Increase in perforant path quantal size in aged F-344 rats

T. C. Foster, C. A. Barnes, G. Rao, B. L. McNaughton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

85 Scopus citations

Abstract

The data presented here confirm and extend the evidence for fewer, but stronger, perforant path synaptic connections onto the granule cells of the hippocampus in old F-344 rats. The old animals used in the present report were drawn from a population that showed deficits in the retention of a spatial problem in the Morris water task. Using the method of minimal-stimulation of perforant path afferents, unitary granule cell EPSPs were found to be larger in the 25-month than in the 6- and 9-month age groups. Furthermore, applying statistical methods for quantal analysis, data are presented that suggest that the larger synaptic responses of the old rats come about through an increase in quantal size. These experiments therefore suggest that individual synapses become more powerful in the perforant pathway of old rats, and that this strengthening occurs through an increase in quantal size. The implications of these findings for hippocampal information processing are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-448
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Granule cells
  • Hippocampus
  • Minimal-stimulation
  • Perforant pathway
  • Quantal analysis
  • Spatial memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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