Some of the best biomarkers of age-related cognitive decline are closely linked to synaptic function and plasticity. This review highlights several age-related synaptic alterations as they relate to Ca2+ dyshomeostasis, through elevation of intracellular Ca2+, and neuroinflammation, through production of pro-inflammatory cytokines including interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). Though distinct in many ways, Ca2+ and neuroinflammatory signaling mechanisms exhibit extensive cross-talk and bidirectional interactions. For instance, cytokine production in glial cells is strongly dependent on the Ca2+ dependent protein phosphatase calcineurin, which shows elevated activity in animal models of aging and disease. In turn, pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF, can augment the expression/activity of L-type voltage sensitive Ca2+ channels in neurons, leading to Ca2+ dysregulation, hyperactive calcineurin activity, and synaptic depression. Thus, in addition to discussing unique contributions of Ca2+ dyshomeostasis and neuroinflammation, this review emphasizes how these processes interact to hasten age-related synaptic changes.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Ageing Research Reviews|
|State||Published - Sep 2013|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Work supported by NIH grants AG02729 (CMN), AG000242 (DMS), and an award from the Kentucky Spinal Cord and Head Injury Research Trust (CMN) .
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology