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November 2002

Gene Expression Profile of the Aging Brain

Arch Neurol. 2002;59(11):1712-1714. doi:10.1001/archneur.59.11.1712

OUR LABORATORIES have collaborated to begin defining gene expression profiles associated with the aging process in the postmitotic tissues of mice, such as the skeletal muscle,1 brain,2 and heart.3 To determine the influence of aging on gene expression in the muscle and brain, we employed Affymetrix (Santa Clara, Calif) oligonucleotide microarrays representing 6347 genes and compared young (5 months) and old (30 months), normally fed, male C57BL/6 mice. Additionally, the normally fed 30-month-old mice have been compared with age-matched mice subjected to caloric restriction (CR) since 2 months of age. The calorie-restricted mice are known to age at a slower rate and to live approximately 40% longer than do the controls.4 Regarding central nervous system aging, CR in laboratory rodents opposes the development of age-associated deficits in psychomotor and spatial memory tasks,5 dendritic spine loss,6 and neuronal degeneration in models of Parkinson disease.7