The number of synapses per unit volume and per granule cell and the size of dendritic spines were studied in the dentate gyrus of Sprague-Dawley rats 6, 24, and 30 months of age. Neither synaptic density nor mean spine volume showed any age-related trends. An increase in granule cell packing density at 24 months and concomitant stability of the height of the granule cell layer is consistent with the idea that postnatal generation of granule cells may continue late into life. Possible explanations for the discrepancies in the literature regarding synaptic loss in this area include differences in morphometric techniques, age of animals used, regional differences within dentate gyrus, and sampling variability. Generalized synapse loss in the senescent rodent brain remains to be established. © 1983.