Journal of Biosciences

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 55–60

Age-related changes of structures in cerebellar cortex of cat

  • Changzheng Zhang
  • Tianmiao Hua
  • Zaiman Zhu
  • Xun Luo

DOI: 10.1007/BF02705235

Cite this article as:
Zhang, C., Hua, T., Zhu, Z. et al. J Biosci (2006) 31: 55. doi:10.1007/BF02705235


We studied the structures of the cerebellar cortex of young adult and old cats for age-related changes, which were statistically analysed. Nissl staining was used to visualize the cortical neurons. The immunohistochemical method was used to display glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-immunoreactive (IR) astrocytes and neurofilament-immunoreactive (NF-IR) neurons. Under the microscope, the thickness of the cerebellar cortex was measured; and the density of neurons in all the layers as well as that of GFAP-IR cells in the granular layer was analysed. Compared with young adult cats, the thickness of the molecular layer and total cerebellar cortex was significantly decreased in old cats, and that of the granular layer increased. The density of neurons in each layer was significantly lower in old cats than in young adult ones. Astrocytes in old cats were significantly denser than in young adult ones, and accompanied by evident hypertrophy of the cell bodies and enhanced immunoreaction of GFAP substance. Purkinje cells (PCs) in old cats showed much fewer NF-IR dendrites than those in young adults. The above findings indicate a loss of neurons and decrease in the number of dendrites of the PCs in the aged cerebellar cortex, which might underlie the functional decline of afferent efficacy and information integration in the senescent cerebellum. An age-dependent enhancement of activity of the astrocytes may exert a protective effect on neurons in the aged cerebellum


Cat cerebellar cortex age-related changes glial fibrillary acidic protein neurofilament astrocyte 

Abbreviations used


analysis of variance


central nervous system




glial fibrillary acidicprotein






phosphate buffer saline


Purkinje cell

Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Changzheng Zhang
    • 1
  • Tianmiao Hua
    • 1
  • Zaiman Zhu
    • 1
  • Xun Luo
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Life SciencesAnhui Normal UniversityWuhuPeople's Republic of China

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