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Keywords:

  • adult neurogenesis;
  • dendritic spines;
  • electroconvulsive seizure therapy;
  • depression;
  • antidepressant

Abstract

Neurogenesis continues in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus throughout life in mammals. This process is influenced by daily activities such as exercise, learning, and stress and may contribute to certain forms of hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is also subject to regulation by antidepressant treatment, including chronic treatment with antidepressant drugs or electroconvulsive seizure (ECS) therapy. Here we investigated how the connectivity of newborn and mature granule cells is influenced by ECS administration in rats. Specifically, we examined the dendritic spine morphology of newborn and mature granule cells in rats and found that ECS administration promoted the maturation of dendritic spines in newborn cells and increased spine density in mature cells. These changes could potentially lead to alteration in dentate circuitry and may partially contribute to the functional effects of ECS. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 72: 937–942, 2012