It has been established that the adult mouse forebrain contains multipotential (neuronal/glial) progenitor cells that can be induced to proliferate in vitro when epidermal growth factor is provided. These cells are found within the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricles, together with other progenitor cell populations, whose requirements for proliferation remain undefined. Using basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), we have isolated multipotential progenitors from adult mouse striatum. These progenitors proliferate and can differentiate into cells displaying the antigenic properties of astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and neurons. The neuron-like cells possess neuronal features, exhibit neuronal electrophysiological properties, and are immunoreactive for GABA, substance P, choline acetyl-transferase, and glutamate. Clonal analysis confirmed the multipotency of these bFGF-dependent cells. Most significantly, subcloning experiments demonstrated that they were capable of self- renewal, which led to a progressive increase in population size over serial passaging. These results demonstrate that bFGF is mitogenic for multipotential cells from adult mammalian forebrain that possess stem cell properties.