[en] Granule neurons of the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus undergo continuous renewal throughout life. Among cell cycle regulators, cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (Cdk2) is considered as a major regulator of S-phase entry. We used Cdk2-deficient mice to decipher the requirement of Cdk2 for the generation of new neurons in the adult hippocampus. The quantification of cell cycle markers first revealed that the lack of Cdk2 activity does not influence spontaneous or seizure-induced proliferation of neural progenitor cells (NPC) in the adult DG. Using bromodeoxyuridine incorporation assays, we showed that the number of mature newborn granule neurons generated de novo was similar in both wild-type (WT) and Cdk2-deficient adult mice. Moreover, the apparent lack of cell output reduction in Cdk2(-/-) mice DG did not result from a reduction in apoptosis of newborn granule cells as analyzed by TUNEL assays. Our results therefore suggest that Cdk2 is dispensable for NPC proliferation, differentiation and survival of adult-born DG granule neurons in vivo. These data emphasize that functional redundancies between Cdks also occur in the adult brain at the level of neural progenitor cell cycle regulation during hippocampal neurogenesis.
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS