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Abstract #1477

MR studies of aging in the hippocampus of the FBNF1 rat show correlations with behavioral and structural degeneration

Brooks W, Sutherland R, Tomanek B, Dunn J, Driscoll I
University of Kansas Medical Center

We conducted a multi-modality analysis of age-related characteristics in the hippocampus of young, middle-aged, and old FBNF1 rats, examining the relationships between aging, hippocampus, and memory, using a combination of behavioral, non-invasive MR imaging and spectroscopy, and post-mortem neuroanatomical measures. Aging was associated with functional deficits on hippocampus-dependent memory tasks, which were accompanied by structural alterations observed both in vivo (MRI-hippocampal volume) and post-mortem (neuronal density). Neuronal metabolic integrity (MRS-NAA levels) seemed preserved. This pattern of age-related alterations closely resembles previously reported pattern in humans and suggests FBNF1 rats to be a useful model of normal human aging.