Mar 1, 1997

Light microscopic quantification of morphological changes during aging in neurons and glia of the rat parietal cortex

The Anatomical Record
M A PeinadoJ M Peinado


Different changes in neuronal and glial population of the aging brain have been described; however, the degree and extent of these changes are controversial. This study evaluates the quantitative and cytomorphometric effects of aging on neuronal and glial populations in the parietal cortex of the rat. The study was performed in two groups of rats aged 4-6 and 30-32 months. Cortical volume, neuronal density, glial density, and neuronal area, and shapes of the soma and nucleus were analyzed in cortical layers I, II-IV, V, and VI using serial sections stained with cresyl-fast-violet, and quantitative morphometric techniques. No changes with age were found in volume of the cortex or neuronal density. Glial density increased significantly (mean for all layers 17%) in older rats. Layers II-IV, V, and VI showed an age-related decrease in the area of the neuronal soma. Neuronal shape, as revealed by the major/minor diameter ratio, also showed a decrease in old rats but only in layer II-IV. Nuclear area decreased with age only in layer VI. The stability of neuronal density together with the increased number of glial cells and the changes in neuronal soma size suggest that aged-related cognitive impairment could be a consequence of neuro...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Cortex Bone Disorders
Adrenal Cortex Diseases
Nerve Degeneration
Multiform Layer of Cerebral Cortex
Internal Granular Layer
Thiel-Behnke Corneal Dystrophy

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