Human Umbilical Blood Has Regenerated the Brains of Elderly Mice
In a study published in Nature, investigators found that the protein TIMP2, found in human umbilical cord blood, improved learning and memory in aging mice. For the study, investigators collected plasma from individuals of various ages, as well as plasma from human umbilical cords.
The human plasma was injected into mice that were 12 and 14 months old several times over a couple of weeks, NPR reported. After dissecting the mouse brains, the investigators found that certain genes linked to creating new memories had been turned on in some of the mice.
Next, they injected more aging mice with human plasma and tested their ability to remember things.
Prior to the injection, it took the mice a long time to learn and remember the location of the escape hole in the maze, with some not managing at all.
Author Joe Castellano told NPR:
“But after the cord plasma treatment, both the time [it took to] find it, the rate at which they’d find it and the fact that they do find it was improved and changing,”
“Our findings reveal that human cord plasma contains plasticity-enhancing proteins of high translational value for targeting ageing- or disease-associated hippocampal dysfunction,” the researchers write in Nature.
Similarly, mice treated with human umbilical cord blood performed better on the secondary memory test.
How we then turn that knowledge into a non-creepy treatment will be a whole other story.
The research has been published in Nature.