Hypothalamus, Inflammation and Aging
During the aging of tissues inflammatory phenomena develop mainly through the activation of the NF-kB protein in the hypothalamus which significantly accelerates the aging process, reducing, for example, muscle strength, epidermal thickness and cognitive abilities. Conversely, blocking NF-kB slows aging and increases life expectancy by about 20%. These are the results of a study conducted on mice and published in Nature by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University (New York).
Dongsheng Cai, head of research claims, “It is exciting that it is possible, at least in mice, to alter signals within the hypothalamus to slow the aging process and increase longevity.”
According to Cai the activation of NF-kB in the hypothalamus reduces the levels of the GnRH hormone, important for reproduction, while the injection of this hormone in the hypothalamus of older mice protects them from the difficulty of producing neurons typical of aging and cognitive decline associated with it. Thus preventing inflammation in the hypothalamus and increasing the production of hormones by injections of GnRH are two potential strategies to increase life expectancy and treat disorders associated with aging.