The 5-lipoxygenase enzymatic pathway in the mouse brain: young versus old

Neurobiol Aging. 2007 Sep;28(9):1457-62. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2006.06.007. Epub 2006 Aug 22.


The 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) pathway of arachidonic acid metabolism is an important source of inflammatory mediators, and is also present in the central nervous system. In this study, we assayed the expression levels and activity of 5-LO in different brain regions of young versus old C57Bl/6 mice. 5-LO mRNA was expressed in all the brain regions considered, i.e. cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum. The highest expression level was observed in cerebellum compared with cortex and hippocampus, although it was not affected by aging. By contrast, 5-LO mRNA and protein levels were significantly increased in the hippocampus of old (25 months) versus young (3 months) mice. Finally, levels of the leukotriene B4, a metabolic product of 5-LO, were significantly increased in the hippocampus of old mice, but no difference was observed in cortex and cerebellum. These results demonstrate that the 5-LO enzymatic pathway is widely expressed in the mouse CNS, where significant changes are region-specific and age-dependent. This observation supports the hypothesis that 5-LO may be involved in diseases of the brain associated with aging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Arachidonate 5-Lipoxygenase / metabolism*
  • Brain / enzymology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Arachidonate 5-Lipoxygenase