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Aging and Cell Structure
Needlepoint of an electron microscopic view of a typical aging cell.
Commissioned especially for this treatise.
Woven by Jeanne Edwards of Seattle, Washington.
Aging and Cell Structure
John E. Johnson, Jr. National Institute on Aging, NIH
Baltimore City Hospital and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, Maryland and
Hitachi Scientific Instruments Rockville, Maryland
PLENUM PRESS NEW YORK AND LONDON
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Main entry under title:
Aging and cell structure.
Bibliography: p. Includes index. 1. Cells-Aging. I. Johnson, John E., 1945-
Cells. WT 104 A2664] [DNLM: 1. Aging. 2.
L QH608.A37 574.87'6 ISBN-13: 978-1-4684-3931-1 DOl: 10.1007/978-1-4684-3929-8
1981 Plenum Press, New York
Softcover reprint of the hardcover 1 st edition 1981 A Division of Plenum Publishing Corporation 233 Spring Street, New York, N. Y. 10013
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, microfilming, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the Publisher
"You will never escape from the lion in my heart." -ANONYMOUS, 1881
This volume is dedicated to those neophytes who would stir us from
the abyss of dogmatism.
RALPH C. BALLARD Department of Biological Sciences, San Jose State University, San Jose, California 95192
STEVEN I. BASKIN Department of Pharmacology, The Medical College of Pennsyl-vania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19129
KLAUS G. BENSCH Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medi-cine, Stanford, California 94305
WARREN KLINE BOL TON Department of Internal Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908
ANGELOS C. ECONOMOS Department of Biological Sciences, San Jose State Uni-versity, San Jose, California 95192. Present address: Laboratoire de Genetique, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-Ia-Neuve, Belgium
INGE GRUNDKE-IQBAL Department of Pathological Neurobiology, New York State Institute for Basic Research in Mental Retardation, Staten Island, New York 10314
KHALID IQBAL Department of Pathological Neurobiology, New York State Institute for Basic Research in Mental Retardation, Staten Island, New York 10314
JOHN E. JOHNSON, Jr. National Institute on Aging, Section on Experimental Mor-phology, Baltimore City Hospitals, Baltimore, Maryland 21224; Department of N eu-rology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205; and Hitachi Scientific Instruments, Rockville, Maryland 20850
ZEBULON V. KENDRICK Biokinetics Research Laboratory, College of HPERD, Tem-ple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122
B. LEUNG Department of Neurology, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York 11203
S. LEWIS Department of Neurology, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York 11203
RONALD MERVIS Department of Pathology (Neuropathology), The Ohio State Uni-versity, College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio 43210
JAIME MIQUEL Biomedical Research Division, NASA, Ames Research Center, Mof-fett Field, California 94035
JOSE OCHOA Department of Neurology, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755
ALAN PETERS Department of Anatomy, Boston University School of Medicine, Bos-ton, Massachusetts 02118
JA Y ROBERTS Department of Pharmacology, The Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19129
H. S. SCHUTTA Department of Neurology, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York 11203
S. A. SHAFIQ Department of Neurology, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York 11203
RA YMOND S. SINA TRA Department of Pathological Neurobiology, New York State Institute for Basic Research in Mental Retardation, Staten Island, New York 10314
PETER S. SPENCER Institute of Neurotoxicology, Albert Einstein College of Medi-cine, Bronx, New York 10461
BENJAMIN C. STURGILL Department of Pathology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908
ROBERT J. TOMANEK Department of Anatomy, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52240
EDGAR A. TONNA Institute for Dental Research, New York University Dental Cen-ter, New York, New York 10010
DEBORAH W. VAUGHAN Department of Anatomy, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02118
HENRYK M. WISNIEWSKI Department of Pathological Neurobiology, New York State Institute for Basic Research in Mental Retardation, Staten Island, New York 10314
Approaching any task on aging brings a flood of images that are a personal repetition of what has been one of the greatest and most persistent concerns of mankind. Even restricting time to the past decade or so and approaching only the biomedical sciences, one still encounters a flood of information in this relatively young research area. The-ories and ideas abound as though each researcher provides one of his own. This might well be expected; aging is an exceedingly complicated series of crossroads involving trails and even superhighways. Each specialist has a peephole (society, body, organ, tissue, cell, or-especially in modern biology-cellular organelles, macromolecules, and even molecules) and the views of the crossroads are obviously different. Hence, the num-ber of observations just about equals the number of independent ideas put forward.
It is natural to seek from highly specialized knowledge a fundamental understand-ing of aging through the modern research trends in biology that focus on events at the cellular, subcellular, macromolecular, and molecular levels. The ultimate clues must lie there-with one serious complication: There are numerous cell types in any body and each cell type is a very complex machine of its own. Additionally, there are potential repercussions in that different cells, tissues, and even molecules have effects on one another.
This is indeed a confusing situation, and one for which we must seek reliable answers, provided that we can take a step back and provide a generalized view. As we are dealing with multicellular organisms, the differences between body cells and germ cells hardly have to be emphasized, nor does the fact that body cells are particularly specialized and are so differentiated that they do not divide and are subject to wear and tear. Even within this group there is variation; for example, some tissues contain stem cells as well as differentiated ones and others contain only the latter.
The plan of this book, the first of a two-volume set, is to focus on a highly special-ized field-the structural features of aging cells-comparing different cell types and cell systems (including phylogenetic differences), and concentrating, where possible, on electron microscopy. This is essentially a book on biological ultrastructure that allows biological phenomena associated with aging to be looked at as structural patterns based on underlying physical and chemical events organized in space and time. J'he advances and the amount of information accumulated in the field of cellular fine structure in the
past 30 years have been enormous, and integrated studies have come to the foreground. It is time for such studies on aging to be collected. This volume focuses on the nervous system, the principles and applications of the study of cell structure to aging, the kidney, skeletal aging, the cardiovascular system, skeletal muscle, and a comparison of insect vs. mammalian aging. What is revealed is a considerable and significant amount of data, as viewed through the ultrastructural peephole.
Russell J. Barrnett
Cell Biology Section Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, Connecticut
Do we love anything but the beautiful? What then is the beautiful, and what is beauty? What is it that attracts and wins us to the things we love? For unless there
were in them a grace and beauty, they could by no means draw us into them. The Confessions of St. Augustine, Book Four
The purpose of this first volume of Aging and Cell Structure is to bring together, in one publication, the latest data on what happens anatomically (focusing on electron micros-copy where possible) to living organisms as they grow older. The last book that dealt with this topic is almost a decade old and consisted primarily of light microscopy find-ings, and the data presented there were sparse in many areas. To be sure, several organ systems, even today, are only beginning to be studied from an anatomical point of view by gerontologists. The absence of certain subjects in this book is evidence of the lack of adequate research on many tissues. However, enough has been done in the 1970s, espe-cially on topics that have recently become important, to warrant a published volume. A second volume is being planned that will include systems and topics not covered in this volume.
My own interest in aging began in the field of the neurosciences when I discovered rather unusual inclusions in neuron processes of the lateral vestibular nucleus of aging rats. In discussing brain aging with numerous investigators, one point always was dif-ficult to resolve, namely, how does one know that changes observed in the aging brain are not a result of deterioration of other organs? For example, rodents, a popular model for gerontologists, are prone to liver tumors in