"A role for primary cilia of adult-born neurons in hippocampal behavior"

Year: 2012

Institution: Stony Brook University

Principal Investigator: Dr. Shaoyu Ge

Research Category: Basic Science


The adult brain generates new neurons from neural stem/progenitor cells
throughout life. Accumulating evidence indicates that these new neurons are
involved in many brain functions and are altered under pathological conditions
such as epilepsy, stroke, and both developmental and degenerative neurological
diseases. Thus, understanding the mechanisms regulating the development,
maturation and behavioral roles of adult-born neurons will be of great
The primary cilium, a sensory organelle, emanates from the centrosome and
residing on the surface of most brain cells. One of our recent studies revealed
that adult-born hippocampal neurons assemble primary cilia around 2-3 weeks
after birth. Most newborn neurons maintain primary cilia at least till 6 weeks
after birth. In this proposal, we asked whether primary cilia of newborn granule
cells regulate the behavioral contribution of new neurons. Using retroviral,
genetic, optogenetic, physiological and imaging approaches, we propose to
determine the role for primary cilia of adult-born neurons in hippocampal
cognitive behavior. We will first examine the cilia deletion on the hippocampal
memory acquisition. Next, we will determine the cilia deletion on the
hippocampal memory retrieval. If successful, we expect to have a clear
understanding of the role for primary cilia in hippocampal memory.


The above project description has been supplied by the Principal Investigator