The dentate gyrus (DG), an important part of the hippocampus, plays a critical role in consolidation of information from short-term to long-term memory, and also in spatial navigation. Neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) exist throughout life in the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the DG, where they develop into granular cells and establish synaptic connections with nearby cells. Granular cells of the DG sprout axons targeting neurons in the cornu ammonis 3 (CA3) area of the hippocampus, forming a neural trisynaptic circuit, an important part of the neural network in the hippocampus. Thus, the DG and the neurogenic cells it contains are of importance in controlling formation of memories, learned behaviors, and also in the maintenance and restoration of functions of the hippocampus. According to reports, both in vivo and in vitro neurogenesis in the DG are regulated by a variety of endogenous and exogenous factors at different stages. Therefore, a better understanding of the factors in NSPC niches and the intracellular molecules regulating/directing adult DG neurogenesis is needed to fully realize the potential of NSPCs in the treatment of hippocampal-related disorders. This chapter systematically summarizes the factors reported in regulating adult DG neurogenesis in mammals. Specifically, neurotransmitters, hormones, trophic factors, and others will be discussed.
Part of the book: The Hippocampus