The Notch pathway is often regarded as a developmental pathway, but components of Notch signalling are expressed and active in the adult brain. With the advent of more sophisticated genetic manipulations, evidence has emerged that suggests both conserved and novel roles for Notch signalling in the adult brain. Not surprisingly, Notch is a key regulator of adult neural stem cells, but it is increasingly clear that Notch signalling also has roles in the regulation of migration, morphology, synaptic plasticity and survival of immature and mature neurons. Understanding the many functions of Notch signalling in the adult brain, and its dysfunction in neurodegenerative disease and malignancy, is crucial to the development of new therapeutics that are centred around this pathway.
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