Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Neurogenesis in the hippocampus

Neural precursors located in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus proliferate in adult rodents. The newly generated neurons are functional, integrate in hippocampal circuits and may be involved in certain forms of hippocampal-dependent learning.

In the hippocampus of aged animals, the administration of neurosteroids can still promote neurogenesis in a long-lasting manner. In addition, a clear relationship was observed between the cognitive performances of old rats and the formation of new neurons in the hippocampus. The GABA active neurosteroids pregnenolone sulphate and 3?,5?-tetrahydroprogesterone respectively stimulated and inhibited the proliferation of neuronal progenitors. Their effects indeed involved GABAA receptors, as demonstrated in cultured "neurospheres" by using selective GABAA receptor agonists and antagonists.

Estradiol also modulates, by interacting with the growth factor IGF-1, adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus. The actions of estradiol and IGF-1 were shown to converge on the intracellular AKT/PKB signalling pathway.

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