Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. 

 

Peter Diamandis

Glia, not neurons, are most affected by brain aging

RATE THIS! +34
Posted in Science on 12th Jan, 2017 05:51 PM by AlexMuller

Researchers who examined postmortem brain samples from 480 individuals ranging in age from 16 to 106 found that the state of someone's glia is so consistent through the years that it can be used to predict someone's age. The work lays the foundation to better understand glia's role in late-in-life brain disease.

 

"We extensively characterized aging-altered gene expression changes across 10 human brain regions and found that, in fact, glial cells experience bigger changes than neurons," says Jernej Ule, a neurobiologist at the Francis Crick Institute and the University College London, who led the study with departmental colleague Rickie Patani and first author Lilach Soreq.
 
"There's quite a bit of regional information that will be of interest to different people, for example some will notice a very unique pattern of astrocyte-specific changes in the substantia nigra, and we provide a lot of data that still needs to be analyzed."
 
There are three types of glia cells, each providing different kinds of support to neurons: oligodendrocytes insulate, microglia act as immune cells, and astrocytes help with neuron metabolism, detoxification, among many functions. Based on analysis of human brain tissue samples, primarily from the UK Brain Expression Consortium, the researchers show that astrocytes and oligodendrocytes shift their regional gene expression patterns upon aging, (e.g., which genes are turned on or off) particularly in the hippocampus and substantia nigra—important brain regions for memory and movement, respectively—while the expression of microglia-specific genes increases in all brain regions.
 
The investigators next took a preliminary look at whether these changes in gene expression could relate to changes in brain cell populations. Based on a comparison of tissue samples from 3 young and 3 old brains, they found that the number of oligodendrocytes decreases with age in the frontal cortex. They further established that this likely corresponds with decreased expression of oligodendrocyte specific genes. Other types of cells had more complicated patterns of change.
 
"We developed a very nice machine learning program and had to go through hundreds of thousands of oligodendrocytes and neurons to get reliable data, but we wanted to understand whether decreased expression causes changes at the molecular or cellular-level," Ule says. "We did see oligodendrocytes disappearing but with neurons we didn't see dramatic changes in cellular numbers except for a decrease in the largest neurons. This is of interest because those largest neurons are generally connected to neurodegenerative diseases."
 
One unexpected finding was that certain glial gene expression patterns could predict age in the general population. While this can only be done postmortem, and certain people will not fit neatly into these patterns, it does provide scientists one more tool to understand how aging in the brain may be linked to the causes of age-related disorders. The researchers' ultimate goal is to see whether gene mutations or other variables could affect gene expression in ways that cause disease.

Tags: braingliahealthmedicineagingneuroscience

Read original article » Back to category

Comments



 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Software on 2017-12-17 22:27:47
    Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple added to Bloomberg.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-12-17 22:22:12
    Blue Origin flies booster and crew capsule..read more
    Posted in Medicine on 2017-12-17 22:19:29
    Anti-aging drugs only a few years away..read more
    Posted in Online on 2017-12-15 13:43:41
    The FCC votes to repeal the 2015 net neutrality rules..read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-12-15 13:34:37
    How Clinical Trials Are Making the Case for MDMA in.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Martian landscapes formed from sand 'levitating' on a little.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists detect comets outside our solar system..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Advanced artificial limbs mapped in the brain..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Bacteria have a sense of touch..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Recurrent brain cancer: New hope with phase 1 clinical trial.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me