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Forschungsdatenbank PMU-SQQUID

Targeted transgene expression in neuronal precursors: watching young neurons in the old brain.
Couillard-Despres, S; Winner, B; Karl, C; Lindemann, G; Schmid, P; Aigner, R; Laemke, J; Bogdahn, U; Winkler, J; Bischofberger, J; Aigner, L;
Eur J Neurosci. 2006; 24(6): 153-145.
Originalarbeiten (Zeitschrift)


Aigner Ludwig
Couillard-Després Sébastien


Progress in the field of neurogenesis is limited by the lack of animal models allowing direct detection and analysis of living cells participating in neurogenesis. We engineered a transgenic mouse model that expresses the fluorescent reporter proteins enhanced green fluorescent protein or Discoma sp. reef coral red fluorescent protein under the control of the doublecortin (DCX) promoter, a gene specifically and transiently active in neuronal precursors and young neurons. The expression of the reporter proteins correlated with expression of the endogenous DCX protein, and with developmental and adult neurogenesis. Neurogenesis was unaffected by the presence of the fluorescent proteins. The transgenic mice allowed direct identification of the very few newly generated neurons present in the aged brain. We performed electrophysiological analysis and established that newly generated hippocampal granule cells in aged and young mice shared identical physiological properties. Hence, although the rate of neurogenesis tapers with ageing, a population of highly excitable young neurons indistinguishable to those found in younger animals is continuously generated. Therefore, maintenance of the fundamental properties of neuronal precursors even at advanced age suggests that stimulation of neurogenesis may constitute a valid strategy to counteract age-related neuronal loss and cognitive declines.

Useful keywords (using NLM MeSH Indexing)

Age Factors


Blotting, Western/methods



Gene Expression/physiology*

Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein/metabolism

Green Fluorescent Proteins/biosynthesis



Intermediate Filament Proteins/metabolism

Luminescent Proteins/metabolism

Membrane Potentials/physiology

Membrane Potentials/radiation effects


Mice, Transgenic

Microtubule-Associated Proteins/genetics

Microtubule-Associated Proteins/metabolism*

Nerve Tissue Proteins/metabolism




Patch-Clamp Techniques/methods

Promoter Regions, Genetic/physiology

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)

adult neurogenesis
fluorescent reporter protein
neural stem cell
neuronal migration
transgenic mouse