Microvessels in the hippocampus of aged SAM-P/10 (14 months old) showed the following ultrastructural changes compared with those of young-mature controls (3 months old): (1) the majority of capillaries had lost the smooth contours typical of young cases; (2) the luminal surface of capillaries showed irregularity; (3) the endothelial cytoplasm was thicker; (4) vesicles appeared more frequently in the endothelium; (5) interendothelial tight junctions and basement membranes, however, seemed to show no significant abnormalities; (6) pericytes, especially those of arterioles and venules, contained many enlarged cytoplasmic inclusions with honeycomb-like vacuoles; (7) the area of glial perivascular end feet was greater. These morphological findings raise the possibility of impaired blood-brain barrier function and microhemodynamic disturbances in aged SAM-P/10 hippocampus.
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