Biochemical changes of rat brain membranes with aging

Neurochem Res. 1983 Apr;8(4):483-92. doi: 10.1007/BF00965104.


Modification of membrane composition and enzymatic activities both in total brain homogenate and purified synaptic plasma membrane of 3 and 24 month old rats has been investigated. Protein, cholesterol and phospholipid content and (Na+, K+)ATPase and 2',3' cyclic nucleotide phosphohydrolase activities were determined. The major changes occurred in the whole homogenate where a general increase in total protein and cholesterol content with age and a significant increase of the cholesterol/phospholipids molar ratio has been detected. In S.P.M. aging process induced a decrease of protein, cholesterol and phospholipids content associated with an increased membrane viscosity and a decrease of delta E. These data are consistent with a change in the structural organization and in the distribution pattern of different cell population in the aging brain. A possible artifactual effect of freezing on the reported parameter is also discussed.

MeSH terms

  • 2',3'-Cyclic-Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases / metabolism
  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Brain / growth & development*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cholesterol / analysis
  • Male
  • Membrane Fluidity
  • Membrane Lipids / analysis
  • Phospholipids / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / metabolism
  • Synaptic Membranes / metabolism*
  • Synaptic Membranes / ultrastructure
  • Viscosity


  • Membrane Lipids
  • Phospholipids
  • Cholesterol
  • 2',3'-Cyclic-Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase