Hippocampal aging in rats: A morphometric study of multiple variables in semithin sections

P. W. Landfield, L. D. Braun, T. A. Pitler, J. D. Lindsey, G. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Quantitative analyses of pyramidal cells, astrocytes, dark glia (microglia and dark oligodendrocytes), lipofuscin accumulation and astrocyte reactivity were carried out in semithin sections from field CA3 of the hippocampus of rats in 3 age groups (4-7 mo., 13-15 mo., 25-28 mo.). A decrease in neuronal density (∼25%) and an increase in dark glia were found in the oldest group. The astrocyte population was stable with age. Lipofuscin increased by 13-15 mo. and increased further by 25-28 mo. Qualitative examples of several kinds of glial reactivity are also described. Our observations indicate that hippocampal changes in aging rats exhibit some similarities to brain changes reported in other mammalian species, and also illustrate the value of semithin sections for examining multiple neuromorphologic correlates of brain aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-275
Number of pages11
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1981


  • Aging
  • Glial reactivity
  • Hippocampus
  • Neuronal density
  • Rats
  • Semithin sections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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