Publications by authors named "Ionut Dumitru"

3 Publications

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Neurogenesis of medium spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens continues into adulthood and is enhanced by pathological pain.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 Sep 1;26(9):4616-4632. Epub 2020 Jul 1.

Department of Clinical Neurobiology, University Hospital Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany.

In mammals, most adult neural stem cells (NSCs) are located in the ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ) along the wall of the lateral ventricles and they are the source of olfactory bulb interneurons. Adult NSCs exhibit an apico-basal polarity; they harbor a short apical process and a long basal process, reminiscent of radial glia morphology. In the adult mouse brain, we detected extremely long radial glia-like fibers that originate from the anterior-ventral V-SVZ and that are directed to the ventral striatum. Interestingly, a fraction of adult V-SVZ-derived neuroblasts dispersed in close association with the radial glia-like fibers in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Using several in vivo mouse models, we show that newborn neurons integrate into preexisting circuits in the NAc where they mature as medium spiny neurons (MSNs), i.e., a type of projection neurons formerly believed to be generated only during embryonic development. Moreover, we found that the number of newborn neurons in the NAc is dynamically regulated by persistent pain, suggesting that adult neurogenesis of MSNs is an experience-modulated process.
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September 2021

Diazepam Binding Inhibitor Promotes Stem Cell Expansion Controlling Environment-Dependent Neurogenesis.

Neuron 2017 Apr 23;94(1):125-137.e5. Epub 2017 Mar 23.

Department of Clinical Neurobiology at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Medical Faculty of the Heidelberg University, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address:

Plasticity of adult neurogenesis supports adaptation to environmental changes. The identification of molecular mediators that signal these changes to neural progenitors in the niche has remained elusive. Here we report that diazepam binding inhibitor (DBI) is crucial in supporting an adaptive mechanism in response to changes in the environment. We provide evidence that DBI is expressed in stem cells in all neurogenic niches of the postnatal brain. Focusing on the hippocampal subgranular zone (SGZ) and employing multiple genetic manipulations in vivo, we demonstrate that DBI regulates the balance between preserving the stem cell pool and neurogenesis. Specifically, DBI dampens GABA activity in stem cells, thereby sustaining the proproliferative effect of physical exercise and enriched environment. Our data lend credence to the notion that the modulatory effect of DBI constitutes a general mechanism that regulates postnatal neurogenesis.
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April 2017