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Adult-born neurons modify excitatory synaptic transmission to existing neurons

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  • Ref Adult-born neurons modify excitatory synaptic transmission to existing neurons

    https://elifesciences.org/content/6/e19886

    Abstract
    Adult-born neurons are continually produced in the dentate gyrus but it is unclear whether synaptic integration of new neurons affects the pre-existing circuit. Here we investigated how manipulating neurogenesis in adult mice alters excitatory synaptic transmission to mature dentate neurons. Enhancing neurogenesis by conditional deletion of the pro-apoptotic gene Bax in stem cells reduced excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) and spine density in mature neurons, whereas genetic ablation of neurogenesis increased EPSCs in mature neurons. Unexpectedly, we found that Bax deletion in developing and mature dentate neurons increased EPSCs and prevented neurogenesis-induced synaptic suppression. Together these results show that neurogenesis modifies synaptic transmission to mature neurons in a manner consistent with a redistribution of pre-existing synapses to newly integrating neurons and that a non-apoptotic function of the Bax signaling pathway contributes to ongoing synaptic refinement within the dentate circuit.
    Neurogenesis, the creation of new brain cells called neurons, occurs primarily before birth. However, a region of the brain called the dentate gyrus, which is involved in memory, continues to produce new neurons throughout life. Recent studies suggest that adding neurons to the dentate gyrus helps the brain to distinguish between similar sights, sounds and smells. This in turn makes it easier to encode similar experiences as distinct memories.

    The brain’s outer layer, called the cortex, processes information from our senses and sends it, along with information about our location in space, to the dentate gyrus. By combining this sensory and spatial information, the dentate gyrus is able to generate a unique memory of an experience. But how does neurogenesis affect this process? As the dentate gyrus accumulates more neurons, the number of neurons in the cortex remains unchanged. Do some cortical neurons transfer their connections – called synapses – to the new neurons? Or does the brain generate additional synapses to accommodate the newborn cells?

    Adlaf et al. set out to answer this question by genetically modifying mice to alter the number of new neurons that could form in the dentate gyrus. Increasing the number of newborn neurons reduced the number of synapses between the cortex and the mature neurons in the dentate gyrus. Conversely, killing off newborn neurons had the opposite effect, increasing the strength of the synaptic connections to older cells. This suggests that new synapses are not formed to accommodate new neurons, but rather that there is a redistribution of synapses between old and new neurons in the dentate gyrus.

    Further work is required to determine how this redistribution of synapses contributes to how the dentate gyrus works. Does redistributing synapses disrupt existing memories? And how do these findings relate to the effects of exercise – does this natural way of increasing neurogenesis increase the overall number of synapses in the system, potentially creating enough connections for both new and old neurons?
    Jo Bowyer
    Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
    "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

  • #2
    Human adult neurogenesis across the ages: An immunohistochemical study

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...2d62d42fdc3f2a

    Abstract

    Aims

    Neurogenesis in the postnatal human brain occurs in two neurogenic niches; the subventricular zone (SVZ) in the wall of the lateral ventricles and the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the hippocampus. The extent to which this physiological process continues into adulthood is an area of ongoing research. This study aimed to characterize markers of cell proliferation and assess the efficacy of antibodies used to identify neurogenesis in both neurogenic niches of the human brain.
    Methods

    Cell proliferation and neurogenesis were simultaneously examined in the SVZ and SGZ of 23 individuals aged 0.2–59 years, using immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence in combination with unbiased stereology.
    Results

    There was a marked decline in proliferating cells in both neurogenic niches in early infancy with levels reaching those seen in the adjacent parenchyma by 4 and 1 year of age, in the SVZ and SGZ, respectively. Furthermore, the phenotype of these proliferating cells in both niches changed with age. In infants, proliferating cells co-expressed neural progenitor (epidermal growth factor receptor), immature neuronal (doublecortin and beta III tubulin) and oligodendrocytic (Olig2) markers. However, after 3 years of age, microglia were the only proliferating cells found in either niche or in the adjacent parenchyma.
    Conclusions

    This study demonstrates a marked decline in neurogenesis in both neurogenic niches in early childhood, and that the sparse proliferating cells in the adult brain are largely microglia.
    Jo Bowyer
    Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
    "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

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