Decreased sympathetic innervation of spleen in aged fischer 344 rats

Suzanne Y. Felten, Denise L. Bellinger, Timothy J. Collier, Paul D. Coleman, David L. Felten

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59 Scopus citations


Splenic noradrenergic innervation in young adult and aged Fischer 344 rats was examined using fluorescence histochemistry for catecholamines and high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection (LCEC) for the quantitation of norepinephrine (NE). In young adult rats, abundant noradrenergic plexuses followed the vasculature and trabeculae into splenic white pulp. In aged rats, noradrenergic innervation was reduced in density and in overall intensity of fluorescence, and splenic NE levels were significantly lower. The relationship between diminished noradrenergic innervation and diminished immune responsiveness in aging mammals, while not clear on a causal level, is presented as a hypothesis for further testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-165
Number of pages7
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Histofluorescence
  • Immune system Catecholamines
  • LCEC
  • Noradrenergic innervation
  • Spleen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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