Intracranial self-stimulation enhances neurogenesis
in hippocampus of adult mice and rats

Takahashi T, Zhu Y, Hata T, Shimizu-Okabe C,
Suzuki K, Nakahara D.
Department of Psychology,
Hamamatsu University School of Medicine,
1-20-1 Handayama, Higashi-ku,
Hamamatsu 431-3192,
Shizuoka 431-3192, Japan.
Neuroscience. 2008 Nov 7


Running is known to promote neurogenesis. Besides being exercise, it results in a reward, and both of these factors might contribute to running-induced neurogenesis. However, little attention has been paid to how reward and exercise relate to neurogenesis. The present study is an attempt to determine whether a reward, in the form of intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS), influences neurogenesis in the hippocampus of adult rodents. We used bromodeoxyuridine labeling to quantify newly generated cells in mice and rats that experienced ICSS for 1 h per day for 3 days. ICSS increased the number of 5-bromodeoxyuridine (Brdu)-labeled cells in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) of both species. The effect, when examined at 1 day, 1 week, and 4 weeks post-ICSS, was predominantly present in the side ipsilateral to the stimulation, although it was distributed to the contralateral side. We also found in rats that, 4 weeks after Brdu injection, surviving newborn cells in the hippocampal DG of the ICSS animals co-localized with a mature neuron marker, neuronal nuclei (NeuN), and these surviving cells in rats were double-labeled with Fos, a marker of neuronal activation, after the rats had been trained to perform a spatial task. The results demonstrate that ICSS can increase newborn neurons in the hippocampal DG that endure into maturity.
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