Age-related loss of calcium binding proteins in rabbit hippocampus

G. I. De Jong*, P. A. Naber, E. A. Van Der Zee, L. T. Thompson, J. F. Disterhoft, P. G M Luiten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Using immunocytochemistry hippocampal levels of the calcium binding proteins calbindin 28K (CB) and parvalbumin (PV) was studied in young (1 month) to very old (60 month) Albino rabbits. Young (3 month) and senescent (30 month) Wistar rats were also examined to compare the distrihution and age dependency of PV and CB in both species. The distribution of PV-ir is similar in the rabbit and rat hippocampus. Aging in both species yielded a small loss of PV-ir in axon terminals. The presence of CB-ir interneurons throughout the hippocampus, and the heavy investment of the dentate gyrus (DG) granular cells with CB-ir was also similar in both species. In rabbits, the number of CB-ir interneurons in the CA1, as well as the density of CB-ir in the DG decreased in the first year of life, and did not change between 12-48 months of age. A secondary reduction in the density of CB-ir in the DG was observed at ages beyond 48 months. A similar loss of CB-ir in the DG occurred in the rat. In the CA1, however, the density of CB-ir was similar in young and aged rats. Another remarkable finding was the total absence of CB-ir in CA1 pyramidal neurons of rabbits at any age. Thus, the distribution and age dependency of PV-ir in the hippocampus is similar in both species. The decline of CB-ir in the DG with advancing age is very prominent and may be related to an altered calcium homeostasis in these cells. However, the absence of CB-ir in the CA1 of rabbits makes a causal role for CB in the functional decline of CA1 pyramidal cells during aging unlikely.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-465
Number of pages7
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996


  • aging
  • calbindin 28K
  • hippocampus
  • immunocytochemistry
  • parvalbumin
  • rabbit
  • rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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