Age-related changes in expression of metallothionein-III in rat brain

Ikuko Miyazaki, Masato Asanuma, Youichirou Higashi, Chiharu Sogawa, Ken Ichi Tanaka, Norio Ogawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Metallothionein (MT)-III is a metal binding protein, called growth inhibitory factor, and is mainly expressed in the central nervous system. Since MT-III decreases in the brain of Alzheimer's disease (AD), a growing interest has been focused on its relationship to neurodegenerative diseases. To clarify age-related changes in the MT-III expression and its inducibility against oxidative stress, we analyzed the expression of MT-III and its mRNA in the brain of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated aged rats. In the frontal cortex, basal expression of MT-III mRNA was significantly increased with aging, while it was observed no induction of MT-III mRNA against LPS administration in the aged rat brain. MT-III immunopositive cells were increased in the frontal, parietal and piriform cortices, hypothalamus and amygdaloid nucleus with aging. The LPS treatment induced MT-III expression in the brain of young-adult rats, but not in the aged rat brain. Furthermore, the MT-III induction with LPS treatment was mainly observed in oligodendrocyte and microglia. In the present study, we showed that inducibility of brain MT-III against oxidative stress may be reduced with aging. Since it has been reported that MT-III has neuroprotective roles as an antioxidant, present results suggest that MT-III is closely related to the neurodegeneration in the aged animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-333
Number of pages11
JournalNeuroscience Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Growth inhibitory factor (GIF)
  • Metallothionein-III
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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