Age-induced changes in single locus coeruleus brain transplants grown in oculo: An in vivo electrochemical study

Greg A. Gerhardt, Michael R. Palmer, Ann Charlotte Granholm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Brain stem tissue from fetal Sprague-Dawley rats containing the nucleus locus coeruleus (LC) was transplanted into the anterior chamber of the eye of young adult host rats and was studied at 4-6 months (young control) or 24-28 months after grafting (old). High-speed in vivo electrochemical measurements were used to characterize the potassium-evoked synaptic overflow of norepinephrine (NE) in both young and aged LC brain grafts. The amplitudes of potassium-evoked NE overflow were attenuated in the aged grafts as compared to the young LC grafts. In addition, the rise times of potassium-evoked responses were longer in the old LC grafts than in the young transplants. In contrast, the NE content of aged LC grafts, as determined by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrochemical detection (HPLC-EC), was only slightly diminished and not significantly different from the NE levels seen in young LC grafts. However, light microscopical evaluation using tyrosine-hydroxylase immunocytochemistry revealed pyknotic cell bodies and fluorescent accumulations in aged locus coeruleus transplants which were indicative of degeneration in these grafts. The present data demonstrate a significant age-related decline in the presynaptic function of NE-containing neurons in intraocular locus coeruleus transplants of Sprague-Dawley rats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-494
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1991

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thankM rs. LudmilaM ackedovafo r excellent technicaal ssistancwei th the transplantationTsh. is work was supported by the SwedishM edical ResearCcho uncil,G rantN o. 8650,L ars Hierta Foundatioann dU SPHS GrantsA G-04418, AG06434 aAnGd0 0441.


  • Brain stem
  • High-speed chronoamperometry
  • Intraocular transplants
  • Norepinephrine
  • Senescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Aging
  • General Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


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