Morphology of the inferior colliculus in C57BL/6J and CBA/J mice across the life span

Neurobiol Aging. Mar-Apr 1994;15(2):175-83. doi: 10.1016/0197-4580(94)90109-0.


Basic anatomical features were evaluated in the inferior colliculus (IC) of C57BL/6J and CBA/J mice across the adult life span (1.5 to 30 months of age). C57BL/6J mice exhibit progressive age-related cochlear pathology and become severely hearing-impaired during the second year of life; CBA/J mice exhibit little hearing loss as they age. Age had little effect on the size of the IC, the size of IC neurons, or the packing density of IC neurons and there was no evidence of age-related neuron loss. However, old CBA/J mice developed numerous spongiform lesions throughout the brainstem. The absence of morphological changes in the IC of hearing-impaired C57BL/6J mice supports the hypothesis that features such as the size of neurons, survival of neurons, and volume of the neuropil are not affected by chronic sensorineural pathology in central auditory nuclei (e.g., as the IC) that do not receive direct input from primary afferent fibers. The data from both strains taken together indicate that certain basic anatomical properties of the mouse IC persist in the face of aging.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Auditory Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Auditory Pathways / ultrastructure
  • Cell Size / physiology
  • Cochlea / anatomy & histology
  • Inferior Colliculi / anatomy & histology*
  • Inferior Colliculi / ultrastructure
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Species Specificity