Scientists find key mechanism to slow down ageing

Scientists find key mechanism to slow down ageing

The study explains that certain neurons in the brain, located in the dorsomedial hypothalamus, play a big role in telling fat tissue to release energy.
Scientists find key mechanism to slow down ageing

Web Desk

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17 Jan 2024

Scientists have discovered an important way of communication between the brain and fat tissue that could hold the key to slowing down the ageing process.

This discovery, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, could change how we understand ageing and even lead to new ways to fight getting older.

The study explains that certain neurons in the brain, located in the dorsomedial hypothalamus, play a big role in telling fat tissue to release energy.

These neurons make a protein called Ppp1r17, which activates the sympathetic nervous system. This sets off a chain of events causing the release of fatty acids and an enzyme called eNAMPT from fat tissue.

This process is crucial for keeping energy levels in the body and brain, but as we age, it doesn't work as well, leading to health problems.

In experiments with older mice, scientists used special techniques to keep this communication pathway open. 

The results were impressive, these mice were more active, showed signs of ageing later, and lived significantly longer than normal ageing mice.

Mice with an active brain-fat feedback loop lived about 7% longer, which could be like adding around five years to a human's life.

The scientists noticed that as mice got older, the Ppp1r17 protein moved away from the neurons, weakening signals to fat tissue. This resulted in less release of fatty acids and eNAMPT, causing fat build-up and less available energy.

The findings suggest that by maintaining this brain-fat tissue connection, we might not only live longer but also stay healthier.

The researchers are exploring a therapy using eNAMPT to potentially slow down ageing. This enzyme, produced by fat tissue and sent back to the brain, helps sustain the feedback loop.

Scientists are optimistic about the possibility of using this knowledge to develop ways to extend both lifespan and health span in people.

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