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Print version ISSN 0327-9545


FERREIRA SCHOFFEN, João Paulo  and  MARCAL NATALI, Maria Raquel. Effect of age on the myosin-V immunoreactive myenteric neurons of rats ileum. Biocell [online]. 2007, vol.31, n.1, pp.33-39. ISSN 0327-9545.

Alterations in the gastrointestinal neuromuscular function related to age have been demonstrated in human and animal models. This study analyzes the effects of the aging process on the area of the neuronal cell bodies of the myenteric plexus in the antimesenteric and intermediate regions of the ileal circumference of Wistar, 12 month-old in comparison 3 month-old animals. The ileum was removed and whole-mount preparations immunostained by the antibody anti-myosin-V were processed. The morphometric analyses were performed using a computerized image analysis system, with a subsequent distribution of neurons by size in intervals of 100 μm2. The cellular body morphometry revealed a significant increase in the size of the myosin-V- immunoreactive myenteric neurons from 12 month -old animals when compared with 3 month-old animals. However, significant differences between the regions were not observed; these observations were not age-dependent. The implications of these results in relation to the increase of the body weight, size of the small intestine, general organization of the myenteric plexus, staining method of neurons and the possible factors involved in the regulation and/or control of the volume of neronal cells due to aging, are discussed.

Keywords : Aging; Ileum; Myenteric plexus; Myosin-V; Neuronal plasticity.

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