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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Tyrosine hydroxylase mRNA is increased in old age and norepinephrine uptake transporter mRNA is decreased in middle age in locus coeruleus of Brown-Norway rats.

In normal aging, cell loss occurs in the locus coeruleus (LC), the major noradrenergic nucleus in the brain. This study examined changes in the LC of aged rats by measuring mRNA expression for tyrosine hydroxylase ( TH) and the norepinephrine uptake transporter (NET). TH and NET mRNA expression were measured by in situ hybridization in young, middle-aged and aged rats. It appears that in middle age, the transporter system responds initially to LC cell loss by decreasing NET mRNA expression. Then, with further aging and cell loss, TH mRNA expression increases which may potentially increase NE synthesis in the remaining neurons. These findings suggest that multiple regulatory components are used to maintain stable noradrenergic synaptic levels despite neuronal loss. Published by Elsevier Science B.V.[1]


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