Like plump little caterpillars inching along a branch, newly born neurons in the adult brain appear to crawl along nearby blood vessels to find their way to their final destination.
Scientists have long known that nascent neurons, born in a spot called the subventricular zone towards the back of the brain, must find their way to the most anterior portion of the brain, the olfactory bulb. Using real-time video imaging, scientists from Quebec discovered that these neurons navigate the brain using blood vessels as paths. In the video above, published online in the Journal of Neuroscience, neurons are labeled in green, and the blood vessels in red.
Credit: Journal of Neuroscience, April 1, 2009, 29(13):4172-4188