, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 36–41 | Cite as

Lipofuscin in mouse placenta: Variations with age

  • Anita M. Brown
  • Hildegard E. Enesco


The question under study here is whether the placenta may serve as a model for the study of cell or tissue aging. Since lipofuscin accumulation is generally recognized as an age-related phenomenon, we set out to determine whether lipofuscin could be detected in mouse placenta, and to determine whether its level changed during the development or aging of the placenta. Lipid peroxidation fluorescence products, believed to represent lipofuscin, were extracted from placentas on days 12, 15, 17 and 19 during the 21-day gestation period and measured spectrofluorometrically. The placenta attained its full weight by the fifteenth day. The level of lipid peroxidation products was highest on day 12, lowest on day 15, and then increased gradually to day 19. Measurements of placental malondialdehyde, a lipid peroxidation product, followed a similar pattern. Histological analysis showed that there was a 27% increase in the number of autofluorescent lipofuscin granules between day 15 and 19 of gestation. To interpret these results, we must search for an explanation of why the lipid peroxidation products are at their highest levels in the youngest placentas. The explanation may be due to the fact that mechanisms which protect against lipid peroxidation have not yet developed to their full extent in the youngest placentas examined. At 12 days the mouse placenta is still undergoing rapid growth. The period after 15 days when the placenta has attained its full size is characterized by a gradual increase in lipofuscin level. Since the level of lipid peroxidation changes as the placenta develops, we do not have clear evidence of placental aging based on this criteria alone.


Lipid Peroxidation Histological Analysis Malondialdehyde Full Extent Lipid Peroxidation Product 
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Copyright information

© American Aging Association, Inc. 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anita M. Brown
    • 1
  • Hildegard E. Enesco
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyConcordia UniversityMontreal

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