A role for adult neurogenesis in spatial long-term memory

Neuroscience. 2005;130(4):843-52. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2004.10.009.


Adult hippocampal neurogenesis has been linked to learning but details of the relationship between neuronal production and memory formation remain unknown. Using low dose irradiation to inhibit adult hippocampal neurogenesis we show that new neurons aged 4-28 days old at the time of training are required for long-term memory in a spatial version of the water maze. This effect of irradiation was specific since long-term memory for a visibly cued platform remained intact. Furthermore, irradiation just before or after water maze training had no effect on learning or long-term memory. Relationships between learning and new neuron survival, as well as proliferation, were investigated but found non-significant. These results suggest a new role for adult neurogenesis in the formation and/or consolidation of long-term, hippocampus-dependent, spatial memories.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bromodeoxyuridine
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Differentiation / radiation effects
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cell Division / radiation effects
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Cell Proliferation / radiation effects*
  • Cues
  • Gamma Rays / adverse effects
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology*
  • Hippocampus / radiation effects
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / physiology*
  • Maze Learning / radiation effects
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Memory / radiation effects
  • Memory Disorders / etiology
  • Memory Disorders / pathology
  • Memory Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / radiation effects
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Neurons / radiation effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Stem Cells / physiology
  • Stem Cells / radiation effects
  • Time Factors


  • Bromodeoxyuridine