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Despite enormous progress in the past few years the specific contribution of newly born granule cells to the function of the adult hippocampus is still not clear. We hypothesized that in order to solve this question particular attention has to be paid to the specific design, the analysis, and the interpretation of the learning test to be used. We thus(More)
The Morris water maze represents the de-facto standard for testing hippocampal function in laboratory rodents. In the field of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, however, using this paradigm to assess the functional relevance of the new neurons yielded surprisingly inconsistent results. While some authors found aspects of water maze performance to be linked to(More)
Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is an unusual case of brain plasticity, since new neurons (and not just neurites and synapses) are added to the network in an activity-dependent way. At the behavioral level the plasticity-inducing stimuli include both physical and cognitive activity. In reductionistic animal studies these types of activity can be studied(More)
Studies using the Morris water maze to assess hippocampal function in animals, in which adult hippocampal neurogenesis had been suppressed, have yielded seemingly contradictory results. Cyclin D2 knockout (Ccnd2(-/-)) mice, for example, have constitutively suppressed adult hippocampal neurogenesis but had no overt phenotype in the water maze. In other(More)
This study investigates the effects of fitness changes on hippocampal microstructure and hippocampal volume. Fifty-two healthy participants aged 59-74years with a sedentary lifestyle were randomly assigned to either of two levels of exercise intensity. Training lasted for six months. Physical fitness, hippocampal volumes, and hippocampal microstructure were(More)
There is accumulating evidence showing that lifestyle factors like diet may influence the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Our previous studies suggest that a multi-nutrient diet, Fortasyn, containing nutritional precursors and cofactors for membrane synthesis, viz. docosahexaenoic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, uridine-mono-phosphate,(More)
Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been associated with increased phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) at serine 51. Increased phosphorylation of eIF2α alters translational control and may thereby have adverse effects on synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory. To analyze if increased levels of p-eIF2α indeed promote AD-related(More)
In the context of television consumption and its opportunity costs the question arises how far experiencing mere representations of the outer world would have the same neural and cognitive consequences than actively interacting with that environment. Here we demonstrate that physical interaction and direct exposition are essential for the beneficial effects(More)
We here show that living in a stimulus-rich environment (ENR) improves water maze learning with respect to specific key indicators that in previous loss-of-function experiments have been shown to rely on adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Analyzing the strategies employed by mice to locate the hidden platform in the water maze revealed that ENR facilitated(More)
The capsaicin receptor (TRPV1, transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1) was first discovered in the peripheral nervous system as a detector of noxious chemical and thermal stimuli including the irritant chili pepper. Recently, there has been increasing evidence of TRPV1 expression in the central nervous system. Here, we show that TRPV1 is expressed in(More)