Hippocampal neural stem cells (NSCs) integrate inputs from multiple sources to balance quiescence and activation. Notch signaling plays a key role during this process. Here, we report that Lunatic fringe (Lfng), a key modifier of the Notch receptor, is selectively expressed in NSCs. Further, Lfng in NSCs and Notch ligands Delta1 and Jagged1, expressed by their progeny, together influence NSC recruitment, cell cycle duration, and terminal fate. We propose a new model in which Lfng-mediated Notch signaling enables direct communication between a NSC and its descendants, so that progeny can send feedback signals to the 'mother' cell to modify its cell cycle status. Lfng-mediated Notch signaling appears to be a key factor governing NSC quiescence, division, and fate.
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