Age-dependent changes in the distribution of microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) were analyzed in young (3-months, N = 3) and old (24-months, N = 3) rat brain. In the young rats, MAP1 and MAP5 exhibited prominent immunostaining in the perikarya and dendrites whereas MAP2 was selectively localized in the dendrites. In the cerebellum, MAP2 was preferentially localized in finer and distal branches of Purkinje cell dendrites and in punctate deposits surrounding glomeruli. In general, aging resulted in obvious declines in MAP2- >> MAP1- and MAP5-immunoreactivities in the hippocampus and parietal cortex but no change in cerebellum. The results indicate that: (1) hippocampus is the most affected and cerebellum is the least affected region with regard to declines in MAPs-immunoreactivities in the aged rat brain; (2) dendrite-specific MAP2 is almost completely depleted from most dendrites in the hippocampus and cortex. In summary, loss of MAP2-immunoreactivity in the affected brain areas may be associated with age-related impairment of synaptic plasticity, cognition and memory functions.