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How does prolonged caloric restriction ameliorate age-related impairment of long-term potentiation in the hippocampus?

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How does prolonged caloric restriction ameliorate age-related impairment of long-term potentiation in the hippocampus?

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Prolonged dietary restriction has been reported to suppress age-induced phenomena. In order to investigate how prolonged caloric restriction reduces age-related deterioration of hippocampal synaptic transmission, we compared the levels of major hippocampal polyunsaturated fatty acids, arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid between 4- and 26-month-old rats. The Ca(2+) responses upon perfusion of NMDA or 30 mM K(+) between 4- and 26-month-old rats with prolonged dietary restriction were also compared using the fluorescent probe Fura-2. A decrease in membrane arachidonic acid is thought to be a major causal factor in the age-related impairment of long-term potentiation. Long-term caloric restriction seems to increase arachidonic acid levels regardless of age. However, there is no significant difference of hippocampal arachidonic acid levels between in freely feeding 4- and 26-month-old rats. Similar results were obtained from the measurement of hippocampal docosahexaenoic acid levels.

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