• Differential Regulation of the Variations Induced by Environmental Richness in Adult Neurogenesis as a Function of Time: A Dual Birthdating Analysis

      Llorens-Martí­n, Marí­a; Tejeda, Gonzalo S.; Trejo, José L.; Tsien, Joe Z.; Department of Neurology (2010-08-16)
      Adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) augments after environmental enrichment (EE) and it has been related to some of the anxiolytic, antidepressant and neuroprotective effects of EE. Indeed, it has been suggested that EE specifically modulates hippocampal neurogenic cell populations over the course of time. Here we have used dual-birthdating to study two subpopulations of newborn neuron in mice (Mus musculus): those born at the beginning and at the end of enrichment. In this way, we demonstrate that while short-term cell survival is upregulated after an initial 1 week period of enrichment in 2 month old female mice, after long-term enrichment (2 months) neither cell proliferation nor the survival of the younger newly born cell populations are distinguishable from that observed in non-enriched control mice. In addition, we show that the survival of older newborn neurons alone (i.e. those born at the beginning of the enrichment) is higher than in controls, due to the significantly lower levels of cell death. Indeed, these parameters are rapidly adjusted to the sudden cessation of the EE conditions. These findings suggest both an early selective, long-lasting effect of EE on the neurons born in the initial stages of enrichment, and a quick response when the environment again becomes impoverished. Therefore, EE induces differential effects on distinct subpopulations of newborn neurons depending on the age of the immature cells and on the duration of the EE itself. The interaction of these two parameters constitutes a new, specific regulation of these neurogenic populations that might account for the long-term enrichment's behavioral effects.