Adult neurogenesis in the intact and epileptic dentate gyrus

Prog Brain Res. 2007;163:529-40. doi: 10.1016/S0079-6123(07)63028-3.


Neurogenesis persists throughout life in the adult mammalian dentate gyrus. Adult-born dentate granule cells integrate into existing hippocampal circuitry and may provide network plasticity necessary for certain forms of hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. Neural stem cells and neurogenesis in the adult dentate gyrus are regulated by a variety of environmental, physiological, and molecular factors. These include aging, stress, exercise, neurovascular components of the stem cell niche, growth factors, neurotransmitters, and hormones. Seizure activity also influences dentate granule cell neurogenesis. Production of adult-born neurons increases in rodent models of temporal lobe epilepsy, and both newborn and pre-existing granule neurons contribute to aberrant axonal reorganization in the epileptic hippocampus. Prolonged seizures also disrupt the migration of dentate granule cell progenitors and lead to hilar-ectopic granule cells. The ectopic granule neurons appear to integrate abnormally and contribute to network hyperexcitability. Similar findings of granule cell layer dispersion and ectopic granule neurons in human TLE suggest that aberrant neurogenesis contributes to epileptogenesis or learning and memory disturbances in this epilepsy syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult Stem Cells / physiology
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Dentate Gyrus / physiopathology*
  • Epilepsy / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Neurons / physiology*