Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cell death promotes learning growth

27.11.2003


Background



The hippocampal formation has long been associated with the execution of higher-order cognitive functions, and impairment of this structure following severe stress and aging has been linked to cognitive disturbances. In order to understand the involvement of the hippocampal formation in the mediation of normal and pathological behaviors, much attention has recently been devoted to hippocampal neurogenesis. The dentate gyrus of the hippocampal formation has the ability to generate new neurons throughout the entire life. Surviving de novo produced cells develop into granule neurons and integrate into the functional circuitry. Neurogenesis has been proposed to play a role in hippocampal-mediated learning and has been implicated in the appearance of behavioral pathologies associated with the hippocampal formation.

Aim of the work


Although evidence suggest that neurogenesis play a role in spatial learning, the effect of learning on cell proliferation remains unclear. The authors generated and tested the hypothesis that different phases of spatial learning measured in the Morris water maze have distinct actions on cell proliferation. In this task, two phases of learning can be distinguished: an early phase during which performance improves rapidly, and a late phase during which asymptotic levels of performance are reached. These two phases seem to involve different brain processes and consequently may differentially influence neurogenesis.

Results

The authors demonstrated that the late phase of learning has a multifaceted effect on neurogenesis depending on the birth date of new neurons. The number of newly born cells increased contingently with the late phase and a large proportion of these cells survived for at least 4 weeks and differentiated into neurons. In contrast, the late phase learning decreased the number of newly born cells produced during the early phase. This learning-induced decrease in the number of newly generated cells results most probably from the death of the cells. Strikingly, cell death and not proliferation was positively correlated with performance in the water-maze. Thus, rats with the lowest cell death were less able to acquire and use spatial information than those with the highest cell death.

Conclusion

The results reveal a complex modulation of learning on brain plasticity, which induces death and proliferation of different populations of cells. Most importantly, they introduce the notion that removing neurons from the adult brain can be an important process in learning and memory and a novel mechanism through which neurogenesis may influence normal and pathological behaviors.


Citation source: Molecular Psychiatry 2003 Volume 8, number 12, pages 974-982.

AUTHORS: Matè Daniel Döbrössy*, Elodie Drapeau*, Catherine Aurousseau, Michel Le Moal, Pier Vincenzo Piazza, Djoher Nora Abrous * have equally contributed to the work

INSERM U259, University of Bordeaux, Domaine de Carreire, Bordeaux, France

For further information on this work, please contact Dr. Nora Abrous, INSERM U.588, Institut François Magendie, Rue Camille Saint-Saëns, 33077 Bordeaux Cedex, France. Tel: 33-5-57-57-36-86, Fax: 33-5-56-96-68-93, E-mail: nora.abrous@bordeaux.inserm.fr

Aimee Midei | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.naturesj.com/mp/
http://www.nature.com/mp

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>