The Effect of Age on Mitochondrial Ultrastructure and Enzymes

  • P. D. Wilson
  • L. M. Franks
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 53)


The ultrastructure of perfused livers and of mitochondrial fractions from 6 months and 30 month-old C57/BL mice were studied. In old mice the liver cell mitochondria were enlarged and rounded with a light “foamy”, vacuolated matrix, short cristae and a loss of dense granules. Quantitative studies showed a 60% increase in the mean size and an increased proportion of larger mitochondria in intact 30 month-old perfused livers. Endothelial and Kupffer cell mitochondria were smaller than those of the parenchymal cells.

Mitochondria in pellets prepared from 6 and 30 month-old livers were rounded and condensed although there were a few larger and “foamy” mitochondria in the preparations from old mice. Up to 47% of large mitochondria in the old livers were lost during cell fractionation. The levels of cytochrome oxidase and malate de-hydrogenase were slightly decreased with age but their cytochemical localization was unchanged.


Parenchymal Cell Cytochrome Oxidase Liver Mitochondrion Malate Dehydrogenase Perfuse Liver 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. D. Wilson
    • 1
  • L. M. Franks
    • 1
  1. 1.Imperial Cancer Research FundLondonEngland

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