Adult neurogenesis: From precursors to network and physiology

Djoher Nora Abrous, Muriel Koehl, Michel Le Moal
Physiological Reviews. 2005-04-01; 85(2): 523-569
DOI: 10.1152/physrev.00055.2003

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1. Physiol Rev. 2005 Apr;85(2):523-69.

Adult neurogenesis: from precursors to network and physiology.

Abrous DN(1), Koehl M, Le Moal M.

Author information:
(1)Laboratoire de Physiopathologie des Comportements, Institut National de la
Sané et de la Recherche Médicale, U588, Université de Bordeaux, France.

The discovery that the adult mammalian brain creates new neurons from pools of
stemlike cells was a breakthrough in neuroscience. Interestingly, this particular
new form of structural brain plasticity seems specific to discrete brain regions,
and most investigations concern the subventricular zone (SVZ) and the dentate
gyrus (DG) of the hippocampal formation (HF). Overall, two main lines of research
have emerged over the last two decades: the first aims to understand the
fundamental biological properties of neural stemlike cells (and their progeny)
and the integration of the newly born neurons into preexisting networks, while
the second focuses on understanding its relevance in brain functioning, which has
been more extensively approached in the DG. Here, we propose an overview of the
current knowledge on adult neurogenesis and its functional relevance for the
adult brain. We first present an analysis of the methodological issues that have
hampered progress in this field and describe the main neurogenic sites with their
specificities. We will see that despite considerable progress, the levels of
anatomic and functional integration of the newly born neurons within the host
circuitry have yet to be elucidated. Then the intracellular mechanisms
controlling neuronal fate are presented briefly, along with the extrinsic factors
that regulate adult neurogenesis. We will see that a growing list of epigenetic
factors that display a specificity of action depending on the neurogenic site
under consideration has been identified. Finally, we review the progress
accomplished in implicating neurogenesis in hippocampal functioning under
physiological conditions and in the development of hippocampal-related
pathologies such as epilepsy, mood disorders, and addiction. This constitutes a
necessary step in promoting the development of therapeutic strategies.

DOI: 10.1152/physrev.00055.2003
PMID: 15788705 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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