Stereological analysis of astrocyte and microglia in aging mouse hippocampus

Neurobiol Aging. 1998 Sep-Oct;19(5):497-503. doi: 10.1016/s0197-4580(98)00088-8.


Recent evidence suggests neuroglia-mediated inflammatory mechanisms may stimulate neurodegenerative processes in mammalian brain during aging. To test the hypothesis that the number of microglia and astrocytes increase in the hippocampus during normal aging, unbiased stereological techniques were used to estimate total cell number in hippocampal subregions (CA1, dentate gyrus and hilus) of male C57BL/6J mice of different ages: 4-5 months, 13-14 months and 27-28 months. Immunocytochemical visualization for microglia and astrocytes were via Mac-1 and GFAP antibody, respectively. Estimates of total microglia and astrocyte number were assessed using the optical fractionator. No statistically significant age differences were found in the numbers of microglia or astrocytes in the hippocampal regions sampled. These findings suggest that age-related increases in the total numbers of hippocampal microglia and astrocytes is not causal for observed age-related increases in cytokine response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / cytology*
  • Cell Count
  • Dentate Gyrus / cytology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microglia / cytology*
  • Regression Analysis