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Can’t exercise? A protein from blood platelets may rejuvenate your neurons

Aug. 21, 2023.
1 min. read Interactions

"Platelet factor 4” protein works like physical exercise

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Amara Angelica

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Amara Angelica is Senior Editor, Mindplex

Neural stem cells in a mouse hippocampus shown in green (cell bodies shown in blue) give rise to new mature neurons (credit: the authors)

University of Queensland researchers have discovered that injecting platelets, the blood cells responsible for blood clotting, secretes a protein that rejuvenates neurons in aged mice in a similar way to physical exercise.

Stimulating neuron production in the brain

This “platelet factor 4” protein could help the very elderly (or someone who has had a brain injury or stroke) improve cognition, said Dr. Odette Leiter, at UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute. The researchers plan to test this response in Alzheimer-diseased mice, before moving towards human trials. If successful, the study could lead to drug interventions.

Citation: Leiter, O., Brici, D., Fletcher, S.J. et al. Platelet-derived exerkine CXCL4/platelet factor 4 rejuvenates hippocampal neurogenesis and restores cognitive function in aged mice. Nat Commun 14, 4375 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-39873-9 (open-access)

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One thought on “Can’t exercise? A protein from blood platelets may rejuvenate your neurons

  1. Well done!

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