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Amelia EischAdult hippocampal neurogenesis : What are new neurons good for? And what is good for new neurons?

Abstract :

The mammalian hippocampus is a key brain region in learning, memory, affect, and mood regulation.
One aspect of the hippocampus that has received significant attention is neurogenesis, or the ability of the hippocampus to generate new neurons throughout life. First discovered nearly fifty years ago, it is now accepted that stem-like and progenitor cells residing in the subgranular zone (SGZ) give rise to dentate gyrus granule neurons that integrate into hippocampal circuitry and contribute to discrete aspects of hippocampal functions. There is an enormous amount of correlative evidence linking hippocampal neurogenesis with learning and memory, and linking dysregulated neurogenesis with psychiatric disorders such as depression. However, it remains controversial how new neurons in the adult brain are regulated or what their true function is. Using inducible techniques to manipulate adult-generated neurons, we have made strides in understanding the function and regulation of hippocampal neurogenesis. Here we will review our discovery of novel roles for new neurons in psychiatric disorders, including addiction, and our use of inducible transgenic mouse models to identify intrinsic regulators of new neurons. 

Selected publications

Notch1 is required for maintenance of the reservoir of adult hippocampal stem cells.
Ables JL, Decarolis NA, Johnson MA, Rivera PD, Gao Z, Cooper DC, Radtke F, Hsieh J, Eisch AJ.
J Neurosci. 2010 Aug 4;30(31):10484-92.
Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is functionally important for stress-induced social avoidance.
Lagace DC, Donovan MH, DeCarolis NA, Farnbauch LA, Malhotra S, Berton O, Nestler EJ, Krishnan V, Eisch AJ. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Mar 2;107(9):4436-41. Epub 2010 Feb 22.
Epigenetics, hippocampal neurogenesis, and neuropsychiatric disorders: unraveling the genome to understand the mind. Hsieh J, Eisch AJ. Neurobiol Dis. 2010 Jul;39(1):73-84. Epub 2010 Jan 28.

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