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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011, Article ID 527201, 12 pages
Review Article

A Novel Animal Model of Hippocampal Cognitive Deficits, Slow Neurodegeneration, and Neuroregeneration

1Department of Psychology, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4
2Department of Psychology, Trent University, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON, Canada K9J 7B8
3Department of Neuroscience, University of Lethbridge, 4401 University Drive, Lethbridge, AB, Canada T1K 3M4

Received 16 September 2010; Accepted 19 January 2011

Academic Editor: Oreste Gualillo

Copyright © 2011 Simon C. Spanswick et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Long-term adrenalectomy (ADX) results in an extensive and specific loss of dentate gyrus granule cells in the hippocampus of adult rats. This loss of granule cells extends over a period of weeks to months and ultimately results in cognitive deficits revealed in a number of tasks that depend on intact hippocampal function. The gradual nature of ADX-induced cell death and the ensuing deficits in cognition resemble in some important respects a variety of pathological conditions in humans. Here, we characterize behavioural and cellular processes, including adult neurogenesis, in the rat ADX model. We also provide experimental evidence for a neurogenic treatment strategy by which the lost hippocampal cells may be replaced, with the goal of functional recovery in mind.