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Nat Neurosci. 2007 Mar;10(3):355-62. Epub 2007 Feb 4.

Preferential incorporation of adult-generated granule cells into spatial memory networks in the dentate gyrus.

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Program in Neurosciences and Mental Health, The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X8, Canada.


Throughout adulthood, new neurons are continuously added to the dentate gyrus, a hippocampal subregion that is important in spatial learning. Whether these adult-generated granule cells become functionally integrated into memory networks is not known. We used immunohistochemical approaches to visualize the recruitment of new neurons into circuits supporting water maze memory in intact mice. We show that as new granule cells mature, they are increasingly likely to be incorporated into circuits supporting spatial memory. By the time the cells are 4 or more weeks of age, they are more likely than existing granule cells to be recruited into circuits supporting spatial memory. This preferential recruitment supports the idea that new neurons make a unique contribution to memory processing in the dentate gyrus.

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