The mammalian brain maintains few developmental niches where neurogenesis persists into adulthood. One niche is located in the olfactory system where the olfactory bulb continuously receives functional interneurons. In vivo two-photon microscopy of lentivirus-labeled newborn neurons was used to directly image their development and maintenance in the olfactory bulb. Time-lapse imaging of newborn neurons over several days showed that dendritic formation is highly dynamic with distinct differences between spiny neurons and non-spiny neurons. Once incorporated into the network, adult-born neurons maintain significant levels of structural dynamics. This structural plasticity is local, cumulative and sustained in neurons several months after their integration. Thus, I provide a new experimental system for directly studying the pool of regenerating neurons in the intact mammalian brain and suggest that regenerating neurons form a cellular substrate for continuous wiring plasticity in the olfactory bulb.
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