Neurochemical Research

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 601–629 | Cite as

Dopamine and Aging: Intersecting Facets

  • C. David Rollo
Review Article


Aging encompasses life itself so understanding requires frameworks that forge unity amidst complexity. The free radical theory of aging is one example. The original focus on damage was augmented recently by appreciation that reactive oxygen and nitrogen species are essential to normal signaling and cell function. This paradigm is currently undergoing an explosive expansion fueled by the discovery that regulatory organization is a merry-go-round of redox cycling seamlessly fused to endogenous clocks. This might best be described as an “Electroplasmic Cycle.” This is certainly applicable to dopaminergic neurons with their exceptional metabolic, electrical and rhythmic properties. Here I review normal aging of dopamine systems to highlight them as a valuable model. I then examine the possible integration of free radical and ion channel theories of aging. Finally, I incorporate clocks and explore the multifaceted implications of electroplasmic cycles with special emphasis on dopamine.


Dopamine Aging Longevity Redox Free radicals Ion channels Clocks Regulation Electroplasmic cycle Evolutionary theory 



Angiotensin receptor 1


CREB binding protein






Dopamine transport and reuptake protein


Dopamine receptor 1


Dopamine receptor 2


Endoplasmic reticulum


Growth hormone


Growth hormone releasing hormone


Reduced glutathione


Glutathione S-transferase


Oxidized glutathione


Heme oxygenase 1


Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis


Homovanillic acid


Insulin-like growth factor 1




Long-term potentiation


Monoamine oxidase




Nitric oxide


Nitric oxide synthase


NAD(P)H oxidases


Neuronal PAS domain protein 2


Parkinson’s disease




Protein kinase A


Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species




Substantia nigra




Superoxide dismutase


Suprachiasmatic nuclei


Sulfonylurea receptors


Tyrosine hydroxylase


Vesicular monoamine transporter 2


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LSB-226, Department of BiologyMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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