Dentate granule cells are born throughout life in the mammalian hippocampus. The integration of newborn neurons into the dentate circuit is activity-dependent and structural data characterizing synapse formation suggested that the survival of adult-born granule cells is regulated by competition for synaptic partners. Here we tested this hypothesis by using a mouse model with genetically enhanced plasticity of mature granule cells through temporally controlled expression of a nuclear inhibitor of protein phosphatase 1 (NIPP1*). Using thymidine analogues and retrovirus-mediated cell labeling, we show that synaptic integration and subsequent survival of newborn neurons is decreased in NIPP1*- expressing mice, suggesting that newborn neurons compete with pre-existing granule cells for stable integration. The data presented here provides experimental evidence for a long-standing hypothesis and suggest cellular competition as a key mechanism regulating the integration and survival of newborn granule cells in the adult mammalian hippocampus.