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FASEB J. 2003 Jan;17(1):50-2. Epub 2002 Nov 15.

Cognition impairment in the genetic model of aging klotho gene mutant mice: a role of oxidative stress.

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Department of Neuropsychopharmacology and Hospital Pharmacy, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya 466-8560, Japan.


A new gene, termed klotho, is associated with the suppression of several aging phenotypes. Because high expression of klotho gene was detected in the brain, it would be plausible that klotho gene is involved in the regulation of brain aging. We investigated the changes in mnemonic function accompanying aging in klotho mutant mice. Cognitive function measured by novel-object recognition and conditioned-fear tests in klotho mutant mice was normal at the age of 6 wk, but markedly impaired at the age of 7 wk. Lipid (malondialdehyde) and DNA (8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine) peroxide levels in the hippocampus of klotho mutant mice increased at the age of 5 wk, 2 wk before the development of cognition deficits. Pro-death Bax increased, whereas anti-death Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL decreased, and apoptotic TUNEL-positive cells were detected in the hippocampus of klotho mutant mice at the age of 7 wk. A potent antioxidant, a-tocopherol, prevented cognition impairment and lipid peroxide accumulation and decreased the number of apoptotic cells in klotho mutant mice. These results suggest that oxidative stress has a crucial role in the aging-associated cognition impairment in klotho mutant mice. Klotho protein may be involved in the regulation of antioxidative defense.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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