Morphological Changes in the Hypothalamus and Other Brain Areas Influencing Endocrine Function during Aging
Morphological alterations or nerve cell loss in neuroendocrine regulatory areas represent a convenient explanation for the demise of neuroendocrine function which accompanies aging. Biochemical evidence and lesion experiments support the idea that morphological changes in the brain may be responsible for the age-related changes in estrous cycles and hormone secretory patterns. In addition, the feedback of target organ hormones has been proposed to accelerate neuronal degeneration in neuroendocrine regulatory areas. However, while several lines of evidence are suggestive of the occurrence of morphological changes in neuroendocrine regulatory areas with aging, little neuroanatomical data is presently available to support the existence of such changes. The purpose of this chapter is to review the available evidence for morphological changes in brain areas influencing endocrine function.
KeywordsCell Loss Locus Coeruleus Estrous Cycle Arcuate Nucleus Preoptic Area
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