Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 341, Issue 3, pp 341-347

First online:

Aging of cerebellar Purkinje cells

  • Changzheng ZhangAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Science and Technology/State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Nanjing UniversitySchool of Life Sciences, Anqing Teachers College Email author 
  • , Qingfeng ZhuAffiliated withSchool of Life Sciences, Anqing Teachers College
  • , Tianmiao HuaAffiliated withSchool of Life Sciences, Anhui Normal University Email author 

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Cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs), the sole output neurons in the cerebellar cortex, play an important role in the cerebellar circuit. PCs appear to be rather sensitive to aging, exhibiting significant changes in both morphology and function during senescence. This article reviews such changes during the normal aging process, including a decrease in the quantity of cells, atrophy in the soma, retraction in the dendritic arborizations, degeneration in the subcellular organelles, a decline in synapse density, disorder in the neurotransmitter system, and alterations in electrophysiological properties. Although these deteriorative changes occur during aging, compensatory mechanisms exist to counteract the impairments in the aging PCs. The possible neural mechanisms underlying these changes and potential preventive treatments are discussed.


Cerebellum Purkinje cells Aging Morphology Function