Acetyl‐L‐carnatine reduces the age‐dependent loss of glucocorticoid receptors in the rat hippocampus: An autoradiographic study

F. R. Patacchioli, F. Amenta, M. T. Ramacci, G. Taglialatela, S. Maccari, L. Angelucci

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43 Scopus citations


Brain autoradiography in adrenalectomized rats injected with 3H‐corticosterone 2 hr before sacrifice was used to study the effect of aging and long‐term acetyl‐l‐carnitine treatment on the hippocampal glucocorticoid receptor. Densitometric analysis of silver grains in individual nerve cells of the hippocampus showed that pyramidal neurones of the CA1 field and granular cells of the dentate gyrus are richest in 3H‐corticosterone binding sites, whereas pyramidal neurons of the CA3 field have the lowest number of binding sites. There was a significant decline in the number of glucocorticoid receptors within the various hippocampal areas, both as the total number of 3H‐corticosterone binding sites and as the number per single pyramidal or granule neuron associated with aging and perhaps due to loss of adrenocorticoid‐competent neurons. The dentate gyrus and the CA1 region were mostly affected by the age‐dependent decrease in glucocorticoid receptors of the hippocampus. Twenty‐eight‐month‐old rats, treated with acetyl‐l‐carnitine for 7 months, showed a significantly higher number of 3H‐corticosterone binding sites within the various hippocampal regions examined than did age‐matched controls. The CA1 and the dentate gyrus were the regions most susceptible to amelioration by acetyl‐l‐carnitine treatment. These findings suggest a positive effect of acetyl‐l‐carnitine treatment on age‐related changes which occur in the hippocampus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)462-466
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • aging
  • hippocampal adrenocorticoid rceptor autoradiography
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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