Conserved properties of dentate gyrus neurogenesis across postnatal development revealed by single-cell RNA sequencing

Nat Neurosci. 2018 Feb;21(2):290-299. doi: 10.1038/s41593-017-0056-2. Epub 2018 Jan 15.


The dentate gyrus of the hippocampus is a brain region in which neurogenesis persists into adulthood; however, the relationship between developmental and adult dentate gyrus neurogenesis has not been examined in detail. Here we used single-cell RNA sequencing to reveal the molecular dynamics and diversity of dentate gyrus cell types in perinatal, juvenile, and adult mice. We found distinct quiescent and proliferating progenitor cell types, linked by transient intermediate states to neuroblast stages and fully mature granule cells. We observed shifts in the molecular identity of quiescent and proliferating radial glia and granule cells during the postnatal period that were then maintained through adult stages. In contrast, intermediate progenitor cells, neuroblasts, and immature granule cells were nearly indistinguishable at all ages. These findings demonstrate the fundamental similarity of postnatal and adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus and pinpoint the early postnatal transformation of radial glia from embryonic progenitors to adult quiescent stem cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Base Sequence / physiology*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Chromium / metabolism
  • Dentate Gyrus / cytology*
  • Dentate Gyrus / growth & development*
  • Female
  • Fructose-Bisphosphate Aldolase / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / genetics
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neurogenesis / genetics
  • Neurogenesis / physiology*
  • Neuroglia / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Receptor, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor alpha / metabolism
  • Single-Cell Analysis


  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Chromium
  • Receptor, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor alpha
  • Fructose-Bisphosphate Aldolase