Discovered a protein that slows down brain aging


To determine the mechanisms underlying these effects, the experts examined the signaling pathways activated by young cerebrospinal fluid.

As the brain ages, cognitive decline increases along with the risk of dementia and neurodegenerative diseases. Now a scientific team has confirmed in mice how the cerebrospinal fluid of young animals improves the memory of the old.

The results of this study are published in the journal Nature And, according to the authors, the memory improvements seen in old mice receiving cerebrospinal fluid from younger ones can be attributed to growth factors that have been shown to restore neuronal cell function.

The results, assures the scientific team, demonstrate the potential rejuvenating properties of cerebrospinal fluid young for the aging brain.

As this organ ages, cognitive decline increases, along with the risk of dementia and neurodegenerative diseases, and understanding of how systemic factors affect the brain throughout life has shed light on potential treatments for slow down brain agingremember a summary of the magazine.

study with mice

Cerebrospinal fluid circulates through the hollow spaces of the brain, spinal cord, and between two of the meninges. It is part of the immediate environment of the brain, providing nutrient brain cellssignaling molecules and growth factors, but their role in brain aging is not well understood.

To check your possible rejuvenating propertiesthe team led by Tony Wyss-Coray, from Stanford University in the United States, infused cerebrospinal fluid from young mice (10 weeks old) into the brains of old mice (18 months old) and found that the treatment improved memory function of the longest living animals.

Specifically, this fluid from young mice increased the stimulation of cells called oligodendrocyte precursors – they have the potential to regenerate oligodendrocytes (a type of neuron cell) and myelin (a fatty material that protects nerve cells) – within the hippocampus, the memory center of the brain.

To determine the mechanisms underlying these effects, the experts examined the signaling pathways activated by young cerebrospinal fluid.

Conclusions and possible treatment

They discovered that a transcription factor -proteins involved in DNA regulation- known as SRF mediates the effects of young fluid on oligodendrocyte precursor cells; the expression of this factor was decreased in the hippocampus of older mice.

The authors also identify a growth factor -substances, mostly proteins, essential in cell repair processes- known as Fgf17 as a candidate to induce the aforementioned signaling. Fgf17 activity was also decreased in aged mice.

Related news

The authors conclude that these results identify the Fgf17 as a possible rejuvenation factor for the aging brain.

“The study not only implies that Fgf17 has potential as therapeutic targetbut also suggests that drug delivery routes that allow therapies to directly access the cerebrospinal fluid could be beneficial in the treatment of dementia,” researchers Miriam Zawadzki and Maria Lehtinen write in a commentary accompanying the Nature article.


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