Advertisement

Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 7–15 | Cite as

Brain aging in normotensive and hypertensive strains of rats

II. Ultrastructural changes in neurons and glia
  • Craig A. Knox
  • Robert D. Yates
  • I-li Chen
Original Works

Summary

A variety of age-related changes occur in the structure of neurons in the cerebral cortex of Wistar-Kyoto and spontaneously hypertensive rats. The most marked alteration associated with increasing age was the deposition of lipofuscin pigment, primarily at the bases of apical dendrites of pyramidal neurons. While no strain-related differences in the amount of lipofuscin pigment were observed in the youngest (3 months) and in the aged (22–27 months) groups of rats, it appeared that hypertensive rats had larger pigment deposits at 12 months of age. At the ultrastructural level, neurons of the aged brains exhibited numerous nuclear invaginations and filamentous nuclear inclusions, increased amounts of Golgi complex and two types of cytoplasmic inclusions. The number of degenerative structures in the neuropil (membranous whorls, dystrophic axons and alterations in myelin sheaths) was also apparently increased in the aged brains. Neurofibrillary tangles were observed in dendritic processes of a 27-month-old Wistar-Kyoto rat. Glial cells accumulated distinctive pigment granules by which the three types of glia could be identified.

Key words

Aging Hypertension Neurofibrillary tangles Lipofuscin Neurons 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Brizzee KR, Klara P, Johnson JE (1976) Changes in microanatomy, neurocytology, and fine structure with aging. In: Ordy JM, Brizzee KR (eds) Neurobiology of aging. An interdisciplinary life-span approach. Plenum Press, New York, pp 425–462Google Scholar
  2. Brizzee KR, Ordy JM, Knox C, Jirge SK (1980) Morphology and aging in the brain. In: Maletta GJ, Pirozzolo FJ (eds) The aging nervous system. Advances in neurogerontology, vol 1. Praeger, New York, pp 10–39Google Scholar
  3. Field EJ, Peat A (1971) Intranuclear inclusions in neurons and glia. A study in the aging mouse. Gerontologia 17:129–138Google Scholar
  4. Grillo MA (1970) Cytoplasmic inclusions resembling nucleoli in sympathetic neurons of adult rats. J Cell Biol 45:100–117Google Scholar
  5. Hasan M, Glees P (1973) Ultrastructural age changes in hippocampal neurons, synapses, and neuroglia. Exp Gerontol 8:75–83Google Scholar
  6. Hinds JW, McNelly NA (1979) Aging in the rat olfactory bulb. Quantitative changes in mitral cell organelles and somato-dendritic synapses. J Comp Neurol 184:811–820Google Scholar
  7. Horonpian DS, Yang SS (1978) Paired helical filaments in neurovisceral lipidosis (juvenile dystonic lipidosis). Ann Neurol 4:404–411Google Scholar
  8. Johnson JE, Jr, Miquel J (1974) Fine structural changes in the lateral vestibular nucleus of aging rats. Mech Ageing Dev 3: 203–224Google Scholar
  9. Karsner HT (1938) Thickness of the aortic media in hypertension. Trans Assoc Am Physicians 53:54–58Google Scholar
  10. Knox CA, Yates RD, Chen I-l, Klara PM (1980) Effects of aging on the structural and permeability characteristics of cerebrovasculature in normotensive and hypertensive strains of rats. Acta Neuropathol (Berl) 51:1–13Google Scholar
  11. Krieg WJS (1946) Connections of the cerebral cortex. I. Albino rat. A. Topography of the cortical areas. J Comp Neurol 84:221–275Google Scholar
  12. Liss L, Ebner K, Couri D (1979) Neurofibrillary tangles induced by a sclerosing angioma. Hum Pathol 10:104–108Google Scholar
  13. Matsuyama H, Namiki H, Watanabe I (1965) Senile changes in the brain of the Japanese: incidence of neurofibrillary change and senile plaques. In: Luthy F, Bischoff A (eds) Proceedings of the 5th International Congress of Neuropathology. Excerpta Medica, Amsterdam, pp 979–980Google Scholar
  14. Mortimer JA (1980) Epidemiological aspects of Alzheimer's disease. In: Maletta GH, Pirozzola FJ (eds) The aging nervous system. Advances in neurogerontology, vol 1. Praeger, New York, pp 307–332Google Scholar
  15. Nickerson PA, Feld LG, VanLiew JB (1979) zona reticularis in aging spontaneously hypertensive rats. A quantitative ultrastructural study of 70- and 95-week-old animals. Am J Pathol 97:433–444Google Scholar
  16. Nicklowitz WJ, Mandybur TI (1975) Neurofibrillary changes following childhood lead encephalopathy. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 34:445–455Google Scholar
  17. Samorajski T, Friede RL, Ordy JM (1971) Age differences in the ultrastructure of axons in the pyramidal tract of the mouse. J Gerontol 26:542–551Google Scholar
  18. Scheibel ME, Scheibel AB (1975) Structural changes in the aging brain. In: Brody H, Harman D, Ordy JM (eds) Aging. Clinical, morphologic, and neurochemical aspects in the aging central nervous system, vol 1. Raven Press, New York, pp 11–37Google Scholar
  19. Sekhon SS, Maxwell DS (1974) Ultrastructural changes in neurons of the spinal anterior horn of aging mice with particular reference to the accumulation of lipofuscin pigment. J Neurocytol 3:59–72Google Scholar
  20. Vaughan DW, Vincent JM (1979) Ultrastructure of neurons in the auditory cortex of aging rats. A morphometric study. J Neurocytol 8:215–228Google Scholar
  21. Wisniewski HM, Ghetti B, Terry RD (1973) Neuritic (senile) plaques and filamentous changes in aged rhesus monkeys. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 32:566–584Google Scholar
  22. Wisniewski H, Narang HK, Terry RD (1976) Neurofibrillary tangles of paired helical filaments. J Neurol Sci 27:173–181Google Scholar
  23. Wisniewski H, Terry RD, Hirano A (1970) Neurofibrillary pathology. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 29:163–176Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Craig A. Knox
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robert D. Yates
    • 1
  • I-li Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyTulane University School of MedicineNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurosurgeryTulane University School of MedicineNew OrleansUSA

Personalised recommendations