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Young blood reverses age-related impairments in cognitive function and synaptic plasticity in mice.

Nature medicine | Sep 23, 2014

As human lifespan increases, a greater fraction of the population is suffering from age-related cognitive impairments, making it important to elucidate a means to combat the effects of aging. Here we report that exposure of an aged animal to young blood can counteract and reverse pre-existing effects of brain aging at the molecular, structural, functional and cognitive level. Genome-wide microarray analysis of heterochronic parabionts--in which circulatory systems of young and aged animals are connected--identified synaptic plasticity-related transcriptional changes in the hippocampus of aged mice. Dendritic spine density of mature neurons increased and synaptic plasticity improved in the hippocampus of aged heterochronic parabionts. At the cognitive level, systemic administration of young blood plasma into aged mice improved age-related cognitive impairments in both contextual fear conditioning and spatial learning and memory. Structural and cognitive enhancements elicited by exposure to young blood are mediated, in part, by activation of the cyclic AMP response element binding protein (Creb) in the aged hippocampus. Our data indicate that exposure of aged mice to young blood late in life is capable of rejuvenating synaptic plasticity and improving cognitive function.

Pubmed ID: 24793238 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Age Factors | Aging | Animals | Blood Transfusion | Blotting, Western | Cell Line | Cognition Disorders | Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein | DNA Primers | Hippocampus | Immunohistochemistry | Mice | Mice, Inbred C57BL | Microarray Analysis | Neuronal Plasticity | Parabiosis | Polymerase Chain Reaction

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Associated grants

  • Agency: NIA NIH HHS, Id: AG03144
  • Agency: NIA NIH HHS, Id: R01 AG045034
  • Agency: NCATS NIH HHS, Id: UL1-TR000004
  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: T32 MH020016
  • Agency: NIA NIH HHS, Id: 1F31-AG034045-01
  • Agency: NIH HHS, Id: DP5 OD012178
  • Agency: NCRR NIH HHS, Id: UL1 RR025744
  • Agency: NCATS NIH HHS, Id: UL1 TR001085
  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: T32 HD007470
  • Agency: NIH HHS, Id: DP5-OD1217
  • Agency: NCATS NIH HHS, Id: UL1 TR000004
  • Agency: NCRR NIH HHS, Id: UL1-RR025744
  • Agency: NIA NIH HHS, Id: AG045034

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