Evidence that Doublecortin is dispensable for the development of adult born neurons in mice

PLoS One. 2013 May 7;8(5):e62693. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062693. Print 2013.


In mammals, adult neural stem cells give rise to new hippocampal dentate granule neurons and interneurons of the olfactory bulb throughout life. The microtubule associated protein Doublecortin (DCX) is expressed by migrating neuroblasts and immature neurons, and is widely used as a stage-specific marker of adult neurogenesis and as a marker to identify neurogenic activity in the adult brain per se. Mutations in the DCX gene have been causally linked to human lissencephalic syndromes. Moreover, embryonic loss of DCX function interferes with neuronal migration and dendritic patterning in a species- and region-specific manner. A putative function of DCX in adult neurogenesis has not been directly explored. Here we show that overexpression of DCX in newly generated dentate granule neurons of the adult mouse brain has no effect on morphological maturation or migration. We also show that micro (mi) RNA-mediated retroviral knockdown of DCX does not alter morphological maturation of adult born dentate granule cells or migration of new neurons in either adult neurogenic niche. Thus, the present data indicate that DCX is dispensable for the development of new neurons in adult mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dentate Gyrus / cytology
  • Female
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Lateral Ventricles / cytology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / deficiency
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neurogenesis
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Neuropeptides / deficiency
  • Neuropeptides / genetics
  • Neuropeptides / metabolism*
  • Retroviridae / genetics


  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Neuropeptides
  • doublecortin protein

Grant support

This work was supported by the European Young Investigator Award of the European Science Foundation (DFG 858/6-3), the Marie Curie Excellence Team Program and the Marie Curie Reintegration Program of the European Union, the Bavarian Research Network on Adult Neural Stem Cells “FORNEUROCELL”, the Helmholtz Alliance for Mental Health in an Ageing Society, the BMBF Network “Cell Based Regenerative Medicine”, and the European Commission Coordination Action ENINET (Network of European Neuroscience Institutes; contract number LSHM-CT-2005-19063). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.