Young blood reverses age-related cognitive impairments
Wednesday, Oct 17, 2012, 2:45 PM - 3:00 PM
*S. A. VILLEDA
, J. MIDDELDORP
, J. LUO
, G. BIERI
, K. IRVING
, R. WABL
, B. ZOU
, D. SIMMONS
, X. XIE
, F. LONGO
, T. WYSS-CORAY
Stanford Univ., Palo Alto, CA;
AfaSci Res. Lab., Redwood City, CA;
Ctr. for Tissue Regeneration, Repair and Restoration, VA Palo Alto Hlth. Care Syst., Palo Alto, CA
Aging is associated with structural and functional changes in the adult brain that steadily drive cognitive impairments and susceptibility to degenerative disorders in healthy individuals. As human lifespan increases a greater fraction of the population suffers from age-related cognitive impairments, making it crucial to elucidate means by which to combat the effects of aging. To date, studies in old animals using heterochronic parabiosis - in which the circulatory systems of young and old animals are connected - have demonstrated that young blood can improve stem cell function in aging tissues including the brain. However, whether the enhancements of young blood extend beyond regeneration in either peripheral tissues or the central nervous system remains unknown. We hypothesized that the beneficial effects of young blood could counteract the pre-existing effects of aging in the old brain, and moreover improve higher order cognitive processes. Using heterochronic parabiosis we show that exposure of an old animal to young blood results in an increase in the dendritic spine density of mature granule cell neurons, as well as improvements in synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of old mice. Furthermore, intravenous administration of young blood plasma to old mice improved age-related cognitive impairments in both contextual fear conditioning and spatial learning and memory. Together, our data indicate that young blood is capable of reversing some of the structural and functional changes occurring in the adult brain during aging.
LEARNING AND MEMORY
NIA R01 AG027505
California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
[Authors]. [Abstract Title]. Program No. XXX.XX. 2012 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. New Orleans, LA: Society for Neuroscience, 2012. Online.
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