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Neurobiol Aging. 1982 Spring;3(1):23-9.

Changes in monoamines and their metabolite levels in some brain regions of aged rats.


The concentrations of dopamine (DA) norepinephrine (NE), serotonin (5HT) and their metabolites, HVA, DOPAC, MHPG-SO4 and 5HIAA were measured in several brain areas of rats aged 4, 18 and 29 months. Dopamine and its metabolites showed a decline, statistically correlated with age, in all the dopaminergic areas considered, indicating that this system is profoundly affected in the senescent rat. The changes in the noradrenergic system were more complex. This neurotransmitter was reduced in spinal cord and in limbic area, but was not modified in hippocampus, cerebellum, striatum and s. nigra. In cortex, MHPG-SO4, the main NE metabolite, showed a significantly age-related increase. Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) activity was low in striatum, and brainstem but not in hypothalamus of aged rats. Neither 5HT nor its metabolites was affected by age. The results indicate that central catecholaminergic systems are markedly affected in senescent rats.

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