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The dentate gyrus of the hippocampus is one of the few regions of the mammalian brain where new neurons are generated throughout adulthood. This adult neurogenesis has been proposed as a novel mechanism that mediates spatial memory. However, data showing a causal relationship between neurogenesis and spatial memory are controversial. Here, we developed an inducible transgenic strategy allowing specific ablation of adult-born hippocampal neurons. This resulted in an impairment of spatial relational memory, which supports a capacity for flexible, inferential memory expression. In contrast, less complex forms of spatial knowledge were unaltered. These findings demonstrate that adult-born neurons are necessary for complex forms of hippocampus-mediated learning.

Original publication

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0001959

Type

Journal article

Journal

PLoS One

Publication Date

09/04/2008

Volume

3

Keywords

Aging, Animals, CHO Cells, Cell Differentiation, Cricetinae, Cricetulus, Dentate Gyrus, Hippocampus, Memory, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Inbred CBA, Mice, Transgenic, Neurons, bcl-2-Associated X Protein