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Neuroscience. 2001;107(4):603-13.

Intracerebroventricular infusion of insulin-like growth factor-I ameliorates the age-related decline in hippocampal neurogenesis.

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Program in Neuroscience, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1010, USA.


The dentate gyrus of the hippocampus is one of few regions in the adult mammalian brain characterized by ongoing neurogenesis. Significantly, recent studies indicate that the rate of neurogenesis in the hippocampus declines with age, perhaps contributing to age-related cognitive changes. Although a variety of factors may influence the addition of new neurons in the adult dentate gyrus, the mechanisms responsible for the age-related reduction remain to be established. Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) is one promising candidate to regulate neurogenesis in the adult and aging brain since it influences neuronal production during development and since, like the rate of neurogenesis, it decreases with age. In the current study, we used bromodeoxyuridine labeling and multilabel immunofluorescence to assess age-related changes in neuronal production in the dentate gyrus of adult Brown Norway x Fischer 344 rats. In addition, we investigated the relationship between changes in neurogenesis and the age-dependent reduction in IGF-I by evaluating the effect of i.c.v. infusion of IGF-I on neurogenesis in the senescent dentate gyrus. The analyses revealed an age-dependent reduction in the number of newly generated cells in the adult dentate subgranular proliferative zone and, in addition, a 60% reduction in the differentiation of newborn cells into neurons. Restoration of IGF-I levels in senescent rats significantly restored neurogenesis through an approximately three-fold increase in neuronal production. The results of this study suggest that IGF-I may be an important regulator of neurogenesis in the adult and aging hippocampus and that an age-related decline in IGF-I-dependent neurogenesis could contribute to age-related cognitive changes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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