Research press release




塩分の過剰摂取は、認知機能障害と関連付けられており、認知症のリスク因子である。この関連性の基盤となる正確な機序は解明されていないが、血管機能不全とニューロンにおけるタウタンパク質の凝集は、認知機能障害の発生に関わっていると考えられている。今回、Costantino Iadecolaたちの研究グループは、タウの凝集が認知機能障害の発生に関わっていることを示す証拠を発見し、リン酸化タウの濃度を最終的に上昇させるシグナル伝達カスケードを突き止めた。


A causal link between salt intake and cognitive function in mice is identified in a study published online in Nature this week. The study uncovers how feeding mice an extremely high-salt diet can lead to the accumulation of modified tau — a protein associated with conditions that cause dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Further research is needed to explore whether the results may be translated to humans.

Excessive salt consumption has been linked to cognitive impairment and is a risk factor for dementia. The precise mechanisms that underlie this association are unclear, but vascular dysfunction and the aggregation of tau proteins in neurons are thought to have a role in the development of cognitive impairment. Costantino Iadecola and colleagues find evidence for the latter, identifying a signalling cascade that culminates in increased levels of phosphorylated tau.

Mice that were fed a high-salt diet (8-16 times higher than a normal mouse diet) were less competent at recognizing new objects and struggled with a maze test. The authors show that high salt intake reduces nitric oxide synthesis, which leads to activation of an enzyme (CDK5) that is involved in tau phosphorylation. Cognitive impairment was reversed in mice by restoring nitric oxide production. The authors note that the high-salt diet fed to the mice exceeds the highest reported levels of salt consumption in humans (3-5 times the recommended level of 4-5 grams per day). Nevertheless, the results identify a previously unknown pathway linking dietary habits and cognitive health, which indicates that avoiding high-salt diets could maintain cognitive function.

doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1688-z

「Nature 関連誌注目のハイライト」は、ネイチャー広報部門が報道関係者向けに作成したリリースを翻訳したものです。より正確かつ詳細な情報が必要な場合には、必ず原著論文をご覧ください。

メールマガジンリストの「Nature 関連誌今週のハイライト」にチェックをいれていただきますと、毎週最新のNature 関連誌のハイライトを皆様にお届けいたします。