In this study, we examined the differential effects and changes of ceruloplasmin between adult and aged gerbil hippocampus after transient forebrain ischemia. Ceruloplasmin in the hippocampal CA1 region of adult and aged gerbils was significantly changed after ischemia/reperfusion. Whereas, it was not significantly changed in the CA2/3 region compared to the CA1 region after ischemia. Ceruloplasmin immunoreactivity and its protein level in aged gerbil CA1 region were higher than those in adult gerbil CA1 region. Ceruloplasmin in the CA1 region was highest in adult gerbils and aged gerbils at 24 h and 12 h after transient ischemia, respectively. At these time points, strong ceruloplasmin immunoreactivity was observed in CA1 pyramidal cells. Thereafter, ceruloplasmin was decreased with time after ischemia. Four days after ischemia/reperfusion, ceruloplasmin immunoreactivity in both adult and aged gerbils was expressed in astrocytes in the CA1 region. Ceruloplasmin treatment in adult ischemic gerbils showed strong protective effect against ischemic damage in CA1 pyramidal cells compared to that in aged ischemic gerbils. We conclude that ceruloplasmin early increases in the aged gerbil CA1 region compared to that of the adult gerbil CA1 region may be associated with the earlier induction of reactive oxygen species, and ceruloplasmin shows strong neuroprotective effects in adults compared to those in aged gerbils.
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