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Neurobiol Aging. 2016 Sep;45:136-148. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2016.05.014. Epub 2016 May 20.

Age-related changes in the function and structure of the peripheral sensory pathway in mice.

Author information

1
Experimental Neurology Unit and Milan Center for Neuroscience, School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza, Italy.
2
Experimental Neurology Unit and Milan Center for Neuroscience, School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza, Italy. Electronic address: alessia.chiorazzi@unimib.it.
3
Istovet, Besana in Brianza, Italy.
4
IRCCS Foundation "Carlo Besta" Neurological Institute, 3rd Neurology Unit, Milano, Italy.
5
Center for Nanotechnology Innovation @NEST, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Pisa, Italy; NEST, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy.
6
Center for Nanotechnology Innovation @NEST, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Pisa, Italy.

Abstract

This study is aimed at describing the changes occurring in the entire peripheral nervous system sensory pathway along a 2-year observation period in a cohort of C57BL/6 mice. The neurophysiological studies evidenced significant differences in the selected time points corresponding to childhood, young adulthood, adulthood, and aging (i.e., 1, 7, 15, and 25 months of age), with a parabolic course as function of time. The pathological assessment allowed to demonstrate signs of age-related changes since the age of 7 months, with a remarkable increase in both peripheral nerves and dorsal root ganglia at the subsequent time points. These changes were mainly in the myelin sheaths, as also confirmed by the Rotating-Polarization Coherent-Anti-stokes-Raman-scattering microscopy analysis. Evident changes were also present at the morphometric analysis performed on the peripheral nerves, dorsal root ganglia neurons, and skin biopsies. This extensive, multimodal characterization of the peripheral nervous system changes in aging provides the background for future mechanistic studies allowing the selection of the most appropriate time points and readouts according to the investigation aims.

KEYWORDS:

Aging; Mice; Morphometric analysis; Nerve conduction velocity; Peripheral nervous system; RP-CARS

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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