Increase in perforant path quantal size in aged F-344 rats

T. C. Foster, C. A. Barnes, G. Rao, B. L. McNaughton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


The data presented here confirm and extend the evidence for fewer, but stronger, perforant path synaptic connections onto the granule cells of the hippocampus in old F-344 rats. The old animals used in the present report were drawn from a population that showed deficits in the retention of a spatial problem in the Morris water task. Using the method of minimal-stimulation of perforant path afferents, unitary granule cell EPSPs were found to be larger in the 25-month than in the 6- and 9-month age groups. Furthermore, applying statistical methods for quantal analysis, data are presented that suggest that the larger synaptic responses of the old rats come about through an increase in quantal size. These experiments therefore suggest that individual synapses become more powerful in the perforant pathway of old rats, and that this strengthening occurs through an increase in quantal size. The implications of these findings for hippocampal information processing are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-448
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1991


  • Aging
  • Granule cells
  • Hippocampus
  • Minimal-stimulation
  • Perforant pathway
  • Quantal analysis
  • Spatial memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Increase in perforant path quantal size in aged F-344 rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this