Int. J. Dev. Biol. In Press
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.210191cp
© UPV/EHU Press

Age-dependent modulation of short-term neuronal dynamics in the dorsal and ventral rat hippocampus

George Trompoukis, Giota Tsotsokou, Andriana Koutsoumpa, Maria Tsolaki, Georgia Vryoni and Costas Papatheodoropoulos*

Laboratory of Neurophysiology, Department of Medicine, University of Patras, Rion, Greece

ABSTRACT Brain aging is associated with alterations in the behavioral effectiveness to process information, due to mechanisms that are still largely unclear. Short-term neuronal activity dynamics are basic properties of local brain networks profoundly involved in neural information processing. In this study, we investigated the properties of short-term changes of excitatory synaptic transmission and neuronal excitation in the CA1 field of dorsal and ventral hippocampal slices from young adult and aged rats. We found that short-term synaptic plasticity (i.e. short-term dynamics of input to CA1 circuit) does not significantly differ between young and aged dorsal or ventral hippocampus. However, short-term dynamics of hippocampal output markedly differ between young and aged rats. Notably, age-dependent alterations in short-term neuronal dynamics were detected mainly in the dorsal hippocampus. Thus, the dorsal hippocampus of young rats can detect and facilitate transmission of 1-30 Hz input and depress transmission of higher-frequency input. In contrast, the aged dorsal hippocampus appears unable to transmit information in a frequency-dependent discriminatory manner. Furthermore, the amplification of steady-state output at frequencies < 40 Hz is considerably lower in the aged than young dorsal hippocampus. The aged ventral hippocampus did not show major alterations in short-term processing of neural information, though under conditions of intense afferent activation, neuronal output of the ventral hippocampus is depressed at steady-state more in aged than in young rats. These results suggest that aging is accompanied by alterations in neural information processing mainly in the dorsal hippocampus, which displays a narrower dynamic range of frequency-dependent transient changes in neuronal activity in aged compared with young adult rats. These alterations in short-term dynamics may relate to deficits in processing ongoing activity seen in aged individuals.

Keywords:

Aging, Hippocampus, Neuronal Dynamics, Septotemporal, Short-Term Plasticity

*Corresponding author e-mail: cepapath@upatras.gr