Population dynamics of adult-formed granule neurons of the rat olfactory bulb

J Comp Neurol. 1985 Sep 1;239(1):117-25. doi: 10.1002/cne.902390110.


The population dynamics of internal granule cells in the rat olfactory bulb during adult life were analyzed in histological sections and in autoradiograms with (1) counts of granule cells, (2) counts of labeled granule cells 1 month after injection of 3H-thymidine at various ages, and (3) counts of labeled granule cells at varying survival times (up to 18 months) after injection at 3 months and 24 months. The total number of granule cells increases linearly throughout life, approximately doubling between 3 and 31 months. Autoradiographic studies show that the rate of production of new granule cells decreases from 3 to 12 months and then is approximately constant during the rest of the life span. The number of labeled cells found 6 months after injection at 3 and 24 months is about one-fourth and one-half, respectively, that of the number at a 1-month survival, suggesting that many of the cells produced to do not survive. However, at least some granule cells labeled at 3 months survive for 18 months. A model is suggested in which granule cells are produced continuously throughout life and control of the total number of granule cells is effected chiefly through the rate of cell death.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Survival
  • Male
  • Mitosis
  • Olfactory Bulb / cytology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains