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J Neurosci. 2012 Jun 20;32(25):8696-702. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1692-12.2012.

NR2B-dependent plasticity of adult-born granule cells is necessary for context discrimination.

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1
Department of Neuroscience, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.

Abstract

Adult-generated granule cells (GCs) in the dentate gyrus (DG) exhibit a period of heightened plasticity 4-6 weeks postmitosis. However, the functional contribution of this critical window of plasticity to hippocampal neurogenesis and behavior remains unknown. Here, we show that deletion of NR2B-containing NMDA receptors from adult-born GCs impairs a neurogenesis-dependent form of LTP in the DG and reduces dendritic complexity of adult-born GCs, but does not impact their survival. Mice in which the NR2B-containing NMDA receptor was deleted from adult-born GCs did not differ from controls in baseline anxiety-like behavior or discrimination of very different contexts, but were impaired in discrimination of highly similar contexts. These results indicate that NR2B-dependent plasticity of adult-born GCs is necessary for fine contextual discrimination and is consistent with their proposed role in pattern separation.

PMID:
22723709
PMCID:
PMC3388607
DOI:
10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1692-12.2012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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