Age-related NADPH-diaphorase positive bodies in the lumbosacral spinal cord of aged rats
In the course of a morphological investigation of age-related changes in the rat spinal cord, using nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-diaphorase (NADPH-d) histochemistry, we found abundant NADPH-d positive bodies, which were characteristically expressed in the aged lumbosacral spinal cord. Together with a normally stained fiber network and a few neurons, the dense, spheroidal NADPH-d positive bodies occurred in portions of the sacral dorsal spinal cords, such as the dorsal commissural nucleus, intermediolateral nuclei, and superficial dorsal horn, and were scattered throughout the dorsal white column. These NADPH-d positive bodies were occasionally observed in a fibrous structure. Two morphologically distinctive subsets of NADPH-d positive bodies were noted in the spinal cord of rats aged 8 to 36 months: 1) highly-dense spheroidal shapes with sharp edges; 2) moderately-dense spheroidal or multiangular shapes with a central "core" and a peripheral "halo". The quantitative analysis, particularly the stereological measurement, confirmed a gradual increase in the incidence and size of NADPH-d positive bodies with increasing age. With nNOS immunohistochemistry, no corresponding structures to NADPH-d positive bodies were detected in aged rats; thus NADPH-d activity is not always specific to the NO-containing neural structures. The major distribution of the NADPH-d positive bodies in the aged lumbosacral spinal cord indicates some anomalous changes in the neurite, which might account for a disturbance in the aging pathway of the autonomic and sensory nerve in the pelvic visceral organs.
- Archives of histology and cytology
Archives of histology and cytology 69(5), 297-310, 2006-12-31
International Society of Histology and Cytology