Cellular and Molecular Biology

Size and degeneration increase in herring bodies during aging in hamsters

A. Navarro, J. Tolivia and M. Alvarez-Uría

Department of Morphology and Cell Biology, Faculty of Biology and Medicine, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain

Offprint requests to: Dr. Ana Navarro, Departamento de Morfología y Biología Celular, Facultad de Biología y Medicina, Universidad de Oviedo, Julián Clavería s/n, Oviedo 33006. Spain. Fax: 348-5103618. e-mail: anavarro@correo.uniovi.es


Summary. The hypothalamo-neurohypophysial tract of young, adult and aged male hamsters was studied at lateral and ventral regions of hypothalamus by means of electron microscopy. Neurosecretory swelling axons (Herring bodies) were usually found as classically described containing abundant neurosecretory granules, mitochondria, few microtubules and profiles of smooth endoplasmic reticulum in all groups of age. However, in aged hamsters, starting at 18-month-old subjects, we observed that the size of some neurosecretory axons was highly increased. Autophagic and degenerative features were seen in the larger ones. These data could suggest abnormal axonal storage or axonal transport blocked during aging. The implications in the role of hypo-thalamus-neurohypophysial system during aging are discussed. Histol. Histopathol. 14, 1093-1099 (1999)

Key words: Aging, Electron microscopy, Axonal transport, Hypothalamus

DOI: 10.14670/HH-14.1093