Interplay of Maternal Care and Genetic Influences in Programming Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis

Muriel Koehl, Rixt van der Veen, Delphine Gonzales, Pier Vincenzo Piazza, Djoher Nora Abrous
Biological Psychiatry. 2012-08-01; 72(4): 282-289
DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.03.001

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1. Biol Psychiatry. 2012 Aug 15;72(4):282-9. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.03.001.
Epub 2012 Apr 5.

Interplay of maternal care and genetic influences in programming adult
hippocampal neurogenesis.

Koehl M(1), van der Veen R, Gonzales D, Piazza PV, Abrous DN.

Author information:
(1)Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Neurocentre
Magendie, Physiopathologie de la Plasticité Neuronale, 146 rue Leo Saignat,
Bordeaux, France.

Comment in
Biol Psychiatry. 2012 Aug 15;72(4):256-7.

BACKGROUND: Adult hippocampal neurogenesis, which is involved in the
physiopathology of hippocampal functions, is genetically determined and
influenced by early life events. However, studies on the interaction of these
determining forces are lacking. This prompted us to investigate whether adult
hippocampal neurogenesis can be modulated by maternal care and whether this
influence depends upon the genetic background of the individual.
METHODS: We used a model of fostering that allows singling out the influence of
the genetic make-up of the pups on the outcome of maternal behavior. Mice from
two different inbred strains (C57BL/6J and DBA/2J) known to differ in their
baseline neurogenesis as well as in their sensitivity to the influence of
environmental experiences were raised by nonrelated mothers from the AKR/Ola
(AKR) and C3H/He (C3H) strains exhibiting low- and high-pup-oriented behavior,
respectively. Neurogenesis was then assessed in the dentate gyrus of the adult
adopted C57BL/6J and DBA/2J mice.
RESULTS: We show that both the number and the morphological features of newborn
granule cells in the dentate gyrus are determined by the maternal environment to
which mice were exposed as pups and that this sensitivity to maternal environment
is observed only in genetically vulnerable subjects.
CONCLUSIONS: Altogether, our data indicate interplay between early environment
and the genetic envelop of an individual in determining adult hippocampal
neurogenesis. Our experimental approach could thus contribute to the
identification of factors determining the neurogenic potential of the adult

Copyright © 2012 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All
rights reserved.

DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.03.001
PMID: 22483276 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus