VIP neurons in the human SCN in relation to sex, age, and Alzheimer's disease

Neurobiol Aging. 1995 Jul-Aug;16(4):571-6. doi: 10.1016/0197-4580(95)00043-e.


The brains of 46 control subjects and 21 Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients were studied to determine whether there are age-related or AD-related changes in the vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) neuron population of the human suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The number of VIP expressing neurons in the SCN of females, ranging in age from 10-91 years, did not change during normal aging. In males, however, the number of VIP neurons in the SCN was highest in the young subjects (10-40 years of age), after which, a dramatic decrease occurred in middle-aged subjects. This resulted in an age-dependent sex difference in the VIP cell population of the SCN: young males had twice as many VIP expressing SCN neurons as young females, whereas in the middle-aged groups, the females had twice as many VIP SCN neurons as the males. A significant decrease in the number of VIP expressing neurons in the SCN was found in female presenile AD patients, i.e., those younger than 65 years.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Aging / pathology
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Cell Count
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Sex Factors
  • Suprachiasmatic Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Suprachiasmatic Nucleus / pathology
  • Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide / metabolism*


  • Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide