Age-related decline of vasopressin mRNA in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis

Dorcas J. Dobie, Margaret A. Miller, Janice H. Urban, Murray A. Raskind, Daniel M. Dorsa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


To determine whether aging influences arginine vasopressin (AVP) biosynthesis in the extrahypothalamic neurons of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), we used in situ hybridization and quantitative autoradiography to compare AVP mRNA in 3-month-old, 14-month-old, and 24-month-old male Fischer 344 rats. As AVP synthesis in the BNST has previously been shown to be steroid-dependent, plasma testosterone (T) was measured by radioimmunoassay. The 24-month-old animals had significantly fewer AVP-labelled cells than either the 3-month-old (p<0.01) or 14-month-old (p<0.05) animals. The cells that were present in the 24-month animals were less intensely labelled than in the other groups, as indicated by a significantly reduced number of grains per cell (p<0.01). Plasma T was also significantly lower in 24-month-old animals when compared with 3-month (p<0.01) or 14-month (p<0.05) groups. The results indicate that there is a marked age-related decline in vasopressin biosynthetic activity in neurons of the BNST.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-423
Number of pages5
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis
  • Fischer 344 rats
  • Testosterone
  • Vasopressin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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