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Large-scale phenotyping links adult hippocampal neurogenesis to the reaction to novelty


van Dijk, R Maarten; Lazic, Stanley E; Slomianka, Lutz; Wolfer, David P; Amrein, Irmgard (2016). Large-scale phenotyping links adult hippocampal neurogenesis to the reaction to novelty. Hippocampus, 26(5):646-657.

Abstract

The discovery of adult-born neurons in the hippocampus has triggered a wide range of studies that link the new neurons to various behavioral functions. However, the role of new neurons in behavior is still equivocal. Conflicting results may be due to the difficulty in manipulating neurogenesis without off-target effects as well as the statistical approach used, which fail to account for neurogenesis-independent effects of experimental manipulations on behavior. In this study, we apply a more comprehensive statistical and conceptual approach. Instead of between-group analyses, we consider the within-group relationships between neurogenesis and behavior (ANCOVA and mediation analysis) in a large-scale experiment, in which distinct age- (3 and 5 months) and strain- (DBA and C57) related differences in basal levels of neurogenesis in mice are compared with a large number (∼1,500) of behavioral read outs. The analysis failed to detect any association between anxiety and motor impulsivity with neurogenesis. However, within-group adult hippocampal neurogenesis is associated with the reaction to novelty. Specifically, more neurogenesis is associated with a longer latency to explore and a lower frequency of exploratory actions, overall indicative of a phenotype where animals with more neurogenesis were slower to explore a novel environment. This effect is observed in 5-months-old, but not in 3-months-old mice of both strains. An association between the reaction to novelty and adult neurogenesis can have a major impact on results from previous studies using classical behavioral experiments, in which animals are tested in a-for the animal-novel experimental set-up. The neurogenesis-novelty association found here is also a necessary link in the relation that has been suggested to exist between neurogenesis and psychiatric disorders marked by a failure to cope with novelty. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Abstract

The discovery of adult-born neurons in the hippocampus has triggered a wide range of studies that link the new neurons to various behavioral functions. However, the role of new neurons in behavior is still equivocal. Conflicting results may be due to the difficulty in manipulating neurogenesis without off-target effects as well as the statistical approach used, which fail to account for neurogenesis-independent effects of experimental manipulations on behavior. In this study, we apply a more comprehensive statistical and conceptual approach. Instead of between-group analyses, we consider the within-group relationships between neurogenesis and behavior (ANCOVA and mediation analysis) in a large-scale experiment, in which distinct age- (3 and 5 months) and strain- (DBA and C57) related differences in basal levels of neurogenesis in mice are compared with a large number (∼1,500) of behavioral read outs. The analysis failed to detect any association between anxiety and motor impulsivity with neurogenesis. However, within-group adult hippocampal neurogenesis is associated with the reaction to novelty. Specifically, more neurogenesis is associated with a longer latency to explore and a lower frequency of exploratory actions, overall indicative of a phenotype where animals with more neurogenesis were slower to explore a novel environment. This effect is observed in 5-months-old, but not in 3-months-old mice of both strains. An association between the reaction to novelty and adult neurogenesis can have a major impact on results from previous studies using classical behavioral experiments, in which animals are tested in a-for the animal-novel experimental set-up. The neurogenesis-novelty association found here is also a necessary link in the relation that has been suggested to exist between neurogenesis and psychiatric disorders marked by a failure to cope with novelty. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Anatomy
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:5 November 2016
Deposited On:18 Nov 2016 14:29
Last Modified:20 Nov 2016 06:29
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1050-9631
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/hipo.22548
PubMed ID:26540138

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