Castration and training in a spatial task alter the number of immature neurons in the hippocampus of male mice

Ted S. Benice, Jacob Raber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


New neurons are generated in the granule cell layer of the dentate gyrus (GCL) throughout adulthood. This process is modulated by many environmental and neurochemical factors. We previously observed that castrated mice, compared to sham-operated mice, perform poorly in the delayed matching to place water-maze task (DMTP). In this study, we quantified the number of doublecortin expressing (DCX+) immature neurons and Ki-67 expressing (Ki-67+) proliferating progenitors in mice previously tested in a spatial DMTP task, a nonspatial DMTP, or that received equivalent amounts of handling only. Regardless of DMTP training experience, castration reduced immature neuron number in the GCL but had no effect on proliferating progenitors. Compared to handling only, visible DMTP training reduced the immature neuron number, but hidden DMTP training had no effect. Castration did not alter these environmental effects. Finally, performance on the spatial DMTP task did not correlate with immature neuron number. In addition, while the number of immature neurons was strongly reduced following cranial irradiation with 137Cs, this treatment did not affect spatial DMTP performance. Thus, in mice, castration disrupts spatial memory and reduces immature neuron number, but there is no strong link between these effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-29
Number of pages9
JournalBrain research
StatePublished - May 6 2010


  • Androgens
  • Hippocampus
  • Irradiation
  • Neurogenesis
  • Spatial memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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