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

Aging-associated up-regulation of neuronal 5-lipoxygenase expression: putative role in neuronal vulnerability.

Aging is associated with neurodegenerative processes. 5-Lipoxygenase (5-LO), which is also expressed in neurons, is the key enzyme in the synthesis of leukotrienes, inflammatory eicosanoids that are capable of promoting neurodegeneration. We hypothesized that neuronal 5-LO expression can be up-regulated in aging and that this may increase the brain's vulnerability to neurodegeneration. We observed differences in the distribution of 5-LO-like immunoreactivity in various brain areas of adult young (2-month-old) vs. old (24-month-old) male rats. Greater 5-LO-like immunoreactivity was found in old vs. young rats, in particular in the dendrites of pyramidal neurons in limbic structures, including the hippocampus, and in layer V pyramidal cells of the frontoparietal cortex and their apical dendrites. The aging-increased expression of neuronal 5-LO protein appears to be due to increased 5-LO gene expression. Using a quantitative reverse transcription/polymerase chain reaction assay and 5-LO-specific oligonucleotide primers and their mutated internal standards, we observed about a 2.5-fold greater hippocampal 5-LO mRNA content in old rats. 5-LO-like immunoreactivity was also observed in small, nonpyramidal cells, which were positive for glutamic acid decarboxylase or glial fibrillary acid protein. This type of 5-LO immunostaining did not increase in the old rats. Hippocampal excitotoxic injury induced by systemic injection of kainate was greater in old rats. Neuroprotection was observed with the 5-LO inhibitor, caffeic acid. Together, these results suggest that aging increases both neuronal 5-LO expression and neuronal vulnerability to 5-LO inhibitor-sensitive excitotoxicity, and indicate that the 5-LO system might play a significant role in the pathobiology of aging-associated neurodegenerative diseases.[1]


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