Early age-related changes in adult hippocampal neurogenesis in C57 mice

Neurobiol Aging. 2010 Jan;31(1):151-61. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2008.03.002. Epub 2008 May 1.


Strong age-related declines in conjunction with comparatively easy experimental manipulations of adult hippocampal neurogenesis have generated considerable public and scientific interest in the prospect of "new neurons for old brains". Only few studies addressed the time course of the natural changes, which are the substrate for interventions that may realize this prospect. We provide a monthly or bimonthly account of cell proliferation, neurogenesis and cell death during the first 9 months of the life of C57Bl/6J mice. Ki67- and DCX-positive cell numbers declined exponentially without an intermittent plateau ( approximately 40% per month). Cell death in relation to cell proliferation was lowest at 1 month, increased at 2 months to remain constant until 4 months, and decreased again at 5 months to remain stable until 9 months. Granule cell number did not change with age. Our results suggest that manipulations of proliferation and neurogenesis may, at any time, interact with strong natural changes of these processes. Mediators of their age-related decline may be studied over periods much shorter than those typically used.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Death / physiology
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Ki-67 Antigen / metabolism
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / pathology
  • Memory Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism
  • Neurogenesis / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Neuropeptides / metabolism
  • Time Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Neuropeptides
  • doublecortin protein