Article

Caloric restriction and age affect synaptic proteins in hippocampal CA3 and spatial learning ability.

Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.
Experimental Neurology (Impact Factor: 4.65). 06/2008; 211(1):141-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2008.01.016
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Caloric restriction (CR) is a daily reduction of total caloric intake without a decrease in micronutrients or disproportionate reduction of any one dietary component. CR can increase lifespan reliably in a wide range of species and appears to counteract some aspects of the aging process throughout the body. The effects on the brain are less clear, but moderate CR seems to attenuate age-related cognitive decline. Thus, we determined the effects of age and CR on key synaptic proteins in the CA3 region of the hippocampus and whether these changes were correlated with differences in behavior on a hippocampal-dependent learning and memory task. We observed an overall, age-related decline in the NR1, N2A and N2B subunits of the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA)-type and the GluR1 and GluR2 subunits of the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole proprionic acid (AMPA)-type ionotropic glutamate receptors. Interestingly, we found that CR initially lowers the glutamate receptor subunit levels as compared to young AL animals, and then stabilizes the levels across lifespan. Synaptophysin, a presynaptic vesicle protein, showed a similar pattern. We also found that both CR and ad libitum (AL) fed animals exhibited age-related cognitive decline on the Morris water maze task. However, AL animals declined between young and middle age, and between middle age and old, whereas CR rats only declined between young and middle age. Thus, the decrease in key synaptic proteins in CA3 and cognitive decline occurring across lifespan are stabilized by CR. This age-related decrease and CR-induced stabilization are likely to affect CA3 synaptic plasticity and, as a result, hippocampal function.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
80 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The LOU/C/Jall (LOU) rat strain is considered a model of healthy aging due to its increased longevity, maintenance of stable body weight (BW) throughout life and low incidence of age-related diseases. However, aging LOU rat cognitive and anxiety status has yet to be investigated. In the present study, male and female LOU rat cognitive performances (6-42 months) were assessed using novel object recognition and Morris Water Maze tasks. Recognition memory remained intact in all LOU rats up to 42 months of age. As for spatial memory, old LOU rat performed similarly as young animals for learning acquisition, reversal learning and retention. While LOU rat BW remained stable despite aging, 20-month-old ad-libitum-fed (OAL) male Sprague Dawley rats become obese. We determined if long-term caloric restriction (LTCR) prevents age-related BW increase and cognitive deficits in this rat strain, as observed in the obesity-resistant LOU rats. Compared to young animals, recognition memory was impaired in OAL but intact in 20-month-old calorie-restricted (OCR) rats. Similarly, OAL spatial learning acquisition was impaired but LTCR prevented the deficits. Exacerbated stress responses may favor age-related cognitive decline. In the elevated plus maze and open field tasks, LOU and OCR rats exhibited high levels of exploratory activity whereas OAL rats displayed anxious behaviors. Expression of prodynorphin (Pdyn), an endogenous peptide involved in stress-related memory impairments, was increased in the hippocampus of OAL rats. Group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 and immediate early genes Homer 1a and Arc expression, both associated with successful cognitive aging, were unaltered in aging LOU rats but lower in OAL than OCR rats. Altogether, our results, supported by principal component analysis and correlation matrix, suggest that intact memory and low anxiety are associated with glutamatergic signaling and low Pdyn expression in the hippocampus of non obese aging rats.
    Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 04/2014; 6(81). · 5.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Maintaining cholesterol homeostasis in the brain is vital for its proper functioning. While it is well documented that dietary restriction modulates the metabolism of cholesterol peripherally, little is known as to how it can affect cholesterol metabolism in the brain. The present study was designed to elucidate the impact of long-term dietary restriction on brain cholesterol metabolism. Three-month-old male Wistar rats were exposed to long-term dietary restriction until 12 and 24 months of age. The concentrations of cholesterol, its precursors and metabolites, and food-derived phytosterols were measured in the serum, cortex, and hippocampus by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Relative changes in the levels of proteins involved in cholesterol synthesis, transport, and degradation were determined by Western blot analysis. Reduced food intake influenced the expression patterns of proteins implicated in cholesterol metabolism in the brain in a region-specific manner. Dietary restriction decreased the concentrations of cholesterol precursors, lanosterol in the cortex, and lanosterol and lathosterol in the hippocampus at 12 months, while the level of desmosterol was elevated in the hippocampus at 24 months. The concentrations of cholesterol and 24(S)-hydroxycholesterol remained unaffected. Food-derived phytosterols were significantly lower after dietary restriction in both the cortex and hippocampus at 12 and 24 months. These findings provide new insight into the effects of dietary restriction on cholesterol metabolism in the brain, lending further support to its neuroprotective effect.
    Age 04/2014; · 6.28 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Defect of autophagy is common to many neurodegenerative disorders because it serves as a major degradation pathway for the clearance of various aggregate-prone proteins. Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling, which is recognized as the most important negative regulator of autophagy, is also involved in neurodegenerative diseases. However, the role of mTOR and its dependent autophagy in normal brain during aging remains unknown. Furthermore, caloric restriction (CR) is frequently used as a tool to study mechanisms behind aging and age-associated diseases because CR can prevent age-related diseases and prolong lifespan in several model organisms. Inhibiting mTOR and promoting autophagy activity play roles in aging delayed by CR. However, whether CR can ameliorate age-related cognition deficits by inhibiting mTOR and activate autophagy in hippocampus needs to be further investigated. Here we showed a decline of autophagic degradation in mice hippocampus in correlation with age-dependent cognitive dysfunction, whereas the activity of mTOR and its upstream brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)/phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt) signaling was decreased with aging. In addition, facilitating the mTOR pathway successfully declines and sustains autophagic degradation with aging in hippocampus by CR treatment and is involved in CR by ameliorating age-related cognitive deficits.
    Behavioural brain research 02/2014; · 3.22 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

View
21 Downloads
Available from
May 20, 2014