Entorhinal cortex stimulation induces dentate gyrus neurogenesis through insulin receptor signaling

Brain Res Bull. 2019 Jan:144:75-84. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2018.11.011. Epub 2018 Nov 22.


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been established as a therapeutically effective method to treat pharmacological resistant neurological disorders. The molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of DBS on the brain are not yet fully understood. Beside numerous suggested mechanisms, regulation of neurogenesis is an attractive mechanism through which DBS can affect the cognitive functions. Considering the high expression of insulin receptors in hippocampus and also impaired neurogenesis in diabetic brain, the present study aimed to examine the role of insulin receptor signaling in DBS induced neurogenesis. High frequency stimulation was applied on the entorhinal cortex of rats and then neurogenesis markers in the dentate gyrus region of the hippocampus were examined using molecular and histological methods in the sham, DBS and insulin receptor antagonist-treated groups. In parallel, the changes in insulin receptor signaling in the hippocampus and spatial learning and memory performance were also assessed. DBS promoted adult hippocampal neurogenesis and facilitated the spatial memory concomitant with changes in insulin receptor signaling parameters including IR, IRS2 and GSK3β. Application of insulin receptor antagonist attenuated the DBS-induced neurogenesis. Our data emphasize that entorhinal cortex stimulation promotes adult hippocampal neurogenesis and facilitates spatial learning and memory at least partly through insulin receptors. Notably, GSK3β inhibition can play a major role in the downstream of insulin receptor signaling in DBS induced neurogenesis.

Keywords: Deep brain stimulation; Entorhinal cortex; Insulin receptor; Neurogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology
  • Deep Brain Stimulation / methods
  • Dentate Gyrus / metabolism*
  • Entorhinal Cortex / metabolism
  • Entorhinal Cortex / physiology*
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 beta / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / physiology
  • Memory / physiology
  • Neurogenesis / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptor, Insulin / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Spatial Learning / physiology
  • Spatial Memory / physiology


  • Receptor, Insulin
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 beta