Key words Aging
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The ultrastructural features of microvessels showing increased permeability to intravenously injected horseradish peroxidase (HRP) were examined in the olfactory bulbs of senescence-accelerated prone mice (SAMP8), which showed age-related deficits in learning and memory, and senescence-accelerated resistant mice (SAMR1), which did not show the age-related deficits. HRP was visualized with tetramethyl benzidine (TMB) and diaminobenzidine (DAB) for light and electron microscopic examination, respectively. In the olfactory bulbs of 13-month-old SAMP8 mice, the staining reaction with TMB for HRP appeared in the neuropil of central area (granule cell layer and subependymal layer), in the pia mater and in the vascular wall. Some vessels located in the central area showed several changes observed at the ultrastructural level. The cytoplasm of the endothelial cells, especially in the arterioles, was segmentally thickened and contained numerous vesicles and vacuoles, some of which were HRP positive. The endothelial cell surface was occasionally undulated with microvillous protrusions. Membranous inclusions within the basal lamina, suggesting the cellular (presumably pericytal) degeneration, were frequently observed, especially in venules. The collagen deposits were occasionally observed in the subendothelial space of some vessels. Perivascular cells with vacuolated inclusions or lipid-like droplets were present around some vessels in the central area of the olfactory bulbs of aged SAMP8 mice. On the other hand, in the microvessels located in the areas negative for HRP-TMB reaction, except the vessel walls, the cytoplasm of the endothelial cells with smooth luminal surface was flattened and some vesicles located there contained HRP-DAB reaction product. Weak staining reaction with TMB for HRP appeared also in the central area of the olfactory bulbs of 3-month-old SAMP8 mice and 3- and 13-month-old SAMR1 mice. The cytoplasm of the endothelial cells in the olfactory bulbs of these mice was focally thickened and contained some cytoplasmic vesicles. Occasionally, the endothelial cell surface was moderately undulated with few microvillous protrusions. Membranous inclusions within the basal lamina were not observed in these animals. These findings indicate that the endothelial cells and pericytes in some vessels located in the central area of the olfactory bulb of aged SAMP8 mice, which show staining reaction with TMB for HRP, are ultrastructurally changed, suggesting their altered functions.
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