Heterochronic parabiosis is the process of linking the circulatory systems of an old and young animal. It improves measures of aging in the older individual, and worsens measures of aging in the younger individual. Researchers use this technique to try to pinpoint the important signaling and other cell behavior changes that take place with advancing age. This isn’t just a matter of looking at signals in the bloodstream, however. Researchers can analyze any of the changing gene expression patterns and biochemical relationships inside cells, as they respond to the altered environment. That is the case in the open access paper I’ll point out here; a research team experimenting with heterochronic parabiosis found that it increased expression of TET2 in old mice, and they present evidence to implicate reduced levels of TET2 in age-related cognitive decline.
During aging, the number of neural stem/progenitor cells (NPCs), and subsequently neurogenesis, precipitously declines in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus (DG) in the hippocampus. Mounting evidence in animal models indicates the potential for rejuvenation
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