Aging, spatial learning, and total synapse number in the rat CA1 stratum radiatum

Y. Geinisman, O. Ganeshina, R. Yoshida, R. W. Berry, J. F. Disterhoft, M. Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to determine whether spatial learning deficits in aged rats are associated with a loss of hippocampal synapses. The Morris water maze task was used to assess the spatial learning capacity of young and aged rats and to attribute aged animals to learning-impaired and learning-unimpaired groups. The number of axospinous synapses in the entire volume of the CA1 stratum radiatum was estimated with unbiased stereological techniques. The results show that the total number of all axospinous synapses and of their perforated and nonperforated subtypes remains constant in the CA1 stratum radiatum of aged learning-impaired rats as compared to aged learning-unimpaired rats and to young adults. Thus, neither age-related deficits in spatial learning nor advanced chronological age are associated with a loss of axospinous synapses from the rat CA1 stratum radiatum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-416
Number of pages10
JournalNeurobiology of aging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • Age-related learning deficits
  • Hippocampus
  • Nonperforated synapses
  • Normal aging
  • Perforated synapses
  • Postsynaptically silent synapses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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