Age-related changes of NGF, BDNF, parvalbumin and neuronal nitric oxide synthase immunoreactivity in the mouse hippocampal CA1 sector

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Abstract

We investigated the age-related alterations in nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), parvalbumin and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) immunoreactivity of the mouse hippocampal CA1 sector. NGF and BDNF immunoreactivity was unchanged in the hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons from 2 to 50–59 weeks of birth. In contrast, a significant increase in the NGF and BDNF immunoreactivity was observed in glial cells of the hippocampal CA1 sector from 40–42 to 50–59 weeks of birth. On the other hand, the number of parvalbumin- and nNOS-positive interneurons was unchanged in the hippocampal CA1 sector during aging processes, except for a significant decrease of nNOS-positive interneurons 2 weeks of birth. Our results indicate that NGF and BDNF immunoreactivity was unaltered in the hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons during aging processes. In contrast, a significant increase in the NGF and BDNF immunoreactivity was observed in glial cells of the hippocampal CA1 sector during aging processes. The present study also shows that the number of parvalbumin- and nNOS-positive interneurons was unchanged in the hippocampal CA1 sector during aging processes, except for a significant decrease of nNOS-positive interneurons 2 weeks of birth. These results demonstrate that the expression of glial NGF and BDNF may play a key role for helping survival and maintenance of pyramidal neurons and neuronal functions in the hippocampal CA1 sector during aging processes. Furthermore, our findings suggest that parvalbumin- and nNOS-positive interneurons in the hippocampal CA1 sector are resistant to aging processes. Moreover, our findings suggest that nitric oxide synthesized by the nNOS may play some role for neuronal growth during postnatal development.

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