Evidence for postnatal neurogenesis in the human amygdala

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



The human amygdala is involved in processing of memory, decision-making, and emotional responses. Previous studies suggested that the amygdala may represent a neurogenic niche in mammals. By combining two distinct methodological approaches, lipofuscin quantification and 14C-based retrospective birth dating of neurons, along with mathematical modelling, we here explored whether postnatal neurogenesis exists in the human amygdala. We investigated post-mortem samples of twelve neurologically healthy subjects. The average rate of lipofuscin-negative neurons was 3.4%, representing a substantial proportion of cells substantially younger than the individual. Mass spectrometry analysis of genomic 14C-concentrations in amygdala neurons compared with atmospheric 14C-levels provided evidence for postnatal neuronal exchange. Mathematical modelling identified a best-fitting scenario comprising of a quiescent and a renewing neuronal population with an overall renewal rate of >2.7% per year. In conclusion, we provide evidence for postnatal neurogenesis in the human amygdala with cell turnover rates comparable to the hippocampus.


Original languageEnglish
Article number366
Number of pages8
JournalCommunications biology
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2022

External IDs

PubMedCentral PMC9018740
Scopus 85128378294
ORCID /0000-0003-1065-4107/work/141543981
ORCID /0000-0001-6466-2589/work/142238094
ORCID /0000-0003-0137-5106/work/142244262


Sustainable Development Goals


  • Amygdala/physiology, Animals, Hippocampus/physiology, Humans, Lipofuscin, Mammals, Neurogenesis/physiology, Retrospective Studies

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