Neural stem cells (NSCs) in the adult brain have been a consistent focus of biomedical research largely because of their potential clinical application. To fully exploit this potential, the molecular mechanisms that regulate NSCs must be clarified. Several lines of evidence show that a multifunctional protein, Galectin-1, is expressed and has a functional role in a subset of adult NSCs. Researchers, including our group, have explored the physiological role of Galectin-1 in NSCs and its application in the treatment of animal models of neurological disorders such as brain ischemia and spinal cord injury. Here, we summarize what is currently known regarding the role of Galectin-1 in adult NSCs. Furthermore, we discuss current issues in researching the role of Galectin-1 in adult NSCs under both physiological and pathological conditions.
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