The dentate gyrus of the mammalian hippocampus continuously generates new neurons during adulthood. These adult-born neurons become functionally active and are thought to contribute to learning and memory, especially during their maturation phase, when they have extraordinary plasticity. In this Review, we discuss the molecular machinery involved in the generation of new neurons from a pool of adult neural stem cells and their integration into functional hippocampal circuits. We also summarize the potential functions of these newborn neurons in the adult brain, their contribution to behavior, and their relevance to disease.
Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.