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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2011 Jun;66(6):607-19. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glr024. Epub 2011 Mar 31.

The effects of aging and genotype on NMDA receptor expression in growth hormone receptor knockout (GHRKO) mice.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, 105 Magruder Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.


Caloric restriction enhances N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor binding and upregulates messenger RNA expression of the GluN1 subunit during aging. Old growth hormone receptor knockout mice resemble old calorically restricted rodents in enhanced life span and brain function, as compared with aged controls. This study examined whether aged growth hormone receptor knockout mice also show enhanced expression of NMDA receptors. Six or 23- to 24-month-old male normal-sized control or dwarf growth hormone receptor knockout mice were assayed for NMDA-displaceable [(3)H]glutamate binding (autoradiography) and GluN1 subunit messenger RNA (in situ hybridization). There was slight sparing of NMDA receptor binding densities within aged medial prefrontal and motor cortices, similar to caloric restriction, but there were greater age-related declines in GluN1 messenger RNA in growth hormone receptor knockout versus control mice. These results suggest that some of the functional improvements in aged mice with altered growth hormone signaling may be due to enhancement of NMDA receptors, but not through the upregulation of messenger RNA for the GluN1 subunit.

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