The endocannabinoid system modulates adult hippocampal neurogenesis by promoting the proliferation and survival of neural stem and progenitor cells (NSPCs). This is demonstrated by the disruption of adult neurogenesis under two experimental conditions: (1) NSPC-specific deletion of cannabinoid receptors and (2) constitutive deletion of the enzyme diacylglycerol lipase alpha (DAGLa) which produces the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). However, the specific cell types producing 2-AG relevant to neurogenesis remain unknown. Here we sought to identify the cellular source of endocannabinoids in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus (DG) in hippocampus, an important neurogenic niche. For this purpose, we used two complementary Cre-deleter mouse strains to delete Dagla either in neurons, or in astroglia and NSPCs. Surprisingly, neurogenesis was not altered in mice bearing a deletion of Dagla in neurons (Syn-Dagla KO), although neurons are the main source for the endocannabinoids in the brain. In contrast, a specific inducible deletion of Dagla in NPSCs and astrocytes (GLAST-CreERT2-Dagla KO) resulted in a strongly impaired neurogenesis with a 50% decrease in proliferation of newborn cells. These results identify Dagla in NSPCs in the DG or in astrocytes as a prominent regulator of adult hippocampal neurogenesis. We also show a reduction of Daglb expression in GLAST-CreERT2-Dagla KO mice, which may have contributed to the neurogenesis phenotype.
© 2022. The Author(s).
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