Long-term stimulation of the anteromedial thalamus increases hippocampal neurogenesis and spatial reference memory in adult rats.

Farah Chamaa, Batoul Darwish, Ziad Nahas, Elie D Al-Chaer, Nayef E Saadé, Wassim Abou-Kheir

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Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has shown positive clinical results in neurodegenerative diseases. Previous work from our group showed that a single session of DBS to the anteromedial thalamic nucleus (AMN) in awake rats, increased proliferation of stem/progenitor cells in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus. We thought to examine the effect of single versus multiple sessions of DBS to the AMN in modulating adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Rats received unilateral single session, multiple sessions or no electrical stimulation (sham) in the right AMN. Rats received 5'-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) injections and were followed over a period of 1 week or 4 weeks. Single session of electrical stimulation induced a 1.9-fold increase in the number of proliferating BrdU positive cells after one week from stimulation and a 1.8-fold increase at four weeks post stimulation, both in the ipsilateral DG. As for multiple sessions of stimulation, they induced a 3- fold increase that extended to the contralateral DG after 4 weeks from stimulation. Spatial reference memory was tested in the Y-maze test by examining novel arm exploration. Both single and multiple sessions of stimulation prompted an increase in novel arm exploration at week 4, while only the multiple sessions of stimulation had this effect starting from week 1. This study demonstrates that sustained activation of the AMN boosts neurogenesis and improves spatial reference memory.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113114
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
StatePublished - Jan 8 2021

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