Hippocampal neurogenesis and cortical cellular plasticity in Wahlberg's epauletted fruit bat: a qualitative and quantitative study.
ABSTRACT Species-specific characteristics of neuronal plasticity emerging from comparative studies can address the functional relevance of hippocampal or cortical plasticity in the light of ecological adaptation and evolutionary history of a given species. Here, we present a quantitative and qualitative analysis of neurogenesis in young and adult free-living Wahlberg's epauletted fruit bats. Using the markers for proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), doublecortin (DCX) and polysialic acid neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM), our findings in the hippocampus, olfactory bulb and cortical regions are described and compared to reports in other mammals. Expressed as a percentage of the total number of granule cells, PCNA- and BrdU-positive cells accounted for 0.04 in young to 0.01% in adult animals; DCX-positive cells for 0.05 (young) to 0.01% (adult); PSA-NCAM-positive cells for 0.1 (young) to 0.02% (adult), and pyknotic cells for 0.007 (young) to 0.005% (adult). The numbers were comparable to other long-lived, late-maturing mammals such as primates. A significant increase in the total granule cell number from young to adult animals demonstrated the successful formation and integration of new cells. In adulthood, granule cell number appeared stable and was surprisingly low in comparison to other species. Observations in the olfactory bulb and rostral migratory stream were qualitatively similar to descriptions in other species. In the ventral horn of the lateral ventricle, we noted prominent expression of DCX and PSA-NCAM forming a temporal migratory stream targeting the piriform cortex, possibly reflecting the importance of olfaction to these species. Low, but persistent hippocampal neurogenesis in non-echolocating fruit bats contrasted the findings in echolocating microbats, in which hippocampal neurogenesis was largely absent. Together with the observed intense cortical plasticity in the olfactory system of fruit bats we suggest a differential influence of sensory modalities on hippocampal and cortical plasticity in this mammalian order.
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ABSTRACT: Neural circuits in the dentate gyrus are continuously modified by adult neurogenesis, whose level is affected by the animal's experience. However, it is not known whether this experience-dependent anatomical modification alters the functional properties of the dentate gyrus. Here, using the expression of immediate early gene products, c-fos and Zif268, as indicators of recently activated neurons, we show that previous exposure to an enriched environment increases the total number of new neurons and the number of new neurons responding to reexposure to the same environment. The increase in the density of activated new neurons occurred specifically in response to exposure to the same environment but not to a different experience. Furthermore, we found that these experience-specific modifications are affected exclusively by previous exposure around the second week after neuronal birth but not later than 3 weeks. Thus, the animal's experience within a critical period during an immature stage of new neurons determines the survival and population response of the new neurons and may affect later neural representation of the experience in the dentate gyrus. This experience-specific functional modification through adult neurogenesis could be a mechanism by which new neurons exert a long-term influence on the function of the dentate gyrus related to learning and memory.Journal of Neuroscience 04/2007; 27(12):3252-9. · 6.91 Impact Factor
Article: Homing in Bats.Science 09/1957; 126(3268):307-8. · 31.03 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The hippocampus is crucial for episodic and spatial memory. In freely moving rodents, hippocampal pyramidal neurons show spatially selective firing when the animal passes through a neuron's 'place-field', and theta-band oscillation is continuously present during locomotion. Here we report the first hippocampal recordings from echolocating bats, mammals phylogenetically distant from rodents, which showed place cells very similar to those of rodents. High-frequency 'ripple' oscillations were also rodent-like. Theta oscillation, however, differed from rodents in two important ways: (i) theta occurred when bats explored the environment without locomoting, using distal sensing through echolocation, and (ii) theta was not continuous, but occurred in short intermittent bouts. The intermittence of theta suggests that models of hippocampal function that rely on continuous theta may not apply to bats. Our data support the hypothesis that theta oscillation in the mammalian hippocampus is involved in sequence learning and hence, theta power should increase with sensory-input rate-which explains why theta power correlates with running speed in rodents and with echolocation call rate in bats.Nature Neuroscience 03/2007; 10(2):224-33. · 15.25 Impact Factor