without impairing NSC maintenance in the middle-aged brain. Our study indicates that hippocampal NSCs are particularly vulnerable and adaptable to cellular aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)955-966.e7
JournalCell Stem Cell
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 6 2021


  • Abl
  • Imatinib
  • adult neurogenesis
  • aging
  • bioinformatics
  • cell fate
  • clonal analysis
  • hippocampus
  • intervention
  • proliferation
  • quiescence
  • single cell RNA-seq
  • stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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