Age-related changes in striatal function of freely-moving F344 rats

John A. Stanford, Greg A. Gerhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Multi-wire electrode arrays were used to record extracellular electrophysiological activity in striatal medium spiny-like neurons of freely-moving young (6-8 months) and aged (24-26 months) Fischer 344 rats. While overall basal firing rates did not differ between the two groups, d-amphetamine (5.0 mg/kg) increased firing rates more in the young rats. D-Amphetamine had heterogeneous effects on firing rates, however, exciting 63% of the neurons while inhibiting 37%. Neurons were classified according to their response to d-amphetamine (excited vs. inhibited) to examine age-related differences in firing rates and bursting activity. In the d-amphetamine-excited neurons, pre-drug intraburst firing rates were higher in the old rats. This effect was reversed by d-amphetamine. D-Amphetamine increased the percentage of spikes within bursts to a greater extent in the aged animals and decreased burst durations greater in the young group. In d-amphetamine-inhibited neurons, firing rates were diminished in the old rats more than they were in the young rats. These results demonstrate age-related alterations in striatal electrophysiological activity that may help explain motor deficits seen in senescence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-669
Number of pages11
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Aging
  • Basal ganglia
  • Bursting
  • Dopamine
  • Electrophysiology
  • Freely-moving
  • Multiunit
  • Striatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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