Stress modulation of hippocampal activity - Spotlight on the dentate gyrus

Ming Xin Fa, Li Xia, Rachel Anunu, Orli Kehat, Martin Kriebel, Hansjürgen Volkmer, Gal Richter-Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The effects of stress on learning and memory are diverse, ranging from impairment to facilitation. Many studies emphasize the major role of the hippocampus, mainly its CA1 and CA3 areas, in the process of memory formation under emotional and stressful conditions. In the current review, we summarize work which suggests that the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus is likely to play a pivotal role in defining the impact of stress on hippocampal functioning. We describe. the effects of stress on long term potentiation (LTP) and local circuit activity in the DG and the role of the amygdala in mediating these effects. As one of the brain regions known to have a high rate of adult neurogenesis, the effects of stress on DG neurogenesis will also be reviewed. Finally, we discuss exposure to stress during juvenility and its influence on the adult DG. The DG is a dynamic structure which is susceptible to stress. Under stressful conditions, its response is variable and complex, much like the behavioral outcomes of such circumstances. It is likely to significantly contribute to the diverse effects of stress on memory formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of Learning and Memory
StatePublished - Jul 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by The Israel Science Foundation Grant No. 1403/07 to GRL, by The German Israeli Project Cooperation (DIP) RI 1922/1-1 HE 1128/16-1, to GRL, by German-Israeli Cooperation in Biotechnology (BIO-DISC) to GRL and 0315512B to HV, by Hope for Depression Research Foundation Grant No. 2011-0011 to GRL, and by a USAMRMC award (10071009) to GRL.


  • Dentate gyrus
  • Hippocampus
  • LTP
  • Neurogenesis
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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