Aged rats with preserved memory dynamically recruit hippocampal inhibition in a local/global cue mismatch environment

Audrey Branch, Amy Monasterio, Grace Blair, James J. Knierim, Michela Gallagher, Rebecca P. Haberman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Similar to elderly humans, aged outbred Long-Evans rats exhibit individual differences in memory abilities, including a subset of aged rats that maintain memory function on par with young adults. Such individuals provide a basis for investigating mechanisms of resilience to age-related decline. The present study examined hippocampal gene expression in young adults and aged rats with preserved memory function under behavioral task conditions well established for assessing information processing central to the formation of episodic memory. Although behavioral measures and hippocampal gene induction associated with neural activity and synaptic plasticity were similar across age groups, a marker for inhibitory interneuron function in the hippocampal formation was distinctively increased only in aged rats but not in young adults. Because heightened hippocampal neural activity is associated with age-related memory impairment across species, including rats, monkeys, and humans, this finding may represent an adaptive homeostatic adjustment necessary to maintain neural plasticity and memory function in aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-161
Number of pages11
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
StatePublished - Apr 2019



  • Aging
  • Cognitive aging
  • Cue mismatch/double rotation
  • Hippocampal computation
  • Memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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