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Stem Cells International
Volume 2017, Article ID 9209127, 13 pages
Review Article

Regulatory Role of Redox Balance in Determination of Neural Precursor Cell Fate

The Regenerative Medicine Program, Spinal Cord Research Centre, Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3E 0J9

Correspondence should be addressed to Eftekhar Eftekharpour; ac.abotinamu@rahketfe

Received 15 May 2017; Accepted 22 June 2017; Published 18 July 2017

Academic Editor: Gerald A. Colvin

Copyright © 2017 Mohamed Ariff Iqbal and Eftekhar Eftekharpour. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In 1990s, reports of discovery of a small group of cells capable of proliferation and contribution to formation of new neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) reversed a century-old concept on lack of neurogenesis in the adult mammalian brain. These cells are found in all stages of human life and contribute to normal cellular turnover of the CNS. Therefore, the identity of regulating factors that affect their proliferation and differentiation is a highly noteworthy issue for basic scientists and their clinician counterparts for therapeutic purposes. The cues for such control are embedded in developmental and environmental signaling through a highly regulated tempo-spatial expression of specific transcription factors. Novel findings indicate the importance of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the regulation of this signaling system. The elusive nature of ROS signaling in many vital processes from cell proliferation to cell death creates a complex literature in this field. Here, we discuss the emerging thoughts on the importance of redox regulation of proliferation and maintenance in mammalian neural stem and progenitor cells under physiological and pathological conditions. The current knowledge on ROS-mediated changes in redox-sensitive proteins that govern the molecular mechanisms in proliferation and differentiation of these cells is reviewed.