Changes in parvalbumin immunoreactivity with aging in the central auditory system of the rat

Exp Gerontol. 2008 Aug;43(8):782-9. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2008.04.001. Epub 2008 Apr 6.


Changes in the levels of calcium binding proteins are known to occur in different parts of the brain during aging. In our study we attempted to define the effect that aging has on the parvalbumin-expressing system of neurons in the higher parts of the central auditory system. Age-related changes in parvalbumin immunoreactivity were investigated in the inferior colliculus (IC), medial geniculate body (MGB) and auditory cortex (AC) in two rat strains, normally aging Long-Evans (LE) and fast aging Fischer 344 (F344). The results demonstrate that the changes in PV-immunoreactivity are strain-dependent with an increase in the number of PV-immunoreactive (PV-ir) neurons occurring in the inferior colliculus of old LE rats and a pronounced decline in the number of PV-ir neurons appearing in the auditory cortex of aged F344 animals. In some parts of the AC of old F344 animals no PV-ir neurons were present at all. The number of PV-ir neurons in the MGB in all examined animals was very low independent of the strain and age. The loss of PV-ir neurons in the auditory cortex of Fischer 344 rats with aging may contribute to the substantial deterioration of hearing function in this strain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / metabolism*
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Geniculate Bodies / metabolism
  • Inferior Colliculi / metabolism
  • Male
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Parvalbumins / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Species Specificity


  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Parvalbumins