TABLE 12.1

Capillary Changes in the CNS with Age

SpeciesRegion(s)ChangeAges ExaminedRef.
Report Aging-Related Decrease in Capillary Density
Rat (Wistar; F)Fr, Occ↓a8 vs. 27 mos[30]
Human (F, M)Precentral gyrus↓ (17%)74–94 years[35]a
Human (F, M)Hipp↓ (16%)Avg 38 vs. avg 74 years[26]
Rat (Wag/RIj x BN, F)Fr↑ followed by ↓3 vs. 19 vs. 29 mos[36]
Rat (Crl: CD(SD)BR, M)Olfactory bulb↓ (15%)3–36 mos (27–36)[37]
Rat (SD, M)MTB↓ (30%)3–33 mos (3/6–27/33)[38]
Human (F, M)Calcarine cortex↓ (16%)Avg 38 vs. avg 74 years[39]
Human (F, M)Fr, Temp↓ (Fr only)26–96 years (correlation analysis)[34]
Rat (Long Evans, M)Multiple↓ (10–30%)8–10 vs. 28–33 mos[40]
Rat (F344, M)CA1, Par18 vs. 28 mos[41, 42]
Human (F, M)V1↓ (16%)Avg 31 vs. avg 79 years[43]
Human (F, M)Hypothalamus↓ (16%)30–76 years (correlation analysis)[44]
Rat (Wistar, M)Hipp, Fr, Occ12 vs. 27 mos[31]
Rat (Wistar, M)Hipp, Fr, Occ, Cb12 vs. 24 mos[32]
Report No Aging-Related Decrease in Capillary Density
Rat (SD, ns)Occ↑ (19%)6 vs. 30 mos[45]
Human (F, M)PCG↑ (17%)19–74 years[35]b
Human (ns)Fr, Occ, PCG, PsCG, TempNo change19–94 years[33]
Rat (Wistar, F)OccNo change3, 12, and 24 mos[25]
HumanCerebral Cortex[46]
Rat (SD, F)ParNo Change12 vs. 36 mos[47]
Rat (Wistar, M)Frc3 vs. 20 mos[29]

Approximately 20% decrease, no statistics reported.


Authors emphasize age-related increase in capillary density but data also reveal later decrease in density.


Apparent increase restricted to superficial region of cortex.

Abbreviations: Cb: cerebellum; F: female; Fr: frontal cortex; Hipp: hippocampus; M: male; MTB: medial nucleus of the trapezoid body; NS: sex not specified; Occ: occipital cortex; Par: parietal cortex; PCG: precentral gyrus; PsCG: postcentral gyrus; Temp: temporal cortex; V1: primary visual cortex.

From: Chapter 12, Regulation of Cerebrovascular Aging

Cover of Brain Aging
Brain Aging: Models, Methods, and Mechanisms.
Riddle DR, editor.
Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2007.
Copyright © 2007, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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