Several stressors fail to reduce adult hippocampal neurogenesis

Nicola D. Hanson, Michael J. Owens, Katherine A. Boss-Williams, Jay M. Weiss, Charles B. Nemeroff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus of adult laboratory animals has been widely reported to be vulnerable to many psychological and physical stressors. However, we have found no effects of acute restraint stress, acute or subchronic tailshock stress, or acute, subchronic, or chronic resident-intruder stress on neural progenitor cell (NPC) proliferation, short or long term survival of newborn cells, or brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA expression in adult rats. In addition, we did not observe any effect of chronic resident-intruder stress on NPC proliferation in adolescent rats. A selectively bred stress-sensitive line was also found to exhibit no alterations in NPC proliferation following tailshock stress, although this line did exhibit a lower proliferation rate under baseline (unstressed) conditions when compared with non-selected rats. These results challenge the prevailing hypothesis that any stressor of sufficient intensity and duration has a marked negative impact upon the rate of hippocampal neurogenesis, and suggest that some yet unidentified factors related to stress and experimental conditions are crucial in the regulation of neurogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1520-1529
Number of pages10
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
  • Dentate gyrus
  • Neurogenesis
  • Resident-intruder
  • Stress
  • Tailshock

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems


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