Slow age-dependent decline of doublecortin expression and BrdU labeling in the forebrain from lesser hedgehog tenrecs

Alán Alpár, Heinz Künzle, Ulrich Gärtner, Yulia Popfeoua, Ute Bauer, Jens Grosche, Andreas Reichenbach, Wolfgang Härtig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)


In addition to synaptic remodeling, formation of new neurons is increasingly acknowledged as an important cue for plastic changes in the central nervous system. Whereas all vertebrates retain a moderate neuroproliferative capacity, phylogenetically younger mammals become dramatically impaired in this potential during aging. The present study shows that the lesser hedgehog tenrec, an insectivore with a low encephalization index, preserves its neurogenic potential surprisingly well during aging. This was shown by quantitative analysis of 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) immunolabeling in the olfactory bulb, paleo-, archi-, and neocortices from 2- to 7-year-old animals. In addition to these newly born cells, a large number of previously formed immature neurons are present throughout adulthood as shown by doublecortin (DCX) immunostaining in various forebrain regions including archicortex, paleocortex, nucleus accumbens, and amygdala. Several ventricle-associated cells in olfactory bulb and hippocampus were double-labeled by BrdU and DCX immunoreactivity. However, most DCX cells in the paleocortex can be considered as persisting immature neurons that obviously do not enter a differentiation program since double fluorescence labeling does not reveal their co-occurrence with numerous neuronal markers, whereas only a small portion coexpresses the pan-neuronal marker HuC/D. Finally, the present study reveals tenrecs as suitable laboratory animals to study agedependent brain alterations (e.g., of neurogenesis) or slow degenerative processes, particularly due to the at least doubled longevity of tenrecs in comparison to mice and rats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-19
Number of pages11
JournalBrain research
Publication statusPublished - May 12 2010


  • Adult neurogenesis
  • Dentate gyrus
  • Doublecortin
  • Olfactory bulb
  • Paleocortex
  • Tenrec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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