Birthdating neurons

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There are many different functional types of enteric neurons (Brookes, 2001, Uyttebroek et al., 2010, Furness, 2012), but little is known about the mechanisms involved in the generation of enteric neuron subtype diversity (Hao and Young, 2009, Laranjeira and Pachnis, 2009, Gershon, 2010, Sasselli et al., 2012, Obermayr et al., 2013a).

The birthdate of a neuron is the age at which a precursor undergoes its last division before differentiating into a neuron, and it can be an important determinant of neuronal subtype fate.

Current atmospheric C14 is about twice the level it was before the 1950s.

First author Kristy Spalding and colleagues capitalized on this relatively rapid decline in C14 to develop their dating method.

we assume the traditional view that information is stored at excitatory synaptic connections, then young neurons are initially useless and only become physiologically and behaviorally meaningful when they have matured to a point where they can relay and process information.Because of its extremely long half-life (over 5,000 years), carbon 14 content has typically been used to date only very old artifacts or fossils.The method has traditionally failed to resolve dates of samples that differ in age by less than a few hundred years—accurate enough perhaps to date the youngest and oldest parts of the most ancient redwood trees, but not to tell how many newborn cells might be present in the human brain.They are grouped by studies of: 1) cell survival, 2) marker expression, 3) functionality, and 4) miscellaneous studies that do not quite fit into the first 3 categories.I’ve ordered the data roughly chronologically and have included the first author’s name and publication year so you can read deeper, if needed.

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