There had been talk of transplanting excrement from young mice to improve the health of older mice, this time scientists used cerebrospinal fluid. According to a new study published in the journal Naturean injection of cerebrospinal fluid from young mice allowed older mice to regain better memory capacity.
This study was carried out by medical researchers at Stanford University. The scientists used mice a few years old. They injected them with either cerebrospinal fluid from mice a few months old or synthetic fluid. It was observed that those who received the natural product had a better performance in terms of memorization.
This is an experiment that could have big implications for improving memory in humans.
The memory test
Before injecting the fluids into the older mice, they were conditioned to associate a flash of light with a shock to their paws. After the injection, the researchers observed that the mice given the natural liquid began to freeze in response to the flash, meaning that they remembered the shocks to the paws.
As for the mice that received the artificial product, they reacted in the same way as those in the control group. The latter had not received any injections.
What the results suggest
According to the scientists, these results suggest that the mice given the “young” fluid were better able to produce new oligodendrocytes. The latter are a rather complicated type of neurological cells that help insulate brain neurons. According to the researchers’ hypotheses, these oligodendrocytes will help produce myelin, which is the insulating layer between neurons.
Tal Iram, a Stanford neuroscientist and co-author of the study, explains that oligodendrocytes are unique since their progenitors are still present in large numbers in older brains. But these parents are very slow when they respond to signals that favor their differentiation. Iram added that they found that when broodstock are re-exposed to young cerebrospinal fluid, they proliferate and produce more myelin in the hippocampus.
Despite these promising results, Iram stressed that this discovery should not be used as the basis for a claim that a technology has been found to rejuvenate.