Biological rhythms, and especially the sleep/wake cycle, are frequently disrupted during senescence. This draws attention to the study of aging-related changes in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the master circadian pacemaker. The authors here compared the SCN of young and old mice, analyzing presynaptic terminals, including the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic network, and molecules related to the regulation of GABA, the main neurotransmitter of SCN neurons. Transcripts of the alpha3 subunit of the GABAA receptor and the GABA-synthesizing enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase isoform 67 (GAD67) were analyzed with real-time RT-PCR and GAD67 protein with Western blotting. These parameters did not show significant changes between the 2 age groups. Presynaptic terminals were identified in confocal microscopy with synaptophysin immunofluorescence, and the GABAergic subset of those terminals was revealed by the colocalization of GAD67 and synaptophysin. Quantitative analysis of labeled synaptic endings performed in 2 SCN subregions, where retinal afferents are known to be, respectively, very dense or very sparse, revealed marked aging-related changes. In both subregions, the evaluated parameters (the number of and the area covered by presynaptic terminals and by their GABAergic subset) were significantly decreased in old versus young mice. No significant differences were found between SCN tissue samples from animals sacrificed at different times of day, in either age group. Altogether, the data point out marked reduction in the synaptic network of the aging biological clock, which also affects GABAergic terminals. Such alterations could underlie aging-related SCN dysfunction, including low-amplitude output during senescence.

Decline of the presynaptic network, including GABAergic terminals, in the aging suprachiasmatic nucleus of the mouse.

PALOMBA, Maria;BERTINI, Giuseppe;BENTIVOGLIO FALES, Marina
2008-01-01

Abstract

Biological rhythms, and especially the sleep/wake cycle, are frequently disrupted during senescence. This draws attention to the study of aging-related changes in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the master circadian pacemaker. The authors here compared the SCN of young and old mice, analyzing presynaptic terminals, including the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic network, and molecules related to the regulation of GABA, the main neurotransmitter of SCN neurons. Transcripts of the alpha3 subunit of the GABAA receptor and the GABA-synthesizing enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase isoform 67 (GAD67) were analyzed with real-time RT-PCR and GAD67 protein with Western blotting. These parameters did not show significant changes between the 2 age groups. Presynaptic terminals were identified in confocal microscopy with synaptophysin immunofluorescence, and the GABAergic subset of those terminals was revealed by the colocalization of GAD67 and synaptophysin. Quantitative analysis of labeled synaptic endings performed in 2 SCN subregions, where retinal afferents are known to be, respectively, very dense or very sparse, revealed marked aging-related changes. In both subregions, the evaluated parameters (the number of and the area covered by presynaptic terminals and by their GABAergic subset) were significantly decreased in old versus young mice. No significant differences were found between SCN tissue samples from animals sacrificed at different times of day, in either age group. Altogether, the data point out marked reduction in the synaptic network of the aging biological clock, which also affects GABAergic terminals. Such alterations could underlie aging-related SCN dysfunction, including low-amplitude output during senescence.
senescence; biological rhythms; GABA; axon terminals; synaptophysin
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/325800
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