Behavior Genetics

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 447–453

Memory Decline of Aging Reduced by Extracellular Superoxide Dismutase Overexpression

  • Edward D. Levin
  • N. Channelle Christopher
  • James D. Crapo

DOI: 10.1007/s10519-004-1510-y

Cite this article as:
Levin, E.D., Christopher, N.C. & Crapo, J.D. Behav Genet (2005) 35: 447. doi:10.1007/s10519-004-1510-y


Extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD) plays an important role in controlling oxidative stress as well as intercellular signaling. In the current study, we tested the effect of EC-SOD overexpression over the lifespan of a set of mice and their wild-type controls to determine the time scale over which EC-SOD overexpression might attenuate aging-induced memory impairment. Mice with overexpression of EC-SOD and wild-type controls were initially trained on the radial-arm maze as young adults (3–5 months) and then retrained during middle age (12–14 months) and retested in old age at 27 and 30 months. There was little EC-SOD effect during the young adult middle age periods. EC-SOD overexpression prevented the decline in choice accuracy when the mice were 27–30 months of age. The EC-SOD overexpressing mice maintained their performance, while the wild-type mice declined to naïve levels of performance by 30 months of age. Enhancement of EC-SOD activity appears to improve memory performance specifically in aging mice. EC-SOD mimetic treatment during the course of aging may hold promise for aging-induced cognitive impairment.

Key words

Aging extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD) memory radial-arm maze 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward D. Levin
    • 1
    • 3
  • N. Channelle Christopher
    • 1
  • James D. Crapo
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.National Jewish Medical and Research CenterDenverUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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