Loss of synapses in the dentate gyrus of the senescent rat



Synapses were counted in electron micrographs of the middle third of the molecular layer of the dentate gyrus of Fischer 344 rats, 3 months and 25 months of age. A 27% decrease in the number of synapses was found in senescent animals compared with young adults. This loss of synapses could not be correlated with changes in synaptic size, tissue volume or number of postsynaptic granule cells.