Age-related decline in striatal volume in rhesus monkeys: assessment of long-term calorie restriction.
Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), we measured striatal volume in 22 male rhesus monkeys undergoing calorie restriction (CR) for 11-13 years and 38 monkeys who were fed ad libitum (CON). CR delays the onset of many age-related processes, and this study tested whether it would alter the age-related decline in striatal volume. The CON and CR groups were sub-divided into middle age (less than 24 years old) and old age groups. Contrary to expectation, volumes of the putamen (not the caudate nucleus) were larger bilaterally in the CON than in the CR group both at middle age and senescence. Regression analysis (region volume versus age) indicated bilateral age-related declines in putamen and caudate nucleus volumes in the old CON monkeys, but only for the putamen in the old CR monkeys. Because tests for slopes found no differences between the groups, the data do not establish an effect of CR. Further study, involving sequential imaging, is warranted in order to clarify the possible effects of CR on age-related changes in striatal volume.