Enhanced Dentate Neurogenesis after Brain Injury Undermines Long-Term Neurogenic Potential and Promotes Seizure Susceptibility

Stem Cell Reports. 2017 Sep 12;9(3):972-984. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2017.07.015. Epub 2017 Aug 17.


Hippocampal dentate gyrus is a focus of enhanced neurogenesis and excitability after traumatic brain injury. Increased neurogenesis has been proposed to aid repair of the injured network. Our data show that an early increase in neurogenesis after fluid percussion concussive brain injury is transient and is followed by a persistent decrease compared with age-matched controls. Post-injury changes in neurogenesis paralleled changes in neural precursor cell proliferation and resulted in a long-term decline in neurogenic capacity. Targeted pharmacology to restore post-injury neurogenesis to control levels reversed the long-term decline in neurogenic capacity. Limiting post-injury neurogenesis reduced early increases in dentate excitability and seizure susceptibility. Our results challenge the assumption that increased neurogenesis after brain injury is beneficial and show that early post-traumatic increases in neurogenesis adversely affect long-term outcomes by exhausting neurogenic potential and enhancing epileptogenesis. Treatments aimed at limiting excessive neurogenesis can potentially restore neuroproliferative capacity and limit epilepsy after brain injury.

Keywords: adult neurogenesis; dentate gyrus; epilepsy; stem cell exhaustion; traumatic brain injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Dentate Gyrus / physiopathology*
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Neural Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Neurogenesis*
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Seizures / physiopathology*
  • Time Factors
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2 / metabolism


  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2