Differential effects of learning on neurogenesis: learning increases or decreases the number of newly born cells depending on their birth date.
Mol Psychiatry. 2003-11-26; 8(12): 974-982
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1. Mol Psychiatry. 2003 Nov;8(12):974-82.
Differential effects of learning on neurogenesis: learning increases or decreases
the number of newly born cells depending on their birth date.
Döbrössy MD(1), Drapeau E, Aurousseau C, Le Moal M, Piazza PV, Abrous DN.
(1)INSERM U259, University of Bordeaux, Domaine de Carreire, Bordeaux, France.
The hippocampal formation, to which new neurons are added on a daily basis
throughout life, is important in spatial learning. Surviving de novo produced
cells integrate into the functional circuitry, where they can influence both
normal and pathological behaviors. In this study, we examined the effect of the
water-maze (a hippocampal-dependent spatial task) on neurogenesis. Learning in
this task can be divided into two phases, an early phase during which performance
improves rapidly, and a late phase during which asymptotic levels of performance
are reached. Here we demonstrate that the late phase of learning has a
multifaceted effect on neurogenesis depending on the birth date of new neurons.
The number of newly born cells increased contingently with the late phase and a
large proportion of these cells survived for at least 4 weeks and differentiated
into neurons. In contrast, late-phase learning decreased the number of newly born
cells produced during the early phase. This decline in neurogenesis was
positively correlated with performance in the water-maze. Thus, rats with the
highest de novo cell number were less able to acquire and use spatial information
than those with low numbers of new cells. These results show that learning has a
complex effect on hippocampal neurogenesis, and reveals a novel mechanism through
which neurogenesis may influence normal and pathological behaviors.
PMID: 14647395 [Indexed for MEDLINE]