Neural plasticity and adult neurogenesis: the deep biology perspective

Anna Colangelo*, Giovanni Cirillo, Lilia Alberghina, Michele Papa, Hans Westerhoff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


The recognition that neurogenesis does not stop with adolescence has spun off research towards the reduction of brain disorders by enhancing brain regeneration. Adult neurogenesis is one of the tougher problems of developmental biology as it requires the generation of complex intracellular and pericellular anatomies, amidst the danger of neuroinflammation. We here review how a multitude of regulatory pathways optimized for early neurogenesis has to be revamped into a new choreography of time dependencies. Distinct pathways need to be regulated, ranging from neural growth factor induced differentiation to mitochondrial bioenergetics, reactive oxygen metabolism, and apoptosis. Requiring much Gibbs energy consumption, brain depends on aerobic energy metabolism, hence on mitochondrial activity. Mitochondrial fission and fusion, movement and perhaps even mitoptosis, thereby come into play. All these network processes are interlinked and involve a plethora of molecules. We recommend a deep thinking approach to adult neurobiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-205
Number of pages5
JournalNeural Regeneration Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • Adult brain
  • Deep biology
  • Differentiation
  • Energy homeostasis
  • Mitochondria
  • Nerve growth factor
  • Neurogenesis
  • Neuron
  • Neuroregeneration
  • Systems biology


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