Australian Natural Bodz - - Health, Sex & Longevity -

The foun­tain of youth might re­side deep in our brains. Stem cells in the hy­po­thal­a­mus have been found to in­flu­ence the ag­ing process. Ac­cord­ing to some new re­search, the key to liv­ing longer may re­side deep in our brains. In a ma­jor break­through for our un­der­stand­ing of how the brain con­trols ag­ing, sci­en­tists man­aged to both speed up and slow down the ag­ing process in mice by dis­rupt­ing the vol­ume of neu­ral stem cells found in the hy­po­thal­a­mus. Back in 2013, a team from New York’s Al­bert Ein­stein Col­lege of Medicine dis­cov­ered that a re­gion of the brain called the hy­po­thal­a­mus seemed to play a key role in the way the body reg­u­lated its ag­ing pro­cesses. The hy­po­thal­a­mus was al­ready known for be­ing re­spon­si­ble for many func­tions, in­clud­ing growth, devel­op­ment, re­pro­duc­tion and cer­tain meta­bolic pro­cesses, but its re­la­tion­ship with ag­ing was new. “Our re­search shows that the num­ber of hy­potha­la­mic neu­ral stem cells nat­u­rally de­clines over the life of the an­i­mal, and this de­cline ac­cel­er­ates ag­ing,” says Dongcheng Cai, se­nior au­thor in the re­search. The ini­tial stud­ies in­volv­ing mice looked at the cor­re­la­tion be­tween age and the num­ber of hy­potha­la­mic stem cells. It was ob­served that as healthy mice got older, the num­ber of these stem cells be­gan to di­min­ish. “By old age – about two years of age in mice – most of those cells were gone,” says Dr. Cai. In or­der to con­firm the con­nec­tion be­tween ag­ing and these stem cells, the sci­en­tists then se­lec­tively dis­rupted the hy­potha­la­mic stem cells in mid­dle-aged mice. This ac­tion was ob­served to sig­nif­i­cantly ac­cel­er­ate the ag­ing process of mice com­pared to a con­trol group. The fi­nal, and most ex­cit­ing, stage of the team’s re­search was to ex­per­i­ment with whether an ad­di­tion of hy­potha­la­mic stem cells to the brain could ac­tu­ally coun­ter­act ag­ing. Hy­potha­la­mic stem cells were in­jected into the brains of healthy old mice and the treat­ment was seen to slow, or even in some in­stances re­verse, var­i­ous mea­sures of ag­ing. In try­ing to un­der­stand how this anti-ag­ing ac­tion was oc­cur­ring, the re­searchers dis­cov­ered that these hy­potha­la­mic stem cells re­leased mol­e­cules called mi­croRNAs (miRNAs) into cere­brospinal fluid. When the re­searchers repli­cated this process ar­ti­fi­cially by in­ject­ing ex­tracted miRNAs into the cere­brospinal fluid of mice, they again ob­served sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced mea­sures of ag­ing. This break­through dis­cov­ery doesn’t of­fer us an im­me­di­ate “foun­tain of youth” treat­ment for liv­ing for­ever, but it does de­liver re­searchers a new un­der­stand­ing into how the hy­po­thal­a­mus seems to act as a cen­tral com­mand cen­ter for con­trol­ling ag­ing. Along­side the myr­iad of other anti-ag­ing re­search cur­rently oc­cur­ring, from epi­ge­netic reg­u­la­tion to a new class of drugs called senolyt­ics, it is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly be­liev­able that fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of hu­mans could live sig­nif­i­cantly longer than we do now. Ref: Al­bert Ein­stein Col­lege of Medicine

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