Send to

Choose Destination
Neurobiol Aging. 2005 May;26(5):717-28.

Downregulation of IL-4-induced signalling in hippocampus contributes to deficits in LTP in the aged rat.

Author information

Trinity College Institute for Neuroscience, Physiology Department, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland.


Ageing is characterized by deficits in learning and memory and by a deficit in long-term potentiation (LTP) in hippocampus. Several age-related changes, including dysfunction of calcium homeostatic mechanisms and upregulation of inflammatory processes are likely to contribute to these deficits. Here we exploited the fact that aged rats fall into a subgroup which fail to sustain LTP in perforant path granule cell synapses as a result of tetanic stimulation, and a subgroup which sustains LTP in a manner indistinguishable from young rats, in an effort to identify differential changes in the two subgroups. The age-related increase in IL-1beta concentration and IL-1beta-induced signalling was more profound in aged rats which failed to sustain LTP. We demonstrate that functional IL-4 receptors are expressed in rat hippocampus and that age is associated with a decrease in IL-4 concentration accompanied by a decrease in phosphorylation of JAK-1 and STAT-6. We propose that the imbalance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines in the aged brain significantly contributes to age-related deficits in synaptic function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center