- Neuro Oncology
Honors & Awards
New Faculty Physician Scientist Translational Research Award, California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) (2013 - 2018)
Basic Science IV Award, California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) (2012 - 2015)
‘A’ Award, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (2012-2015)
Peter A. Steck Memorial Award, Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (2011)
K08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Career Development Award, National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (2010 - 2015)
Young Investigator Award, Hagerty Foundation for Glioma Research (2006)
Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations
Chair, Brainstem Glioma Working Group, Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium (2013 - Present)
Member, Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium Translational Biology Committee (2012 - Present)
Institutional Co-PI, Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium (PBTC) (2012 - Present)
Member, Children’s Oncology Group (COG) (2011 - Present)
Fellowship:Stanford University - Dept of Neurology (2010) CA
Residency:Massachusetts General Hospital (2008) MA
Residency:Brigham and Women's Hospital Harvard Medical School (2008) MA
Internship:Stanford University (2005) CA
Medical Education:Stanford University (2004) CA
Subspecialty Board Certification, United Council for Neurological Subspecialties, Neuro-Oncology (2013)
Board Certification: Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (2008)
PhD, Stanford University, Neuroscience (2004)
MD, Stanford University (2004)
Current Research and Scholarly Interests
Much of brain development occurs after birth. Maturation of complex neural circuitry necessary for high-level cognitive and motor functions occurs throughout childhood and young adulthood. Central to the process of developing or strengthening a functional neural circuit is the generation of new glial cells for neuronal support, synapse formation and myelination. In some brain regions, such as the hippocampus, new neuron production occurs throughout postnatal life and is believed to subserve normal memory function.
The Monje Lab studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms of postnatal neurodevelopment. This includes microenvironmental influences on neural precursor cell fate choice in normal neurodevelopment and in disease states. Areas of emphasis include neuronal instruction of gliogenesis, cellular contributions to the neurogenic and gliogenic signaling microenvironment, molecular determinants of neural precursor cell fate, and the role of neural precursor cells in oncogenesis and repair mechanisms. As a practicing neurologist and Neuro-oncologist, Dr Monje is particularly interested in the roles for neural precursor cell function and dysfunction in the origins of pediatric brain tumors and the consequences of cancer treatment. As a paradigm of pediatric gliogenesis, we have been focusing on brainstem tumors, whose spatial and temporal specificity bespeak an underlying developmental cause.
Bevacizumab and Lapatinib in Children With Recurrent or Refractory Ependymoma
The goal of this clinical research study is to learn if the combination of Avastin (bevacizumab) and Tykerb (lapatinib) can help to control ependymoma in pediatric patients. The safety of this drug combination will also be studied.
Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Carissa Bailey, (650) 725 - 4708.
Phase I Rindopepimut After Conventional Radiation in Children w/ Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas
This is a research study of patients with diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas. We hope to learn about the safety and efficacy of treating pediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma patients with the EGFRvIII peptide vaccine after conventional radiation.
Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Christina Huang, 650-723-0574.
Methylphenidate HCl or Modafinil in Treating Young Patients With Excessive Daytime Sleepiness After Cancer Therapy
RATIONALE: Methylphenidate hydrochloride or modafinil may help reduce daytime sleepiness and improve the quality of life of patients with excessive daytime sleepiness after cancer therapy. It is not yet known whether methylphenidate hydrochloride or modafinil are more effective than a placebo in reducing daytime sleepiness in these patients. PURPOSE: This randomized phase II trial is studying methylphenidate hydrochloride or modafinil to see how well they work compared with a placebo in treating young patients with excessive daytime sleepiness after cancer therapy.
Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Jennifer Lew, (650) 725 - 4318.
Vismodegib in Treating Younger Patients With Recurrent or Refractory Medulloblastoma
This phase II trial studies how well vismodegib works in treating younger patients with recurrent or refractory medulloblastoma. Vismodegib may slow the growth of tumor cells.
Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Prianka Kumar, 650-724-3866.
Selumetinib in Treating Young Patients With Recurrent or Refractory Low Grade Glioma
This phase I/II trial studies the side effects and the best dose of selumetinib and how well it works in treating or re-treating young patients with low grade glioma that has come back or does not respond to treatment. Selumetinib may stop the growth of tumor cells by blocking some of the enzymes needed for cell growth.
Chemotherapy Followed by Radiation Therapy in Treating Younger Patients With Newly Diagnosed Localized Central Nervous System Germ Cell Tumors
Drugs used as chemotherapy, such as carboplatin, etoposide, and ifosfamide work in different ways to stop the growth of tumor cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Radiation therapy uses high-energy x rays to kill tumor cells. Giving chemotherapy with radiation therapy may kill more tumor cells. This phase II trial studies how well chemotherapy and radiation therapy work in treating younger patients with newly diagnosed central nervous system germ cell tumors.
Independent Studies (10)
- Directed Reading in Neurology and Neurological Science
NENS 299 (Aut, Win)
- Directed Reading in Neurosciences
NEPR 299 (Aut)
- Early Clinical Experience in Neurology and Neurological Sciences
NENS 280 (Aut, Win)
- Graduate Research
NENS 399 (Aut, Win)
- Graduate Research
NEPR 399 (Aut, Spr, Sum)
- Graduate Research
STEMREM 399 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
- Medical Scholars Research
NENS 370 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
- Out-of-Department Advanced Research Laboratory in Experimental Biology
BIO 199X (Aut, Win, Spr)
- Undergraduate Research
NENS 199 (Aut, Win, Spr)
- Undergraduate Research
STEMREM 199 (Aut, Spr, Sum)
- Directed Reading in Neurology and Neurological Science
Neuronal activity promotes oligodendrogenesis and adaptive myelination in the mammalian brain.
2014; 344 (6183): 1252304-?
Myelination of the central nervous system requires the generation of functionally mature oligodendrocytes from oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPC). Electrically active neurons may influence OPC function and selectively instruct myelination of an active neural circuit. Here, we use optogenetic stimulation of premotor cortex in awake, behaving mice to demonstrate that neuronal activity elicits a mitogenic response of neural progenitor cells and OPCs, promotes oligodendrogenesis and increases myelination within the deep layers of the premotor cortex and subcortical white matter. We further show that this neuronal activity-regulated oligodendrogenesis and myelination is associated with improved motor function of the corresponding limb. Oligodendrogenesis and myelination appear necessary for the observed functional improvement, as epigenetic blockade of oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelin changes prevents the activity-regulated behavioral improvement.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1252304
View details for PubMedID 24727982
- Subventricular spread of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. Acta neuropathologica 2014
Hedgehog-responsive candidate cell of origin for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
2011; 108 (11): 4453-4458
Diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPGs) are highly aggressive tumors of childhood that are almost universally fatal. Our understanding of this devastating cancer is limited by a dearth of available tissue for study and by the lack of a faithful animal model. Intriguingly, DIPGs are restricted to the ventral pons and occur during a narrow window of middle childhood, suggesting dysregulation of a postnatal neurodevelopmental process. Here, we report the identification of a previously undescribed population of immunophenotypic neural precursor cells in the human and murine brainstem whose temporal and spatial distributions correlate closely with the incidence of DIPG and highlight a candidate cell of origin. Using early postmortem DIPG tumor tissue, we have established in vitro and xenograft models and find that the Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway implicated in many developmental and oncogenic processes is active in DIPG tumor cells. Modulation of Hh pathway activity has functional consequences for DIPG self-renewal capacity in neurosphere culture. The Hh pathway also appears to be active in normal ventral pontine precursor-like cells of the mouse, and unregulated pathway activity results in hypertrophy of the ventral pons. Together, these findings provide a foundation for understanding the cellular and molecular origins of DIPG, and suggest that the Hh pathway represents a potential therapeutic target in this devastating pediatric tumor.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1101657108
View details for Web of Science ID 000288450900040
View details for PubMedID 21368213
Impaired human hippocampal neurogenesis after treatment for central nervous system
ANNALS OF NEUROLOGY
2007; 62 (5): 515-520
The effects of cancer treatments such as cranial radiation and chemotherapy on human hippocampal neurogenesis remain unknown. In this study, we examine neuropathological markers of neurogenesis and inflammation in the human hippocampus after treatment for acute myelogenous leukemia or medulloblastoma. We demonstrate a persistent radiation-induced microglial inflammation that is accompanied by nearly complete inhibition of neurogenesis after cancer treatment. These findings are consistent with preclinical animal studies and suggest potential therapeutic strategies.
View details for DOI 10.1002/ana.21214
View details for Web of Science ID 000251383300012
View details for PubMedID 17786983
Inflammatory blockade restores adult hippocampal neurogenesis
2003; 302 (5651): 1760-1765
Cranial radiation therapy causes a progressive decline in cognitive function that is linked to impaired neurogenesis. Chronic inflammation accompanies radiation injury, suggesting that inflammatory processes may contribute to neural stem cell dysfunction. Here, we show that neuroinflammation alone inhibits neurogenesis and that inflammatory blockade with indomethacin, a common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, restores neurogenesis after endotoxin-induced inflammation and augments neurogenesis after cranial irradiation.
View details for Web of Science ID 000186970100047
View details for PubMedID 14615545
Irradiation induces neural precursor-cell dysfunction
2002; 8 (9): 955-962
In both pediatric and adult patients, cranial radiation therapy causes a debilitating cognitive decline that is poorly understood and currently untreatable. This decline is characterized by hippocampal dysfunction, and seems to involve a radiation-induced decrease in postnatal hippocampal neurogenesis. Here we show that the deficit in neurogenesis reflects alterations in the microenvironment that regulates progenitor-cell fate, as well as a defect in the proliferative capacity of the neural progenitor-cell population. Not only is hippocampal neurogenesis ablated, but the remaining neural precursors adopt glial fates and transplants of non-irradiated neural precursor cells fail to differentiate into neurons in the irradiated hippocampus. The inhibition of neurogenesis is accompanied by marked alterations in the neurogenic microenvironment, including disruption of the microvascular angiogenesis associated with adult neurogenesis and a marked increase in the number and activation status of microglia within the neurogenic zone. These findings provide clear targets for future therapeutic interventions.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nm749
View details for Web of Science ID 000177757900030
View details for PubMedID 12161748
Human pontine glioma cells can induce murine tumors
2014; 127 (6): 897-909
Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), with a median survival of only 9 months, is the leading cause of pediatric brain cancer mortality. Dearth of tumor tissue for research has limited progress in this disease until recently. New experimental models for DIPG research are now emerging. To develop preclinical models of DIPG, two different methods were adopted: cells obtained at autopsy (1) were directly xenografted orthotopically into the pons of immunodeficient mice without an intervening cell culture step or (2) were first cultured in vitro and, upon successful expansion, injected in vivo. Both strategies resulted in pontine tumors histopathologically similar to the original human DIPG tumors. However, following the direct transplantation method all tumors proved to be composed of murine and not of human cells. This is in contrast to the indirect method that included initial in vitro culture and resulted in xenografts comprising human cells. Of note, direct injection of cells obtained postmortem from the pons and frontal lobe of human brains not affected by cancer did not give rise to neoplasms. The murine pontine tumors exhibited an immunophenotype similar to human DIPG, but were also positive for microglia/macrophage markers, such as CD45, CD68 and CD11b. Serial orthotopic injection of these murine cells results in lethal tumors in recipient mice. Direct injection of human DIPG cells in vivo can give rise to malignant murine tumors. This represents an important caveat for xenotransplantation models of DIPG. In contrast, an initial in vitro culture step can allow establishment of human orthotopic xenografts. The mechanism underlying this phenomenon observed with direct xenotransplantation remains an open question.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s00401-014-1272-4
View details for Web of Science ID 000336273100008
View details for PubMedID 24777482
Diffusion-weighted MRI derived apparent diffusion coefficient identifies prognostically distinct subgroups of pediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma
JOURNAL OF NEURO-ONCOLOGY
2014; 117 (1): 175-182
While pediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG) remain fatal, recent data have shown subgroups with distinct molecular biology and clinical behavior. We hypothesized that diffusion-weighted MRI can be used as a prognostic marker to stratify DIPG subsets with distinct clinical behavior. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values derived from diffusion-weighted MRI were computed in 20 consecutive children with treatment-naïve DIPG tumors. The median ADC for the cohort was used to stratify the tumors into low and high ADC groups. Survival, gender, therapy, and potential steroid effects were compared between the ADC groups. Median age at diagnosis was 6.6 (range 2.3-13.2) years, with median follow-up seven (range 1-36) months. There were 14 boys and six girls. Seventeen patients received radiotherapy, five received chemotherapy, and six underwent cerebrospinal fluid diversion. The median ADC of 1,295 × 10(-6) mm(2)/s for the cohort partitioned tumors into low or high diffusion groups, which had distinct median survivals of 3 and 13 months, respectively (log-rank p < 0.001). Low ADC tumors were found only in boys, whereas high ADC tumors were found in both boys and girls. Available tissue specimens in three low ADC tumors demonstrated high-grade histology, whereas one high ADC tumor demonstrated low-grade histology with a histone H3.1 K27M mutation and high-grade metastatic lesion at autopsy. ADC derived from diffusion-weighted MRI may identify prognostically distinct subgroups of pediatric DIPG.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11060-014-1375-8
View details for Web of Science ID 000331964600021
View details for PubMedID 24522717
Recurrent activating ACVR1 mutations in diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.
Diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPGs) are highly infiltrative malignant glial neoplasms of the ventral pons that, due to their location within the brain, are unsuitable for surgical resection and consequently have a universally dismal clinical outcome. The median survival time is 9-12 months, with neither chemotherapeutic nor targeted agents showing substantial survival benefit in clinical trials in children with these tumors. We report the identification of recurrent activating mutations in the ACVR1 gene, which encodes a type I activin receptor serine/threonine kinase, in 21% of DIPG samples. Strikingly, these somatic mutations (encoding p.Arg206His, p.Arg258Gly, p.Gly328Glu, p.Gly328Val, p.Gly328Trp and p.Gly356Asp substitutions) have not been reported previously in cancer but are identical to mutations found in the germ line of individuals with the congenital childhood developmental disorder fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) and have been shown to constitutively activate the BMP-TGF-β signaling pathway. These mutations represent new targets for therapeutic intervention in this otherwise incurable disease.
View details for DOI 10.1038/ng.2925
View details for PubMedID 24705252
Reduced H3K27me3 and DNA Hypomethylation Are Major Drivers of Gene Expression in K27M Mutant Pediatric High-Grade Gliomas.
2013; 24 (5): 660-672
Two recurrent mutations, K27M and G34R/V, within histone variant H3.3 were recently identified in ∼50% of pHGGs. Both mutations define clinically and biologically distinct subgroups of pHGGs. Here, we provide further insight about the dominant-negative effect of K27M mutant H3.3, leading to a global reduction of the repressive histone mark H3K27me3. We demonstrate that this is caused by aberrant recruitment of the PRC2 complex to K27M mutant H3.3 and enzymatic inhibition of the H3K27me3-establishing methyltransferase EZH2. By performing chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by next-generation sequencing and whole-genome bisulfite sequencing in primary pHGGs, we show that reduced H3K27me3 levels and DNA hypomethylation act in concert to activate gene expression in K27M mutant pHGGs.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ccr.2013.10.006
View details for PubMedID 24183680
Functional and structural differences in the hippocampus associated with memory deficits in adult survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia
PEDIATRIC BLOOD & CANCER
2013; 60 (2): 293-300
Radiation and chemotherapy targeted to the central nervous system (CNS) can cause cognitive impairment, including impaired memory. These memory impairments may be referable to damage to hippocampal structures resulting from CNS treatment.In the present study, we explored episodic memory and its neuroimaging correlates in 10 adult survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treated with cranial radiation therapy and both systemic and intrathecal chemotherapy and 10 controls matched for age and sex, using a subsequent memory paradigm after episodic encoding of visual scenes.We report behavioral, structural, and functional changes in the brains of the adult survivors. They demonstrated poorer recognition memory, hippocampal atrophy, and altered blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal in the hippocampus. Whole brain statistical map analysis revealed increased BOLD signal/activation in several brain regions during unsuccessful encoding in ALL survivors, potentially reflecting ineffective neural recruitment. Individual differences in memory performance in ALL participants were related to magnitude of BOLD response in regions associated with successful encoding.Taken together, these findings describe long term neuroimaging correlates of cognitive dysfunction after childhood exposure to CNS-targeted cancer therapies, suggesting enduring damage to episodic memory systems.
View details for DOI 10.1002/pbc.24263
View details for Web of Science ID 000312557600021
View details for PubMedID 22887801
Effect of cancer therapy on neural stem cells: implications for cognitive function
CURRENT OPINION IN ONCOLOGY
2012; 24 (6): 672-678
Modern cancer therapies have allowed for a dramatic increase in the survival rates in both children and adults. However, a frequent and unfortunate side-effect of cancer therapy is a long-term decline in neurocognitive function. Specifically, cranial radiation therapy markedly alters memory processes, while chemotherapeutic agents are correlated with deficits in attention, concentration, and speed of information processing. Here, we describe the putative cellular etiologies of cancer treatment-induced cognitive decline, with an emphasis on the role of neural stem and precursor cell dysfunction.New studies highlight the lasting effects of chemotherapy on memory, executive function, attention, and speed of information processing up to 20 years following chemotherapy. Cognitive decrements are associated with decreased white-matter integrity as well as alterations in stem cell function in humans and rodent models of cancer therapy. Genetic polymorphisms may underlie differential sensitivity of certain individuals to the neurological consequences of chemotherapy. Increasing data support the concept that disruption of normal neural stem and precursor cell function is an important causative factor for the cognitive deficits that result from cancer therapy in both children and adults.Further studies are needed to elucidate the role of chemotherapy on cell-intrinsic processes and cellular microenvironments. Further, the effects of the new generation of targeted molecular therapies on neural stem and progenitor cell function remains largely untested. Understanding the mechanisms behind cancer therapy-induced damage to neural stem and precursor cell populations will elucidate neuroprotective and cell replacement strategies aimed at preserving cognition after cancer therapy.
View details for DOI 10.1097/CCO.0b013e3283571a8e
View details for Web of Science ID 000310361500011
View details for PubMedID 22913969
Cognitive side effects of cancer therapy demonstrate a functional role for adult neurogenesis
BEHAVIOURAL BRAIN RESEARCH
2012; 227 (2): 376-379
Cancer therapies frequently result in a spectrum of neurocognitive deficits that include impaired learning, memory, attention and speed of information processing. Damage to dynamic neural progenitor cell populations in the brain are emerging as important etiologic factors. Radiation and chemotherapy-induced damage to neural progenitor populations responsible for adult hippocampal neurogenesis and for maintenance of subcortical white matter integrity are now believed to play major roles in the neurocognitive impairment many cancer survivors experience.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bbr.2011.05.012
View details for Web of Science ID 000301404000010
View details for PubMedID 21621557
- Hedgehogs, Flies, Wnts and MYCs: The Time Has Come for Many Things in Medulloblastoma JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY 2011; 29 (11): 1395-1398
Neurological complications following treatment of children with brain tumors.
Journal of pediatric rehabilitation medicine
2011; 4 (1): 31-36
Brain tumors and their treatments in children result in a range of neurological complications that can affect daily function and rehabilitation potential, including neurocognitive sequelae, ototoxicity, seizure disorders, stroke, and peripheral neuropathy. Deficits in cognitive function, particularly learning and memory, attention and speed of information processing, can be debilitating. With new insights to the cellular and molecular etiology of these deficits, new therapies for cognitive decline after therapy are emerging. Management strategies for other neurological complications are also emerging.
View details for DOI 10.3233/PRM-2011-0150
View details for PubMedID 21757808
Clinical Patterns and Biological Correlates of Cognitive Dysfunction Associated with Cancer Therapy
2008; 13 (12): 1285-1295
Standard oncological therapies, such as chemotherapy and cranial radiotherapy, frequently result in a spectrum of neurocognitive deficits that includes impaired learning, memory, attention, and speed of information processing. In addition to classical mechanisms of neurotoxicity associated with chemo- and radiotherapy, such as radiation necrosis and leukoencephalopathy, damage to dynamic progenitor cell populations in the brain is emerging as an important etiologic factor. Radiation- and chemotherapy-induced damage to progenitor populations responsible for maintenance of white matter integrity and adult hippocampal neurogenesis is now believed to play a major role in the neurocognitive impairment many cancer survivors experience.
View details for DOI 10.1634/theoncologist.2008-0130
View details for Web of Science ID 000261996600008
View details for PubMedID 19019972
CRANIAL RADIATION THERAPY AND DAMAGE TO HIPPOCAMPAL NEUROGENESIS
DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES RESEARCH REVIEWS
2008; 14 (3): 238-242
Cranial radiation therapy is associated with a progressive decline in cognitive function, prominently memory function. Impairment of hippocampal neurogenesis is thought to be an important mechanism underlying this cognitive decline. Recent work has elucidated the mechanisms of radiation-induced failure of neurogenesis. Potential therapeutic interventions are emerging.
View details for DOI 10.1002/ddrr.26
View details for Web of Science ID 000262726500008
View details for PubMedID 18924155
Excitation-neurogenesis coupling in adult neural stem/progenitor cells
2004; 42 (4): 535-552
A wide variety of in vivo manipulations influence neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus. It is not known, however, if adult neural stem/progenitor cells (NPCs) can intrinsically sense excitatory neural activity and thereby implement a direct coupling between excitation and neurogenesis. Moreover, the theoretical significance of activity-dependent neurogenesis in hippocampal-type memory processing networks has not been explored. Here we demonstrate that excitatory stimuli act directly on adult hippocampal NPCs to favor neuron production. The excitation is sensed via Ca(v)1.2/1.3 (L-type) Ca(2+) channels and NMDA receptors on the proliferating precursors. Excitation through this pathway acts to inhibit expression of the glial fate genes Hes1 and Id2 and increase expression of NeuroD, a positive regulator of neuronal differentiation. These activity-sensing properties of the adult NPCs, when applied as an "excitation-neurogenesis coupling rule" within a Hebbian neural network, predict significant advantages for both the temporary storage and the clearance of memories.
View details for Web of Science ID 000221708300006
View details for PubMedID 15157417
Radiation injury and neurogenesis
CURRENT OPINION IN NEUROLOGY
2003; 16 (2): 129-134
For many cancers, survival depends on aggressive combined therapies, but treatment comes at a price. Children and adults who receive radiotherapy involving the brain frequently experience a progressive cognitive decline. The overt pathologies of radiation injury such as white matter necrosis or vasculopathy are the obvious "smoking guns" of dysfunction. However, many patients exhibit severe learning and memory deficits with no overt pathologic changes. This is especially true when the radiation field involves the temporal lobes. The cause of this debilitating dysfunction is currently unknown and untreatable.Within the temporal lobe, the hippocampal formation plays a central role in short-term learning and memory--the functions most notably affected by radiation. Recent work has also shown that hippocampus-dependent learning and memory are strongly influenced by the activity of neural stem cells and their proliferative progeny. The hippocampal granule cell layer undergoes continuous renewal and restructuring by the addition of new neurons. Radiation at much lower doses than that needed to injure the more resistant post-mitotic neurons and glia of the brain has been found to affect these highly proliferative progenitors severely. The stem/progenitor cell is so sensitive to radiation that a single low dose to the cranium of a mature rat is sufficient to ablate hippocampal neurogenesis.Progressive learning and memory deficits following irradiation may be caused by the accumulating hippocampal dysfunction that results from a long-term absence of normal stem/progenitor activity. Here, the authors describe the nature of this stem cell dysfunction and contemplate how restoration of stem/progenitor cell activity might be approached in experimental models and, eventually, the clinic.
View details for DOI 10.1097/01.wco.0000063772.8181.b7
View details for Web of Science ID 000182542200002
View details for PubMedID 12644738