Neurobiology of aging

Biphasic and region-specific MAO-B response to aging in normal human brain.

PMID 9390776


Variations of monoamine oxidases (MAO) A and B were studied during aging in 27 human subjects (age range 17-93 years) in 18 brain structures of temporal cortex, frontal gyrus, hippocampal formation, striatum, cerebellum, and brainstem. [3H]Ro41-1049 and [3H]lazabemide were used as selective radioligands to image and quantify MAO-A and MAO-B respectively by enzyme autoradiography. Postmortem delay or time of tissue storage did not affect MAO-A or MAO-B levels. There was, moreover, no evidence of sexual dimorphism. A marked age-related increase in MAO-B was observed in most structures. This increase started at the age of 50-60 years. Before this age, MAO-B levels were constant in all structures studied. MAO-B-rich senile plaques were observed in some cortical areas but they did not significantly influence the age-related MAO-B increase. Surprisingly, no age-related MAO-B changes were observed in the substantia nigra. In contrast to MAO-B, no clear age-related changes in MAO-A were observed, indicating an independent regulation of the two isoenzymes, also suggested by the cross-correlation analysis of these data.