In the mammalian central nervous system, generation of new neurons persists in the subventricular zone (SVZ) throughout life.
However, the capacity for neurogenesis in this region declines with aging.
Recent studies have examined the degree of these age-related neurogenic declines and the changes of cytoarchitecture of the SVZ with aging.
However, little is known about the molecular changes in the SVZ with aging.
In this study, scientists dissected the SVZs from rats aged postnatal day 28, 3 months, and 24 months.
The SVZ tissues were processed for 2-D gel electrophoresis to identify protein changes following aging.
Protein spots were subsequently subjected to mass spectrometry analysis to compare age-related alterations in the SVZ proteome.
Scientists also examined the level of cell proliferation in the SVZ in animals of these three age groups by using bromodeoxyuridine labeling.
Scientists found significant age-related changes in the expression of several proteins that play critical roles in the proliferation and survival of neural stem/progenitor cells in the SVZ.
Among these proteins, glial fibrillary acidic protein, ubiquitin carboxy terminal hydrolase 1, glutathione S-transferase omega, and preproalbumin were increased with aging, whereas collapsin response-mediated protein 4 (CRMP-4), CRMP-5, and microsomal protease ER60 exhibited declines with aging.
Scientists have also observed a significant decline of neural stem/progenitor cell proliferation in the SVZ with aging.
These alterations in protein expression in the SVZ with aging likely underlie the diminishing proliferative capacity of stem/progenitor cells in the aging brain.