Aging-related changes of microglia and astrocytes in hypothalamus after intraperitoneal injection of hypertonic saline in rats
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To examine the aging related changes of microglia and astrocytes in hypothalamus of rats after intraperitoneal injection of hypertonic saline in rats, old- and young-aged rats were injected with hypertonic saline solution into peritoneal cavity. Lectin histochemical techniques using Ricinus communis agglutinin-1 (RCA-1) and immunocytochemical method employing antibody against glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) were used to demonstrate microglia and astrocytes in the hypothalamus of the rats, and the positively-stained cells were analyzed by computer-assisted image analysis system. Our results showed that the numbers of microglia and astrocytes were significantly increased in the hypothalamus of old-aged rats. After intraperitoneal injection of hypertonic saline, the number of microglia was significantly decreased in the hypothalamus of both young- and old-aged groups. After introperitoneal injection of hypertonic saline, the number of GFAP positive cells was significantly increased in the hypothalamus of young rats, but the number of GFAP positive cells did not show significant change in the hypothalamus of old rats. It is concluded that in the hypothalamus of old-aged rats, the increase of microglia may be related with the aging or degeneration of neurons, and the increase of astrocytes may provide more nourishment required by the aged neurons. The microglia and astrocytes in the hypothalamus of the two group rats may be affected by hypertonic saline, and the response of these cells to the stimuli is characterized by some aging-related changes.
Key wordsmicroglia astrocyte aging hypertonic stimulation
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