The age-related changes in lipopigment autofluorescence were studied by micro-spectrofluorometry in three different types of human neurons: the sympathetic neurons of the stellate and superior mesenteric ganglion and pyramidal neurons of the frontal cortex. The age-related increase in lipopigment autofluorescence was more rapid in stellate ganglion but similar linear increases were found also in superior mesenteric ganglion and frontal cortex. There was an age-related shift in the autofluorescence from yellow to orange in the ganglia. This may be due to the accumulation of neuromelanin in noradrenergic neurons. Lipopigments were identified in sympathetic neurons at the age of 4 months and all neurons carried pigment granules after the age of 64 years. It is concluded that lipopigment autofluorescence is a useful marker for cellular ageing in both the peripheral and the central nervous system. © 1986.
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