Influence of age on the clearance of K+ from the extracellular space of rat hippocampal slices

Eugene L. Roberts, Zi Cai Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We examined the hypotheses that aging alters the capacity of brain tissue to regulate extracellular K+ activity (K+(o)), and that age-related decreases in glucose metabolism may underlie these alterations. Hippocampal slices from young adult (6-9 months old), middle-aged (16-19 months old), and aged (26-29 months old) Fischer 344 rats were exposed to physiological solutions containing 5-20 mM glucose maintained at 36-37°C. Schaffer collaterals in each slice were stimulated at 40 Hz for 2 s, and the resulting changes in K+(o) were recorded with K+(o)-sensitive microelectrodes placed in stratum pyramidale of hippocampal subfield CA1. We found that K+ clearance from the extracellular space of hippocampal slices was significantly slowed in the middle-aged group compared with the young adult group in physiological solutions containing 5 and 10 mM glucose. Age-related differences in K+(o) clearance disappeared in 20 mM glucose. Also, the rate of K+(o) clearance was modified by glucose concentration. These results suggest that K+ transport rates are modified by age, and that age-related alterations in glucose metabolism may be involved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-20
Number of pages5
JournalBrain research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 5 1996


  • Aging
  • Brain slice
  • Glucose
  • Hippocampus
  • Ion transport
  • Synaptic transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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