Cellular Composition in the Aging Cerebral Cortex of Humans

V. P. Kalanjati, M. W. Hendrata, F. N. Ardana

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The numbers/densities of neurons and gliocytes and the neuron-to-glia ratios were calculated in different layers of the cerebral cortex of three subjects in a post mortem study. The subjects were 60 to 70 years old (which was qualified as a relatively early period of aging) and had no history of neurodegeneration diseases. The brains embalmed in 10% formalin-fixative solution were processed, and coronal 4-μm-thick slices of tissues of the frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes were prepared and stained with hematoxylin-eosin. Clear cortical lamination was observed in all lobes. In the frontal lobe, the mean neuron density (number of neurons within visual fields at a 400× magnification) was significantly higher, while that of gliocytes was significantly lower compared to the respective values in other lobes (P < 0.05). A significant association between the number of neurons and glia was found in the frontal lobe (r2 = 0.40, P = 0.0029) and in all superficial cortical layers (r2 = 0.72, P = 0.0025), but not in the deeper layers (r2 = 0.18, P = 0.14). The mean neuron-to-glia ratio in different lobes and layers varied from 1.0 : 0.81 to 1.0 : 3.54. It is concluded that, in early-aging subjects with no cerebral pathology, the quantitative characteristics of cortical neurons and glial cells do not differ significantly from those in the brains of younger adult healthy subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-429
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • aging
  • cortical zones
  • gliocytes
  • humans
  • neocortex
  • neuron-to-glio ratio
  • neurons


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