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Zoological Research
Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
ISSN: 2095-8137
Vol. 28, No. 3, 2007, pp. 297-302
Bioline Code: zr07046
Full paper language: Chinese
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Zoological Research, Vol. 28, No. 3, 2007, pp. 297-302

 en Age and Sex-related Dendritic Changes in the Visual Cortex of the Rat
XU, Ye-hua; WANG, Hao; CHEN, Qin & ZHOU, Yi-feng


Visual functions undergo an age-related degradation. However, the neural mechanisms underlying these changes are not yet clear. This study was designed to investigate the influence of age and sex on the anatomy of the rat's visual cortex. Dendritic tree extent and spine density were examined in young adult rats (2-3 months) and aged male and female rats (22-24 months) using a modified Golgi-Cox staining method. A sex difference in dendritic branching of the pyramidal cells was found among young adults. However, this difference disappeared during aging, due to a reduction in branching with age for males but not for females. Moreover, the pyramidal cells of young males also have a greater spine density. Although there was a reduction in spine density with age for both sexes, this reduction was more pronounced for males, resulting in a disappearance of sex difference with age. Thus these results suggest that aging could lead to the degeneration of dendrites, which might contribute to the degradation of age-related visual functions. Also the results indicate that age-related degeneration of dendrites is more severe for males than for females.

Aged Visual cortex Dendrite Sex difference

© Copyright 2007 Kunming Institute of Zoology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences
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