Differential Effects of Stress on Adult Hippocampal Cell Proliferation in Low and High Aggressive Mice

A. H. Veenema, E. R. De Kloet, M. C. De Wilde, Anke Jozefien Roelofs, M. Kawata, B. Buwalda, I. D. Neumann, J. M. Koolhaas, P. J. Lucassen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Male wild house mice selected for a long (LAL) or a short (SAL) latency to attack a male intruder generally show opposing behavioural coping responses to environmental challenges. LAL mice, unlike SAL mice, adapt to novel challenges with a highly reactive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and show an enhanced expression of markers for hippocampal plasticity. The present study aimed to test the hypothesis that these features of the more reactive LAL mice are reflected in parameters of hippocampal cell proliferation. The data show that basal cell proliferation in the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the dentate gyrus, assessed by the endogenous proliferation marker Ki-67, is lower in LAL than in SAL mice. Furthermore, application of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) over 3 days showed an almost two-fold lower cell proliferation rate in the SGZ in LAL versus SAL mice. Exposure to forced swimming resulted, 24 h later, in a significant reduction in BrdU + cell numbers in LAL mice, whereas cell proliferation was unaffected by this stressor in SAL mice. Plasma corticosterone and dentate gyrus glucocorticoid receptor levels were higher in LAL than in SAL mice. However, no differences between the SAL and LAL lines were found for hippocampal NMDA receptor binding. In conclusion, the data suggest a relationship between coping responses and hippocampal cell proliferation, in which corticosterone may be one of the determinants of line differences in cell proliferation responses to environmental challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-498
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Issue number7
Early online date17 May 2007
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


  • adaptation, psychological
  • aggression
  • animals
  • behavior, animal
  • cell proliferation
  • corticosterone
  • hippocampus
  • immunohistochemistry
  • mice
  • protein binding
  • receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • stress, physiological
  • BrdU
  • coping style
  • dentate gyrus
  • hippocampal plasticity
  • neurogenesis


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