Research press release


Nature Neuroscience

Reducing age-related memory loss with polyamines



無脊椎のモデル動物ではポリアミンが寿命を延ばし得ることから、Stephan Sigrist、Frank Madeoらは、ショウジョウバエで加齢に伴う記憶の衰えが食物のポリアミンで逆転できるものか調べた。著者らは、穏やかな電気刺激を知らせる特定の合図を学習するのが、老齢のハエでは比較的うまくいかないのに、高ポリアミン食を与えたハエはそのような欠陥を示さないことを発見した。この課題についての老齢ハエの行動は若齢ハエのものに匹敵していた。ポリアミンには自食作用(細胞がいたんだ小器官を分解して捨てる過程)を促進する役割があり、ポリアミンの有利な影響はこの役割を介していると、著者たちは指摘している。

Eating polyamine rich food can postpone age-induced memory decline in fruit flies, reports a paper published online this week in Nature Neuroscience. Since polyamines, which are found in various food sources, are known to naturally decrease in the human brain with age, and are also known to promote longevity in other model organisms, the current findings lend further support to the idea that increasing polyamines in the diet could help hold off age-related mental declines.

Most organisms utilize polyamines to modulate a variety of cellular processes such as for cell survival and proliferation. Mammalian cells are capable of synthesizing their own polyamines, though little is known about their native molecular function. It is also known that polyamine levels in the brain decrease during aging.

As polyamines can prolong life span in invertebrate model organisms, Stephan Sigrist, Frank Madeo and colleagues explored whether age-induced memory decline in fruit flies could be reversed with dietary polyamines. They found that while older flies were less successful in learning that a particular cue predicted a mild electric shock, older flies fed a high polyamine diet had no such deficit. The older flies’ performance of the task was comparable to that of younger flies. The authors note that the beneficial effects of polyamine were mediated by their role in promoting autophagy-a process of cellular self-digestion that rids defective organelles.

doi: 10.1038/nn.3512

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