Morphometry of age pigment (lipofuscin) and of ceroid pigment deposits associated with vitamin E deficiency

P. Fattoretti, C. Bertoni-Freddari, T. Casoli, G. Di Stefano, M. Solazzi, E. Corvi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Consistent amounts of lipofuscin and of ceroid pigment associated with vitamin E deficiency are reported to represent morphological correlates of aging and increased oxidative stress. A reliable quantification of these yellow autofluorescent deposits is of critical biological significance, thus we carried out a computer-assisted morphometric study on the accumulation of lipofuscin in physiological aging and of ceroid pigment in vitamin E deficiency, respectively. The total area and the size distribution of lipofuscin or ceroid pigment deposits were measured in CA3 hippocampal pyramidal neurons of 6-, 12-, 18- and 25-month-old rats, as well as in vitamin E deficient animals of 18 months of age. An increase in the mean total area of lipofuscin and ceroid pigment was found in aging and in vitamin E deficiency. In both conditions, the proportion of large discrete deposits also increased. The similarity of changes observed in old and adult vitamin E deficient animals suggests that the underlying processes initiated by the absence of α-tocopherol from the diet of adult rats and in physiological aging may share some common mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-268
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Ceroid pigment
  • Computer-assisted morphometric analysis
  • Hippocampal pyramidal neurons
  • Lipofuscin
  • Oxidative stress
  • Vitamin E deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Medicine(all)


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