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Sustained hippocampal neurogenesis in females is amplified in P66(Shc-/-) mice: An animal model of healthy aging


Berry, Alessandra; Amrein, Irmgard; Nötzli, Sarah; Lazic, Stan E; Bellisario, Veronica; Giorgio, Marco; Pelicci, Pier Giuseppe; Alleva, Enrico; Lipp, Hans-Peter; Cirulli, Francesca (2012). Sustained hippocampal neurogenesis in females is amplified in P66(Shc-/-) mice: An animal model of healthy aging. Hippocampus, 22(12):2249-2259.

Abstract

Aging is accompanied by poor learning and memory abilities and by decreased hippocampal neurogenesis, a process that is also modulated by oxidative stress (OS). P66(Shc) has recently emerged as a novel mammalian gerontogene able to affect healthspan during aging. Deletion of this gene in mice leads to reduced OS accompanied by decreased incidence of age-related pathologies and reduced signs of behavioral aging. We hypothesized that p66(Shc-/-) mutants might show increased neurogenesis in the hippocampus, a brain region involved in learning and memory processes. To this aim, granule cell number, proliferation, neuronal differentiation, and cell death were assessed in the hippocampus in senescent p66(Shc-/-) [knock out (KO)] and p66(Shc+/+) [wild type (WT)] male and female mice. Spatial learning abilities and spontaneous activity were also investigated in a multifunctional behavioral system-IntelliCages. The behavioral analysis revealed that females in general perform better in spatial learning tasks, with genotype effects being apparent in the activity pattern only. Likewise, all females showed increased neuronal differentiation, whereas increased proliferation was found only in those belonging to the p66(Shc-/-) genotype, indicating that they might be protected from precursor cell loss. The number of dying cells was not affected by genotype or sex; however, all KO mice showed less granule cells than WT. Overall, our data suggest that hippocampal function is protected in the female gender at older age, an effect amplified by reduced OS in the p66(Shc-/-) mutant.

Aging is accompanied by poor learning and memory abilities and by decreased hippocampal neurogenesis, a process that is also modulated by oxidative stress (OS). P66(Shc) has recently emerged as a novel mammalian gerontogene able to affect healthspan during aging. Deletion of this gene in mice leads to reduced OS accompanied by decreased incidence of age-related pathologies and reduced signs of behavioral aging. We hypothesized that p66(Shc-/-) mutants might show increased neurogenesis in the hippocampus, a brain region involved in learning and memory processes. To this aim, granule cell number, proliferation, neuronal differentiation, and cell death were assessed in the hippocampus in senescent p66(Shc-/-) [knock out (KO)] and p66(Shc+/+) [wild type (WT)] male and female mice. Spatial learning abilities and spontaneous activity were also investigated in a multifunctional behavioral system-IntelliCages. The behavioral analysis revealed that females in general perform better in spatial learning tasks, with genotype effects being apparent in the activity pattern only. Likewise, all females showed increased neuronal differentiation, whereas increased proliferation was found only in those belonging to the p66(Shc-/-) genotype, indicating that they might be protected from precursor cell loss. The number of dying cells was not affected by genotype or sex; however, all KO mice showed less granule cells than WT. Overall, our data suggest that hippocampal function is protected in the female gender at older age, an effect amplified by reduced OS in the p66(Shc-/-) mutant.

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6 citations in Web of Science®
6 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Anatomy
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:December 2012
Deposited On:19 Feb 2013 13:48
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:24
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1050-9631
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/hipo.22042
Official URL:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hipo.22042/pdf
PubMed ID:22707391

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