The dentate gyrus of the hippocampus continues to produce new neurons throughout adulthood. Adult neurogenesis has been linked to hippocampal function, including learning and memory, anxiety regulation and feedback of the stress response. It is thus not surprising that stress, which affects hippocampal function, also alters the production and survival of new neurons. Glucocorticoids, along with other neurochemicals, have been implicated in stress-induced impairment of adult neurogenesis. Paradoxically, increases in corticosterone levels are sometimes associated with enhanced adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus. In these circumstances, the factors that buffer against the suppressive influence of elevated glucocorticoids remain unknown; their discovery may provide clues to reversing pathological processes arising from chronic exposure to aversive stress.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Neuroscience