AGING OF VASOPRESSINERGIC SYSTEMS IN DOWN SYNDROME: STUDY IN TS65DN MOUSE, A MURINE MODEL FOR DS Gotti S, Bassi L, Panzica GC Department of Anatomy, Pharmacology and Forensic Medicine, Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology, University of Torino, Corso M. D'Azeglio 52, 10126 Torino There is no agreement as to the age-related changes in vasopressin (VP) levels in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN). Most of the studies reported the absence of any neuronal loss in the PVN during normal aging in rodents and humans. Others investigators have documented a decrease in the VP-neurons number during aging with an increase in the size of VP-cells in the PVN. In neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’ disease (AD) and Down syndrome there is a severe cholinergic deficit but there is the same disagreement regarding the VP: several works found no significant loss of function of PVN neurons in AD and few studies reporting cell loss in PVN of AD patients and person with Down syndrome. The Ts65Dn mouse, bearing a partial triplication of chromosome 16, is the most common murine model for Down Syndrome (DS). In this work we have investigated age-related changes in VP immunoreactivity in the PVN of Ts65Dn mice and relative control mice of 3 and 18 months. Mice were perfused with 4% paraformaldehyde. Cryostatic sections were stained for vasopressin immunohistochemistry. Trisomic mice showed no differences of VP immunoreactivity in PVN at 3 months of age but a significant (p<0,01) decrease in 18 moths compared to wild type mice. More over, in 18 months trisomic mice we have observed an increase in the size of VP cells. These data demonstrate that the vasopressin system of the PVN, involved in the control of autonomic functions, is affected in Ts65Dn aged mice: the number of cells is reduced but the remaining cells became bigger than wild type. These alterations shown a possible alteration of the vasopressin system in trisomic mice and is in agreement with the alterations observed in DS patients and in AD patients. Supported by local grants from the University of Torino .
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