Original article Age-related dendritic and spinal alterations of pyramidal cells of the human visual cortex

Ioannis A. Mavroudis, Marina G. Manani, Foivos Petrides, Dimitrios Dados, Alin Ciobica, Manuela Padurariu, Konstantina Petsoglou, Samuel N. Njau, Vasiliki G. Costa, Stavros J. Baloyannis
2015 Folia Neuropathologica  
A b s t r a c t Introduction: Normal aging is characterized by deterioration of visual abilities, affecting mainly visual acuity, contrast and wavelength sensitivity. In the present study we attempted to describe the morphological and morphometric alterations of the dendrites and the dendritic spines of the pyramidal cells of the visual cortex during normal aging, in order to approach the visual impairment of aged individuals from a neuropathological point of view. Material and methods: We
more » ... nd methods: We studied the visual cortex in 20 brains using the Golgi technique. Results: In pyramidal cells, which represent the majority of cortical neurons, age-related pathology can be observed in cell somata as well as, most importantly, in dendrite number and morphology. The apical dendrites of some pyramidal cells are distorted and tortuous. Horizontal dendritic arborization is also severely decreased. These alterations were more prominent in the corticocortical pyramidal neurons of the 5 th layer. Conclusions: The morphological and morphometric assessment of the dendrites and the dendritic spines in the visual cortex in normal aging revealed substantial alterations of the dendritic arborization and marked loss of the dendritic spines, which may be related to visual impairment even in normal aging.
doi:10.5114/fn.2015.52406 fatcat:ihmsizyps5fljiylejdujpdahy