A new chapter in the field of memory: adult hippocampal neurogenesis

Muriel Koehl, Djoher N. Abrous
European Journal of Neuroscience. 2011-03-01; 33(6): 1101-1114
DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2011.07609.x

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1. Eur J Neurosci. 2011 Mar;33(6):1101-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2011.07609.x.

A new chapter in the field of memory: adult hippocampal neurogenesis.

Koehl M(1), Abrous DN.

Author information:
(1)Neurogenesis and Pathophysiology Laboratory, INSERM 862, Bordeaux, France.

Understanding the cellular mechanisms underlying learning and memory is a major
challenge in neurobiology. Structural and functional changes occurring in the
hippocampus such as synaptic remodeling and long-term potentiation are key
signatures of long-term memory processes. The discovery of a de novo hippocampal
production of neurons in the adult brain has been a breakthrough in the field of
plasticity and memory, introducing a new actor that could sustain memory
processes. Here we will review our current knowledge on the role of these adult
new neurons in memory. In particular we will provide evidence showing that they
are required for learning and memory and that an alteration in their production
rate or maturation leads to memory impairments. Through a thorough survey of the
literature, we will also acknowledge that there are many controversies regarding
the specific role played by newborn neurons. The emerging picture is that they
are involved in the establishment of spatiotemporal relationships among multiple
environmental cues for the flexible use of the acquired information. Indeed,
newborn neurons have been found to be required for separating events based on
their spatial and temporal characteristics, a process that preserves the
uniqueness of a memory representation. Thus, adult-born neurons are required for
allocentric space representation, for long-term memory retention and for flexible
inferential memory expression. Finally, we will conclude by highlighting
directions for future research, emphasizing that the exact participation of
newborn neurons in memory processes will not be approached without considering
the hippocampal network in general.

© 2011 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2011 Federation of
European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2011.07609.x
PMID: 21395854 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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