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Neuroreport. 2000 Nov 27;11(17):3725-9.

Neuronal ageing in long-term cultures: alterations of Ca2+ homeostasis.

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Department of Physiology, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, UK.


Deficiencies of Ca2+ homeostasis are proposed to play an important role in neuronal ageing and/or neurodegeneration. The aim of this study was to investigate, in a defined neuronal population, primary cerebellar granule neuron culture, the time-dependent changes in Ca2+ homeostasis and compare them with data obtained in cerebellar brain slices from aged rats. In neurons aged in culture (DIV 23), a small decrease in the resting [Ca2+]i was associated with a decrease in the maximal rate of [Ca2+]i increase upon KCl-induced depolarization and in the amplitude of the [Ca2+]i response, when compared with mature neurons (DIV 9). The most significant change of [Ca2+]i signal parameters was a 50% decrease in the rate of [Ca2+]i recovery after the stimulation. These results were similar to those obtained in aged brain slices, and indicate that primary neuronal cultures could serve as a model for studying the age-related changes in Ca2+ homeostasis.

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