Although glycogen synthase kinase 3beta (GSK3beta) is emerging as a prominent drug target in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and stroke, very little is known about age-related changes in GSK3beta expression and GSK3beta phosphorylation. Therefore, we examined age-related changes in immunoreactivities for GSK3beta and phosphorylated GSK3beta (pGSK3beta) in the central nervous system. In aged rats, there were significant increases in GSK3beta immunoreactivity in the cell bodies and processes of pyramidal cells in most cortical regions. GSK3beta immunoreactivity was also significantly increased in the pyramidal layer of CA1-3 regions, and the granule cell layer of dentate gyrus. Age-related increases were prominent in lateral septal nuclei, compared to the medial septal nuclei. Interestingly, both GSK3beta and pGSK3beta was increased in the prefrontal cortex, while GSK3beta and pGSK3beta was differentially localized in the cerebellar cortex. The first demonstration of age-related alterations in immunoreactivities for GSK3beta and pGSK3beta in the basal forebrain area and cholinergic projection targets may provide useful data for investigating the pathogenesis of age-related neurodegenerative diseases including AD.