, Volume 111, Issue 4, pp 364-371

Kindled seizures enhance young neuron survival in the adult rat dentate gyrus

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New neurons continue to be generated throughout adulthood in the dentate gyrus of mammals. This process of neurogenesis is believed to play a role in some forms of learning and memory. Hippocampal-dependent learning tasks have been shown to specifically enhance the survival of new granule neurons. The present study examined the effects of kindled seizures in rats on the survival of young neurons born before the kindling began. Kindled seizures within the perforant path input to the dentate gyrus triggered between 1 and 2 weeks following the injection of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), were found to increase the number of BrdU and NeuN co-labeled cells in the granule cell layer by 128% 1 month later. The number of co-labeled cells was not correlated with measures of seizure severity. These results demonstrate that kindled seizures enhance the survival of new born neurons in the adult rat dentate gyrus which may reflect the actions of an activity-dependent mechanism normally involved in hippocampal-dependent learning and memory.