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Adult neurogenesis in sheep: Characterization and contribution to reproduction and behavior

Abstract : Sheep have many advantages to study neurogenesis in comparison to the well-known rodent models. Their development and life expectancy are relatively long and they possess a gyrencephalic brain. Sheep are also seasonal breeders, a characteristic that allows studying the involvement of hypothalamic neurogenesis in the control of seasonal reproduction. Sheep are also able to individually recognize their conspecifics and develop selective and lasting bonds. Adult olfactory neurogenesis could be adapted to social behavior by supporting recognition of conspecifics. The present review reveals the distinctive features of the hippocampal, olfactory, and hypothalamic neurogenesis in sheep. In particular, the organization of the subventricular zone and the dynamic of neuronal maturation differs from that of rodents. In addition, we show that various physiological conditions, such as seasonal reproduction, gestation, and lactation differently modulate these three neurogenic niches. Last, we discuss recent evidence indicating that hypothalamic neurogenesis acts as an important regulator of the seasonal control of reproduction and that olfactory neurogenesis could be involved in odor processing in the context of maternal behavior.
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Frédéric Lévy, Martine Batailler, Maryse Meurisse, Martine Migaud. Adult neurogenesis in sheep: Characterization and contribution to reproduction and behavior. Frontiers in Neuroscience, Frontiers, 2017, 11, pp.1-15. ⟨10.3389/fnins.2017.00570⟩. ⟨hal-02628123⟩

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