15 june 2010

Long-lasting reduction in hippocampal neurogenesis by alcohol consumption in adolescent nonhuman primates

Binge alcohol consumption in adolescents is increasing, and studies in animal models show that adolescence is a period of high vulnerability to brain insults. The purpose of the present study was to determine the deleterious effects of binge alcohol on hippocampal neurogenesis in adolescent nonhuman primates. Heavy binge alcohol consumption over 11 mo dramatically and persistently decreased hippocampal proliferation and neurogenesis. Combinatorial analysis revealed distinct, actively dividing hippocampal neural progenitor cell types in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus that were in transition from stem-like radial glia-like cells (type 1) to immature transiently amplifying neuroblasts (type 2a, type 2b, and type 3), suggesting the evolutionary conservation of milestones of neuronal development in macaque monkeys. Alcohol significantly decreased the number of actively dividing type 1, 2a, and 2b cell types without significantly altering the early neuronal type 3 cells, suggesting that alcohol interferes with the division and migration of hippocampal preneuronal progenitors. Furthermore, the lasting alcohol-induced reduction in hippocampal neurogenesis paralleled an increase in neural degeneration mediated by nonapoptotic pathways. Altogether, these results demonstrate that the hippocampal neurogenic niche during adolescence is highly vulnerable to alcohol and that alcohol decreases neuronal turnover in adolescent nonhuman primate hippocampus by altering the ongoing process of neuronal development. This lasting effect, observed 2 mo after alcohol discontinuation, may underlie the deficits in hippocampus-associated cognitive tasks that are observed in alcoholics.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Taffe M.A.; Kotzebue R.W.; Crean R.D.; Crawford E.F.; Edwards S.; Mandyam C.D.
  • Issue

    Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci.U.S.A / pages 11104-11109 / volume 107
  • Published Date

    15 june 2010