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Brain Structures and Life-Span in Primate Species

Allman, John M. and McLaughlin, Todd and Hakeem, Atiya (1993) Brain Structures and Life-Span in Primate Species. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 90 (8). pp. 3559-3563. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC46340.

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In haplorhine primates, when the effect of body weight is removed, brain weight is correlated with maximum recorded life-span. In this paper we have analyzed the relationships between volumes of specific brain structures and life-span. When the effect of body weight is removed, the volumes of many brain structures are significantly, positively correlated with maximum recorded life-span. However, the volumes of the medulla and most first-order sensory structures do not correlate with life-span. The cerebellum is the brain structure that best correlates with life-span. Parts of the cerebellum are particularly vulnerable to age-related loss of mass in humans. For another measure of the life cycle, female reproductive age, a similar set of brain structures is significantly, positively correlated (again with the exceptions of the medulla and most first-order sensory structures). There are some differences between the structures correlated for life-span and female reproductive age. For example, the hippocampus and lateral geniculate nucleus correlate with female reproductive age but do not correlate with life-span. In strepsirhine primates, when the effect of body weight is removed, total brain weight does not significantly correlate with either life-span or female reproductive age. However, the volumes of some brain structures in strepsirhines do correlate with these life-cycle parameters. The centromedial complex of the amygdala is the only structure to correlate with life-span in both strepsirhine and haplorhine primates. This structure participates in the regulation of blood pressure and in the stress response, which may be key factors governing life-span.

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Additional Information:© 1993 by National Academy of Sciences Communicated by Carver A. Mead, January 8, 1993 We thank the 138 zoos and research institutions that kindly provided us primate life-span data and, especially, Mr. Marvin Jones, registrar of the Zoological Society of San Diego. We thank Mr. Christopher Alexander for his valuable assistance in compiling the data and statistical analysis. We thank Ms. Yuka Yonebayashi and Prof. Mark Konishi for translating longevity records from the Japanese Primate Center. We thank the Duke Primate Center for providing life-span information for Cheirogaleus medius, Lemur variegata, and Propithecus verreauxi. We also thank the three anonymous reviewers for their extremely helpful comments. Support for this research was provided by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through the Undergraduate Biological Sciences Education Program and by grants from the National Institute on Aging, the McDonnell-Pew Program in Cognitive Neuroscience, and the Hixon Professorship to J.M.A. The publication costs of this article were defrayed in part by page charge payment. This article must therefore be hereby marked "advertisement" in accordance with 18 U.S.C. §1734 solely to indicate this fact.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
James S. McDonnell FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Pew Charitable TrustUNSPECIFIED
Hixson Professorship, CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:8
PubMed Central ID:PMC46340
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:ALLpnas93a
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1276
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:07 Jan 2006
Last Modified:04 Jun 2020 19:39

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