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Mitochondrial Therapy Improves Cognitive and Motor performance in Mice

Posted on 9 March 2020

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Mitochondrial dysfunction is thought to be emphatically related to aging and age-related issues. However, whether healthy mitochondria could help alleviate and prevent these problems remains unclear.

Source: Vernochet C, Ronald Kahn C. Mitochondria, obesity and aging. Aging (Albany NY). 2012; 4:859-860.

In a recent study, researchers extracted mitochondria from young mice and injected them into older mice, to try to provide an answer to this question.

Using electron microscopy the team looked at the differences in brain mitochondria between young and old mice. They observed that young mitochondria had intact and well structured cristae, whereas the aged mitochondria exhibited shrinkage, reduction of cristae and poorer structure.

After injection of the young mitochondria into the old mice, they experienced increased rate of mitochondrial activity and reduced levels of oxidative damage, caused by reactive oxygen species.

Mitochondria in brain and skeletal muscle.

This improvement of mitochondrial performance not only led to significantly enhanced learning and memory capabilities, but it also reversed the age-related degradation of skeletal muscle function.

However, despite these vast improvements, the abilities of the old mice were not rejuvenated back to the performance of the young control mice.

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    1. Zizhen Zhao, Zhenyao Yu. Improvement of cognitive and motor performance with mitotherapy in aged mice. Int J Biol Sci 2020; 16(5):849-858. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.40886
    2. Vernochet C, Ronald Kahn C. Mitochondria, obesity and aging. Aging (Albany NY). 2012; 4:859-860.
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