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Synapse formation on adult-born hippocampal neurons

Authors

  • Nicolas Toni,

    1. Department of Cell Biology and Morphology, Faculty of Biology and Medicine, University of Lausanne, 9, rue du Bugnon, 1005 Lausanne, Switzerland
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  • Sebastien Sultan

    1. Department of Cell Biology and Morphology, Faculty of Biology and Medicine, University of Lausanne, 9, rue du Bugnon, 1005 Lausanne, Switzerland
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Dr N. Toni, as above.
E-mail: Nicolas.toni@unil.ch

Abstract

It is now widely accepted that adult neurogenesis plays a fundamental role in hippocampal function. Neurons born in the adult dentate gyrus of the hippocampus undergo a series of events before they fully integrate in the network and eventually become undistinguishable from neurons born during embryogenesis. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is strongly regulated by neuronal activity and neurotransmitters, and the synaptic integration of adult-born neurons occurs in discrete steps, some of which are very different from perinatal synaptogenesis. Here, we review the current knowledge on the development of the synaptic input and output of neurons born in the adult hippocampus, from the stem/progenitor cell to the fully mature neuron. We also provide insight on the regulation of adult neurogenesis by some neurotransmitters and discuss some specificities of the integration of new neurons in an adult environment. The understanding of the mechanisms regulating the synaptic integration of adult-born neurons is not only crucial for our understanding of brain plasticity, but also provides a framework for the manipulation and monitoring of endogenous adult neurogenesis as well as grafted cells, for potential therapeutic applications.

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