Mechanisms and functional significance of aberrant seizure-induced hippocampal neurogenesis


Address correspondence to Geoffrey G. Murphy, Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, U.S.A. E-mail:


Studies of experimental mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) indicate that prolonged seizures in the adult not only damage the hippocampal formation but also dramatically stimulate neurogenesis. Endogenous neural progenitor cells (NPCs) located in the adult rodent dentate gyrus and striatal subventricular zone are stimulated by experimental status epilepticus (SE) to generate increased numbers of dentate granule cells (DGCs) and olfactory interneurons, respectively (Bengzon et al., 1997;Parent et al., 1997, 2002;Scott et al., 1998). In this review, we discuss current knowledge regarding the consequences of seizure activity on NPC proliferation, focusing on the hippocampus, and on the migration and integration of adult-born hippocampal neurons. We also describe the effects of seizure-induced neurogenesis on hippocampal network function and the potential relevance of aberrant neurogenesis to human mTLE.