Since a muscle cell has a completely different function than a skin cell, it will naturally express different proteins.In like manner, a 1 week-old neuron is functionally distinct from a 4 week-old neuron and the two will also express different proteins (to some extent).Most studies of adult neurogenesis are concerned with neuronal age. This is because new neurons develop from a stage where they have no excitatory synapses to one where they have many.we assume the traditional view that information is stored at excitatory synaptic connections, then young neurons are initially useless and only become physiologically and behaviorally meaningful when they have matured to a point where they can relay and process information.Therefore, it is very possible that the ultimate fate of an adult-born neuron depends on when experiences occur, relative to these different stages.Several show us that experience can modify the number of new neurons, but that the magnitude and direction of the change depends on how old the neurons are when the animal undergoes the experience.Where are they born and where do they end up, anatomically?How many of them survive and can their survival be altered?
Analyzing the variation in different subpopulations of newborn neurons is central to the study of adult hippocampal neurogenesis.
Brd U) and these phenotypic markers, one can know both the exact age of the neuron and its general degree of maturity.
For a 10 sec guide to cell labeling with Brd U and phenotypic markers, see here.
that had been manipulated at different stages of their development.
From the first 3 figures we can see that specific stages during a new neuron’s development are associated with enhanced plasticity, unique neurotransmitter profiles and increased likelihood of cell death.
They are grouped by studies of: 1) cell survival, 2) marker expression, 3) functionality, and 4) miscellaneous studies that do not quite fit into the first 3 categories.