Christopher M. Norris

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Homosynaptic long-term depression (LTD) and reversal of long-term potentiation (LTP) were examined extracellularly at CA3-CA1 synapses in stratum radiatum of slices from adult (6-9 months) and aged (20-24 months) Fischer 344 rats. Prolonged low-frequency stimulation (LFS) (900 pulses/1 Hz) of the Schaffer collaterals depressed the initial slope of the(More)
The role of L-type Ca2+ channels in the induction of synaptic plasticity in hippocampal slices of aged (22-24 months) and young adult (4-6 months) male Fischer 344 rats was investigated. Prolonged 1 Hz stimulation (900 pulses) of Schaffer collaterals, which normally depresses CA3/CA1 synaptic strength in aged rat slices, failed to induce long-term(More)
Brain aging is associated with altered Ca(2+) regulation. However, many Ca(2+) signal transduction mechanisms have not been explored in the aged brain. Here, we report that cytosolic expression and activity of the Ca(2+)-dependent protein phosphatase calcineurin (CaN) increases in the hippocampus during aging. CaN changes were paralleled by increased(More)
Upon activation by calcineurin, the nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT) translocates to the nucleus and guides the transcription of numerous molecules involved in inflammation and Ca(2+) dysregulation, both of which are prominent features of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, NFAT signaling in AD remains relatively uninvestigated. Using isolated(More)
Altered calcium (Ca2+) homeostasis is thought to play a key role in aging and neuropathology resulting in memory deficits. Several forms of hippocampal synaptic plasticity are dependent on Ca2+, providing a potential link between altered Ca2+ homeostasis and memory deficits associated with aging. The current study reviews evidence for Ca2+ dysregulation(More)
Astrocyte reactivity (i.e., activation) and associated neuroinflammation are increasingly thought to contribute to neurodegenerative disease. However, the mechanisms that trigger astrocyte activation are poorly understood. Here, we studied the Ca2+-dependent phosphatase calcineurin, which regulates inflammatory signaling pathways in immune cells, for a role(More)
The current research examined the regulation of synaptic strength by protein phosphorylation during aging. Bath application of the protein phosphatase 1 and 2A (PP1 and PP2A) inhibitor calyculin A (1 microM) enhanced CA3-CA1 synaptic strength in hippocampal slices from aged male (20-24 mo) but not from young adult male (4-6 mo) Fischer 344 rats. Similarly,(More)
During normal brain aging, numerous alterations develop in the physiology, biochemistry and structure of neurons and glia. Aging changes occur in most brain regions and, in the hippocampus, have been linked to declining cognitive performance in both humans and animals. Age-related changes in hippocampal regions also may be harbingers of more severe(More)
Alterations in N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-dependent synaptic plasticity, characteristic of aged rodents, may contribute to impaired memory with advanced age. The purpose of the current research was to examine whether NMDARs contribute to rapid forgetting on a spatial memory task. Aged (22-24 months) and adult (3-6 months) male Fischer 344 rats(More)
Astrocytes are the most abundant cell type in the brain and play a critical role in maintaining healthy nervous tissue. In Alzheimer's disease (AD) and most other neurodegenerative disorders, many astrocytes convert to a chronically "activated" phenotype characterized by morphologic and biochemical changes that appear to compromise protective properties(More)