It is known that the hippocampus has vital functions in learning and memory, behavioral regulation, and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, and that the hippocampus contains high levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). In the present study, we followed age-dependent changes of BDNF immunoreactivity and protein level in the gerbil hippocampus to identify the correlation between BDNF and aging. BDNF immunoreactivity and its protein level significantly increased at postnatal month (PM) 12 in the hippocampus and thereafter reduced. At PM 24, BDNF immunoreactivity in the hippocampal CA1 region and dentate gyrus was similar to that in the PM 1 group, whereas BDNF immunoreactivity in the CA2/3 region at PM 24 was higher than that at PM 1. In the PM 24 group, an age-related neuronal loss and the decrease of reference and working memory were observed. In conclusion, our results suggest that observed reduction in BDNF and reference memory may be associated with age-dependent neuronal loss in the hippocampal CA1 region.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Neuroscience