Daffodils and Dentate Granule Cells

The first daffodils are out here in the Washington DC area, their shape always reminds me of dentate gyrus granule cells, which in rodents, at least, are born throughout the individual’s lifetime, sprouting up anew, just like the jonquil.

There are many hints, but no overall deep understanding of what’s going on with neurogenesis in the rodent hippocampus. Somehow, the new cells have to integrate themselves into the existing tri-synaptic network without screwing things up. Or at least, that’s what it seems that they do.

Further, there are tantalizing clues that what goes on in rodents may also take place in our human brains. And that human neurogenesis in hippocampus might correlate with stress.

I’m always amazed at how the daffodils when they emerge from the winter mud, do so in a somewhat orderly way, so that when they are all in full bloom, you can view the seas of yellow blooms along the Rock Creek Parkway, previewing the tulips which will follow.