Adult hippocampal neurogenesis in health and disease
The extraordinary capacity of the rodent hippocampus to generate new neurons throughout life, a process known as adult hippocampal neurogenesis, has been a longstanding research topic. Over the years it has become clear that this strictly regulated process is crucial for several hippocampus-dependent phenomena, mostly related to memory formation and consolidation. Furthermore, deregulation of the hippocampal neurogenic cascade is a widely observed phenomenon in numerous pathologies. This reactive neurogenesis was thought to be a protective, regenerative intrinsic response from the brain, but over the years it has become clear that pathological stimuli can drive aberrant neurogenesis with detrimental consequences for the hippocampal stem cell niche and hippocampal functioning.
Over the last 10 years our lab has been studying how adult hippocampal neurogenesis is regulated in both physiological and pathological conditions. In this talk I will discuss several highlights from the past years, spanning glucocorticoid-mediated preservation of neural stem cells during ageing to restoring seizure-induced aberrant neurogenesis using microRNAs, and our recent attempts to map Traumatic Brain Injury-induced alterations in the hippocampal stem cell niche using single cell RNA sequencing.