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Mech Ageing Dev. 1984 Apr-May;25(1-2):215-25.

Age-dependent alterations in synaptic membrane systems for Ca2+ regulation.


The effects of aging on two neuronal plasma membrane Ca2+ regulating systems have been examined using synaptic membranes isolated from the brains of adult (5-7-month-old) and aged (23-25-month-old) Fisher 344 rats. The kinetic characteristics of the Na+-dependent Ca2+ transport system were found to be altered in the aged animals. The affinity of the transport carrier for Ca2+ was decreased in membranes from aged animals, with very little change in the maximal transport capacity of the system. The activity of the synaptic membrane Ca2+-activated, Mg2+-dependent ATPase was also altered in membranes from aged animals. In this system, however, the Vmax for Ca2+ activation of the enzymatic activity was lower in the aged animals, while there was no change in the K0.5 for Ca2+ activation. The magnitude of the alterations was small, but the differences were consistent. Even small changes in the effectiveness of the synaptic plasma membrane systems which participate in the maintenance of low intraterminal Ca2+ could progressively affect the integrity of synaptic transmission and lead eventually to neuronal cell death.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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