Umbilical Cord Compound Boosts Brain Power in Mice

Researchers found a protein in human umbilical cord blood plasma improved learning and memory in older mice but there's no indication it would work in people

Researchers found a protein in human umbilical cord blood plasma improved learning and memory in older mice but there's no indication it would work in people

In the study, published April 19 in the journal Nature, researchers from Stanford University found that plasma from blood in human umbilical cords had a stimulatory effect on the brains of mice. Researchers have discovered hundreds of compounds that babies produce in abundance and that adult bodies seem to barely make at all.

A specific protein called TIMP2 was found to mimic the same beneficial results as the umbilical cord blood.

There are lots of caveats. They examined the mouse brains and investigated the hippocampi.

In the meantime, another company Ambrosia is offering a clinical trial now in which participants are injected with young plasma derived from donors ranging in age from 15 to 25 years old.

Researchers at Stanford had first noted that injecting middle-aged mice with plasma from human cord blood could boost activity in their hippocampi, an area of the brain critical for creating and banking memories.

"It was all mouse to mouse".

The team then analyzed protein changes in human umbilical cord, young adult, and elderly adult plasma, as well as in plasma from mice of different ages, identifying TIMP2 as a candidate plasticity-promoting factor. Wyss-Coray wondered if TIMP2 suppresses signals from senescent cells, including microglia and astrocytes, which help drive the aging process.

Researchers used immune-deficient mice during their experiments and repeatedly injected them with human plasma without negative immune reactions.

But what component of the serum was doing it? Her own work suggests that the apparent antiaging effects of young blood may reflect the fact that it contains less of certain factors in old blood that her lab and others have reported contribute to aging.

BC party leaders to stake out positions in first election campaign debate
But I don't think the NDP particularly care whether anyone thinks their plan will result in balanced budgets or not. Liberal spending plans involve hiking the provincial debt from $66.6 billion to $77.7 billion in three years.

Earlier studies have turned up youthful effects of young mice's blood on old mice (SN: 12/27/14, p. 21). The mice also got better at memory tests. The researchers suggest that it is likely that similar beneficial effects would be seen in humans.

Valdez said that the therapeutic potential could extend beyond TIMP2-to endogenous factors that cause levels of the protein to decrease with aging. It's not practical to do large-scale blood transfusions, even if they could be shown to help - which they haven't been.

That runs counter to the argument made by Castellano and colleagues that TIMP2 is associated with improved memory and learning, and that TIMP2 levels would drop as people age. "We are not saying we've found the protein that's responsible for brain aging". The lower the age at which the plasma is collected, the higher are its benefits.

What's more, antibodies against TIMP2 suppressed LTP in hippocampal slices from wild-type mice, and worsened their performance in an object-recognition task. "That will be a much better intervention because you're actually working with the endogenous protein, rather than having to administer [TIMP2] and dealing with side effects of too much or too little".

The science is in very early stages now.

"We need to find out if it works in serious human trials", Wyss-Coray says.

"This is exciting", said Roberta Diaz Brinton of the University of Southern California and the University of Arizona, who was not involved in the work.

Decades ago in somewhat grisly experiments, researchers found that sewing together the circulatory systems of an old and young mouse so that they shared the same blood supply rejuvenated the old animals.

Castellano concedes that "further studies will be needed to comprehensively characterize TIMP2 [levels and expression] over more precise age ranges and over varied demographic" groups, but defends its use in their study, as its effect on neuroplasticity appear positive and haven't been studied before.

Recommended News

  • Big Boi Drops Hard-Hitting 'Kill Jill' With Killer Mike and Jeezy

    Big Boi Drops Hard-Hitting 'Kill Jill' With Killer Mike and Jeezy

    And that's not all Big Boi is up to today - he'll soon be releasing "Kill Jill " with fellow ATL rap vets Killer Mike and Jeezy. He also posted a couple of movie poster parodies featuring himself and Adam Levine with the hastag #BigLevine.
    Samsung, Amazon Team Up to Create HDR10+ Standard

    Samsung, Amazon Team Up to Create HDR10+ Standard

    HDR10 Plus will have contrast ratio and colors for each frame and allow content creators to express their intent better. Samsung said it will continue steps to expand the ecosystem of the HDR technology with various business partners.
    Pound swings back into positive territory after snap election announcement

    Pound swings back into positive territory after snap election announcement

    USA crude CLc1 added 0.1 percent to $52.69 a barrel, after falling 1 percent on Monday, its biggest decline in nearly a month. The Australian dollar slumped 0.4 percent to $0.7528, pressured by sterling's rise as well as a slide in iron ore prices.
  • Trump to attend Asia summits: Pence

    On April 26-29, leaders of ASEAN member countries are set to attend the 30th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings in Manila. Paynor elaborated on specific issues Duterte may discuss with Widodo.
    Nawaz Sharif narrowly survives Panamagate jolt

    Nawaz Sharif narrowly survives Panamagate jolt

    Fawad Chaudhry of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) said that Sharif should resign as all judges have accepted that money was illegally sent out of the country.

    Workers stop leak at Alaska well with salt water

    The ADEC also said that two leaks have been identified at the well, one near the top and one further down the well assembly. North Slope production rose to 565,000 barrels a day in March, its highest level since December 2013.
  • Indian ISIS miltants reportedly killed in US' MOAB attack in Afghanistan

    "An Afghan security source confirmed death of 13 Indians in MOAB attack in Achin", the news agency said in a tweet today. A security officer was quoted saying "13 Indian Daesh militants were also among those killed".
    Reds hang on as Firmino nets victor  again

    Reds hang on as Firmino nets victor again

    Jurgen Klopp said he was "really pleased" with Liverpool's performance after they won 1-0 at West Bromwich Albion on Sunday. Late on, Alberto Moreno missed an empty goal from 40 yards after Albion keeper Ben Foster had gone up for a corner.
    Amber Alert Issued for Two Children out of Oklahoma

    Amber Alert Issued for Two Children out of Oklahoma

    The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office said in a tweet that the mother was taken into custody. The children were in good condition, the Delaware County Sheriff's Office said.
  • Nicki Minaj causes a stir with new music video 'No Frauds'

    Nicki Minaj causes a stir with new music video 'No Frauds'

    Injured people are assisted after an attack on Westminster Bridge in London on March 22. . After the incident, it was thought that she would edit those scenes out of the video.

    What's Acceptable Profitability For SABRE CORP (SABR) and Snyder's-Lance, Inc. (LNCE)?

    Company's distance from 20 day simple moving average is 3.57% and distance from 50-Day simple moving average is 1.18%. It has outperformed by 89.58% the S&P500.The move comes after 8 months negative chart setup for the $364.74M company.
    DSS: Boko Haram plot to attack US, UK Embassies in Abuja foiled

    DSS: Boko Haram plot to attack US, UK Embassies in Abuja foiled

    UNICEF report highlights increase in the number of children, mostly girls, used by armed group in the Lake Chad region . The upcoming third anniversary of the Chibok girls' kidnapping on Friday has renewed focus on their plight.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.