Experience-dependent regulation of dentate gyrus excitability by adult-born granule cells

Eun Hye Park, Nesha S. Burghardt, Dino Dvorak, René Hen, André A. Fenton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Behavioral studies have established a role for adult-born dentate granule cells in discriminating between similar memories. However, it is unclear how these cells mediate memory discrimination. Excitability is enhanced in maturing adult-born neurons, spurring the hypothesis that the activity of these cells “directly” encodes and stores memories.Analternative hypothesis posits that maturing neurons “indirectly” contribute to memory encoding by regulating excitation–inhibition balance. We evaluated these alternatives by using dentate-sensitive active place avoidance tasks to assess experience-dependent changes in dentate field potentials in the presence and absence of neurogenesis. Before training, X-ray ablation of adult neurogenesis-reduced dentate responses to perforant-path stimulation and shifted EPSP-spike coupling leftward. These differences were unchanged after place avoidance training with the shock zone in the initial location, which both groups learned to avoid equally well. In contrast, sham-treated mice decreased dentate responses and shifted EPSP-spike coupling leftward after the shock zone was relocated, whereas X-irradiated mice failed to show these changes in dentate function and were impaired on this test of memory discrimination. During place avoidance, excitation–inhibition coupled neural synchrony in dentate local field potentials was reduced in X-irradiated mice, especially in the θ band. The difference was most prominent during conflict learning, which is impaired in the X-irradiated mice. These findings indicate that maturing adult-born neurons regulate both functional network plasticity in response to memory discrimination and dentate excitation–inhibition coordination. The most parsimonious interpretation of these results is that adult neurogenesis indirectly regulates hippocampal information processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11656-11666
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number33
StatePublished - Aug 19 2015


  • Dentate gyrus
  • Field potential
  • Maturing neuron
  • Neurogenesis
  • Place avoidance task

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Experience-dependent regulation of dentate gyrus excitability by adult-born granule cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this