Regulation of the integration of newly generated neurons in the adult hippocampus


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PhD thesis: a PhD thesis.
Regulation of the integration of newly generated neurons in the adult hippocampus
Krzisch M.
Toni N.
Hornung J-P.
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Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine
Rue du Bugnon 9
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Hippocampal adult neurogenesis results in the continuous formation of new neurons in the adult hippocampus, which participate to learning and memory. Manipulations increasing adult neurogenesis have a huge clinical potential in pathologies involving memory loss. Intringuingly, most of the newborn neurons die during their maturation. Thus, increasing newborn neuron survival during their maturation may be a powerful way to increase overall adult neurogenesis. The factors governing this neuronal death are yet poorly known.
In my PhD project, we made the hypothesis that synaptogenesis and synaptic activity play a role in the survival of newborn hippocampal neurons. We studied three factors potentially involved in the regulation of the synaptic integration of adult-born neurons. First, we used propofol anesthesia to provoke a global increase in GABAergic activity of the network, and we evaluated the outcome on newborn neuron synaptic integration, morphological development and survival. Propofol anesthesia impaired the dendritic maturation and survival of adult-born neurons in an age-dependent manner. Next, we examined the development of astrocytic ensheathment on the synapses formed by newborn neurons, as we hypothesized that astrocytes are involved in their synaptic integration. Astrocytic processes ensheathed the synapses of newborn neurons very early in their development, and the processes modulated synaptic transmission on these cells. Finally, we studied the cell-autonomous effects of the overexpression of synaptic adhesion molecules on the development, synaptic integration and survival of newborn neurons, and we found that manipulating of a single adhesion molecule was sufficient to modify synaptogenesis and/or synapse function, and to modify newborn neuron survival.
Together, these results suggest that the activity of the neuronal network, the modulation of glutamate transport by astrocytes, and the synapse formation and activity of the neuron itself may regulate the survival of newborn neurons. Thus, the survival of newborn neurons may depend on their ability to communicate with the network. This knowledge is crucial for finding ways to increase neurogenesis in patients. More generally, understanding how the neurogenic niche works and which factors are important for the generation, maturation and survival of neurons is fundamental to be able to maybe, one day, replace neurons in any region of the brain.
adult neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, maturation, newborn neurons
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18/12/2014 17:45
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20/08/2019 16:13
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