Absence of neurogenesis of adult rat dorsal root ganglion cells

Russell A. La Forte, Sharon Melville, Kyungsoon Chung, Richard Coggeshall

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43 Scopus citations


Recently, an age-related increase in the number of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) cells was reported in adult rats. This suggests neurogenesis of adult primary afferent neurons, which would be an extremely important phenomenon if it occurred. Other evidence is not compatible with this idea, however, so the issue is not settled. The primary point of contention concerns the counts of DRG cells in relation to age. In our opinion, these disagreements arise, at least in part, because different counting methods give different results for the same material. Thus, any method for determining DRG cell numbers should be calibrated. We previously calibrated some of the common methods used to count DRG cells and found that an empirical method gave accurate cell counts. In the present study, we have used this method and asked whether an age-related increase in the number of lumbar DRG cells can be demonstrated in adult rats. Our data indicate that DRG cell numbers remain essentially constant from 3 to 22 months of age. Most ancillary evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that mammalian DRG cell numbers do not change during adult life. Thus, we feel that the evidence does not support the hypothesis that there is neurogenesis of adult rat primary afferent neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-7
Number of pages5
JournalSomatosensory & Motor Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1991


  • Dorsal root ganglion cells
  • Neurogenesis
  • Neuronal numbers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Sensory Systems


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