Prolonged Ca2+-dependent afterhyperpolarizations in hippocampal neurons of aged rats

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Science  30 Nov 1984:
Vol. 226, Issue 4678, pp. 1089-1092
DOI: 10.1126/science.6494926


The possibility that calcium is elevated in brain neurons during aging was examined by quantifying afterhyperpolarizations induced by spike bursts in CAl neurons of hippocampal slices from young and aged rats. The afterhyperpolarizations result from Ca2+-dependent K+ conductance increases and are blocked in medium low in Ca2+ and prolonged in medium high in Ca2+. The afterhyperpolarization and associated conductance increases were considerably prolonged in cells from aged rats, although inhibitory postsynaptic potentials did not differ with age. Since elevated intracellular Ca2+ can exert deleterious effects on neurons, the data suggest that altered Ca2+ homeostasis may play a significant role in normal brain aging.

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