An Enduring Controversial Story in the Human Brain


Adult hippocampal neurogenesis
Major depressive disorder
Alzheimer's disease

How to Cite

Niu, Z., & Capolicchio, T. (2023). An Enduring Controversial Story in the Human Brain: Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis in the Dentate Gyrus. McGill Science Undergraduate Research Journal, 18(1), B26-B35.


Adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) is a well-studied phenomenon that involves the derivation of new neurons from neural progenitor cells in the dentate gyrus region of the hippocampus, an area responsible for cognitive functions such as learning and memory storage. Moreover, the hippocampus is known to be implicated in neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's disease. Although AHN has been extensively observed in animal models for twenty years, its existence and persistence in humans have been widely debated in academia, heavily based on post-mortem immunohistochemical markers. Using the search engines PubMed and Google Scholar for “Adult Human Neurogenesis,” 143 articles that were most relevant to the history of AHN discovery, detection in rodents, immunohistochemical studies on post-mortem human sections, and therapeutic development targeting AHN were reviewed. This review article highlights the current understanding of AHN in rodents and humans, its implications in neurodegenerative diseases and therapeutics, and the inconsistencies and methodological variabilities encountered in studying AHN in humans. Furthermore, the correlation between AHN and diseases such as mood disorders and Alzheimer's disease is still not well established, with conflicting findings reported. Standardization of transcriptomic methodologies and increased availability of post-mortem human brain samples are crucial in advancing AHN research. This review article attempts to discover the fascinating and controversial world of adult human neurogenesis and its potential implications in treating neurological disorders. Apart from the discussion on AHN existence, tackling devastating diseases with this supplemental knowledge can lead to therapeutic advancements which greatly rely on understanding not only the presence of AHN but the mechanisms mediating its availability.
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2023 Zhipeng Niu, Tanya Capolicchio


Download data is not yet available.