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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2007 Aug;64(16):2120-32.

Adult hippocampal neurogenesis: regulation by HIV and drugs of abuse.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


New dentate granule cells are continuously generated from neural progenitor cells and integrated into the existing hippocampal circuitry in the adult mammalian brain through an orchestrated process termed adult neurogenesis. While the exact function remains elusive, adult neurogenesis has been suggested to play important roles in specific cognitive functions. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is regulated by a variety of physiological and pathological stimulations. Here we review emerging evidence showing that HIV infection and several drugs of abuse result in molecular changes that may affect different aspects of adult hippocampal neurogenesis. These new findings raise the possibility that cognitive dysfunction in the setting of HIV infection or drug abuse may, in part, be related to alterations in hippocampal neurogenesis. A better understanding of how HIV and drugs of abuse affect both molecular and cellular aspects of adult neurogenesis may lead to development of more effective therapeutic interventions for these interlinked epidemics.

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