Inhibition of neurogenesis interferes with hippocampus-dependent memory function

Hippocampus. 2006;16(3):296-304. doi: 10.1002/hipo.20163.


Rats treated with low dose irradiation, to inhibit adult hippocampal neurogenesis, and control rats were administered a non-matching-to-sample (NMTS) task, which measured conditional rule learning and memory for specific events, and a test of fear conditioning in which a discrete CS was paired with an aversive US in a complex environment. Irradiated rats were impaired on the NMTS task when the intervals between sample and test trials were relatively long, and in associating the shock-induced fear with contextual cues in the fear conditioning task. Irradiated rats were not impaired in learning the basic NMTS rule or in performing that task when the intervals between the sample and test trials were short. Nor were there group differences in conditioning the fear response to the CS in the fear conditioning task. The results, which extend the range of hippocampus-dependent tasks that can be said to be vulnerable to the effects of neurogenesis suppression, support the hypothesis that new hippocampal cells generated in adulthood participate in a broad range of hippocampal functions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology
  • Avoidance Learning / radiation effects
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cell Division / radiation effects
  • Cell Proliferation / radiation effects*
  • Conditioning, Psychological / physiology
  • Conditioning, Psychological / radiation effects
  • Cues
  • Fear / physiology
  • Fear / radiation effects
  • Gamma Rays
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology
  • Hippocampus / radiation effects*
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Memory / radiation effects*
  • Memory Disorders / etiology*
  • Memory Disorders / physiopathology
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Neuronal Plasticity / radiation effects*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Neurons / radiation effects
  • Radiation, Ionizing
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Stem Cells / physiology
  • Stem Cells / radiation effects