Food restriction delays the age-related increase in GFAP mRNA in rat hypothalamus

Nancy R. Nichols, Caleb E. Finch, James F. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Astrogliosis with advancing age is correlated with increased expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Hypothalamic GFAP mRNA prevalence was determined in male F344 rats of different ages that were fed ad lib (AL) and compared with that of rats that were food-restricted (FR) to 60% of AL levels. Hypothalamic GFAP mRNA increased 3-fold at 24 to 25 months in AL rats compared with 3 and 6 month groups. There were no differences in GFAP mRNA levels between AL and FR rats from 3 to 18 months. However, GFAP mRNA was significantly lower in FR than in AL rats at 24 to 25 months; FR rats reached the level of GFAP mRNA in 24 to 25 months AL rats by 33 months. Hypothalamic glutamine synthetase mRNA also increased with age in both dietary groups but did not differ between dietary groups at any age. The observation that FR delays the increased expression of GFAP in the hypothalamus during aging lends support to the hypothesis that upregulation of GFAP mRNA is a biomarker of brain aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-110
Number of pages6
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1995


  • Hypothalamus Aging Male F344 rats GFAP mRNA Glutamine synthetase mRNA Diet restriction astrogliosis Delayed age-related expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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