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Dev Neurosci. 1996;18(1-2):22-35.

Regulation of neuronal birth, migration and death in the rat dentate gyrus.

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Rockefeller University, New York, N.Y. 10021, USA.


The granule cell population of the rat dentate gyrus forms over an extended period which begins during gestation and continues into adulthood. During the embryonic period, the postnatal period and in adulthood, granule cells proliferate, migrate and degenerate. We have found that granule cell production is dependent on the levels of circulating adrenal steroids and NMDA receptor-mediated excitatory input throughout life. In general, increases in adrenal steroid levels or NMDA receptor activation diminish the rate of cell proliferation whereas decreases in adrenal steroid levels or NMDA receptor activation increase the rate of cell production. This paper describes the regulation of granule cell proliferation, migration and survival by adrenal steroids and excitatory input and presents evidence that these factors may affect dentate gyrus-mediated behaviors.

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