Neurogenesis – the process of renewing neurons in the hippocampus of mammals throughout life – is driven by neural stem cells (NSCs). However, as we age, this activity declines.
Yicheng Wu and his team have genetically labeled NSCs within the hippocampal niche. Using chronic intravital imaging methods they observed them and their daughter cells for several months. They could reveal that aging affects several steps in neurogenesis – ultimately leading to a decline in the clonal output of the NSCs. Their findings show which developmental stages are crucial for age-dependent reduction in neurogenesis. These stages are potential future targets to enhance neurogenesis in the hippocampus – with the long-term goal to maintain plasticity with advancing age.
Reference: Wu, Y., Bottes, S., Fisch, R. et al. Chronic in vivo imaging defines age-dependent alterations of neurogenesis in the mouse hippocampus. Nat Aging 3, 380–390 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43587-023-00370-9
Image: Yicheng Wu