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.
- Ceroid pigment
- Computer-assisted morphometric analysis
- Hippocampal pyramidal neurons
- Oxidative stress
- Vitamin E deficiency
ASJC Scopus subject areas