Brain Lipopigment Accumulation in Normal and Pathological Aging

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A principal marker of brain vulnerability, stress, aging, and related pathology is represented by lipopigments (LPs)—lipofuscin, and ceroid. During ontogenesis, neuronal LP accumulations are significantly correlated with important changes in nerve cell morphology and biochemistry. In the aged neurons, LPs are present in all cellular compartments. Moreover, neuronal LP accumulations coexist with glial LP storage, especially in microglia. Owing to their transporting properties, and the migration capacity of microglia, glial cells deposit LP clusters in pericapillary areas. Thus, LP conglomerates appear in the whole nervous tissue, creating specific patterns of LP architectonics. Direct interrelations, critical LP concentrations, which generate cascades of negative subcellular events, and indirect impairment correlations determine characteristic neuropathologic aging profiles. These specific and associated negative neuropathologic consequences of LP accumulation have multiple and detrimental impacts on neuron and glia homeostasis, ranging from neuronal function to central nervous system physiology.

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