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Depletion of norepinephrine decreases the proliferation, but does not influence the survival and differentiation, of granule cell progenitors in the adult rat hippocampus


: Dr Vidita A. Vaidya, as above.


The dentate gyrus region retains the ability to generate neurons throughout adulthood. A few studies have examined the neurotransmitter regulation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis and have shown that this process is regulated by serotonin and glutamate. Given the strong noradrenergic innervation of the adult hippocampus and the ability of norepinephrine to influence proliferation during development, we examined the influence of norepinephrine on adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Our study indicates that depletion of norepinephrine by the selective noradrenergic neurotoxin, N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromo benzylamine hydrochloride (DSP-4), results in a 63% reduction in the proliferation of dentate gyrus progenitor cells identified through 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) labelling. In contrast, the survival of BrdU-positive cells labelled prior to treatment with DSP-4 is not influenced by norepinephrine depletion. The differentiation of BrdU labelled progenitors into neurons or glia was also not sensitive to noradrenergic depletion. These results indicate that the proliferation, but not the survival or differentiation, of adult hippocampal granule cell progenitors is affected by norepinephrine depletion.

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