How do different parts of the body communicate? Scientists at St. Jude are studying how signals sent from skeletal muscle affect the brain.
The team studied fruit flies and cutting-edge brain cell models called organoids. They focused on the signals muscles send when stressed. The researchers found that stress signals rely on an enzyme called Amyrel amylase and its product, the disaccharide maltose.
The scientists showed that mimicking the stress signals can protect the brain and retina from aging. The signals work by preventing the buildup of misfolded protein aggregates. Findings suggest that tailoring this signaling may potentially help combat neurodegenerative conditions like age-related dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
“We found that a stress response induced in muscle could impact not only the muscle but also promote protein quality control in distant tissues like the brain and retina,” said Fabio Demontis, PhD, of St. Jude Developmental Neurobiology. “This stress response was actually protecting those tissues during aging.”
1. Mamta Rai, Zane Coleman, Michelle Curley, Anjana Nityanandam, Anna Platt, Maricela Robles-Murguia, Jianqin Jiao, David Finkelstein, Yong-Dong Wang, Beisi Xu, Yiping Fan, Fabio Demontis. Proteasome stress in skeletal muscle mounts a long-range protective response that delays retinal and brain aging. Cell Metabolism, 2021; DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2021.03.005
Razi Berry is the founder and publisher of the journal Naturopathic Doctor News & Review, which has been in print since 2005, and the premier consumer-faced website of naturopathic medicine, NaturalPath. She is the host of The Love is Medicine Project docuseries, The Natural Cancer Prevention Summit, The Heart Revolution-Heal, Empower and Follow Your Heart, and the popular 10-week Sugar Free Summer program. From a near death experience as a young girl that healed her failing heart, to later overcoming infertility and chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia through naturopathic medicine, Razi has lived the mind/body healing paradigm. Her projects uniquely capture the tradition and philosophy of naturopathy: The healing power of nature, the vital life force in every living thing and the undeniable role that science and mind/body medicine have in creating health and overcoming dis-ease. You can follow Razi on social media: Facebook at Razi Berry, Instagram at Razi.Berry and join the Love is Medicine group to explore the convergence of love and health. Look for more, and listen to more Love is Medicine podcast episodes here.