Clustered granules present in the hippocampus of aged mice result from a degenerative process affecting astrocytes and their surrounding neuropil

Gemma Manich, Itsaso Cabezón, Antoni Camins, Mercè Pallàs, Pawel P. Liberski, Jordi Vilaplana, Carme Pelegrí*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Clusters of pathological granular structures appear and progressively increase in number with age in the hippocampus of several mice strains, markedly in the senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 mice. In the present work, we performed an ultrastructural study of these granules paying special attention to the first stages of their formation, which have not been previously explored. The analysis of the immature granules allowed concluding that granules are not simple accumulations of molecular waste but the result of a degenerative process involving principally astrocytic processes, although nearby neuronal structures can be also affected. The granule generation includes the instability of the plasmatic membranes and the appearance of abnormal membranous structures that form intracellular bubbles or blebs of variable sizes and irregular shapes. These structures and some organelles degenerate producing some membranous fragments, and an assembly process of the resulting fragments generates the densecore nucleus of the mature granule. Moreover, we found out that the neo-epitope recently described in the mature granules and localised abundantly in the membranous fragments of their dense-core nucleus emerges in the first stages of the granule formation. On the other hand, with this study, we increase the evidences that each cluster of granules is formed by the granules comprised in one astrocyte. A better knowledge of the causes of the granule formation and the function of the neo-epitope will help in both the interpretation of the physiological significance of the granules and their contribution to the degenerating processes in aging brain.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number9690
JournalAge
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Astrocyte
  • Granules
  • Hippocampus
  • Neo-epitope
  • Periodic acid-Schiff
  • SAMP8

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