Open Access Adult Neurogenesis and Dendritic Remodeling in Hippocampal Plasticity: Which One Is More Important?

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Abstract:

Accumulating knowledge has shown that a decrease in hippocampal neurogenesis is linked to the pathophysiology of mood disorders and some hippocampal-dependent learning and memory tasks. The role of adult neurogenesis has initially been proposed based on correlations between decreases or increases in neurogenesis and impairments or improvements, respectively, in animal behaviors following interventions. Its role has been further elucidated through the ablation of neurogenesis. However, the functional roles of neurogenesis in hippocampal-dependent behaviors have been challenged by inconsistent findings between different studies. Despite the fact that factors affecting neurogenesis also induce dendritic or synaptic changes in newborn or existing neurons, these two aspects of structural changes within the hippocampus have always been examined separately. Thus, it is difficult to interpret the functional role of adult neurogenesis or dendritic remodification in hippocampal-dependent behaviors. This review discusses the relative contribution of adult neurogenesis and dendritic/synaptic remodeling of existing neurons to hippocampal plasticity.

Keywords: Dendritic remodeling; Hippocampal neurogenesis; Learning and memory; Stress; Synaptic plasticity; Voluntary running

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/096368914X678283

Affiliations: Department of Anatomy, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

Publication date: April 9, 2014

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