Brain Structure and Function

, Volume 220, Issue 2, pp 645–661 | Cite as

Influence of ontogenetic age on the role of dentate granule neurons

  • Sophie Tronel
  • Valérie Lemaire
  • Vanessa Charrier
  • Marie-Françoise Montaron
  • Djoher Nora Abrous
Original Article


New neurons are continuously produced in the adult dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, a key structure in learning and memory. It has been shown that adult neurogenesis is crucial for normal memory processing. However, it is not known whether neurons born during the developmental period and during adulthood support the same functions. Here, we demonstrate that neurons born in neonates (first postnatal week) are activated in different memory processes when they are mature compared to neurons born in adults. By imaging the activation of these two different neuron generations in the same rat and using the IEG Zif268 and Fos, we show that these neurons are involved in discriminating dissimilar contexts and spatial problem solving, respectively. These findings demonstrate that the ontogenetic stage during which neurons are generated is crucial for their function within the memory network.


Adult neurogenesis Hippocampus Spatial memory Developmental neurogenesis Memory 



We thank Dr. M. Koehl and Dr. G. Ferreira for their helpful discussions and comments. We acknowledge C. Dupuy and T. Chevalier for their technical help. The microscopy was done in the Bordeaux Imaging Center a service unit of the CNRS-INSERM and Bordeaux University, member of the national infrastructure France BioImaging. The help of Philippe Legros, Christel Poujol, Sébastien Marais is acknowledged. This work was supported by the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Région Aquitaine and by the Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (to DNA).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sophie Tronel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Valérie Lemaire
    • 1
    • 2
  • Vanessa Charrier
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marie-Françoise Montaron
    • 1
    • 2
  • Djoher Nora Abrous
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Inserm U862BordeauxFrance
  2. 2.Université de BordeauxBordeauxFrance

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