Brain Cells Found To Control Aging

Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine have found that stem cells in the brain’s hypothalamus govern how fast aging occurs in the body. The finding, made in mice, could lead to new strategies for warding off age-related diseases and extending lifespan. The hypothalamus was known to regulate important processes including growth, development, reproduction and metabolism. In a 2013 Nature paper, Einstein researchers made the surprising finding that the hypothalamus also regulates aging throughout the body. Now, the scientists have pinpointed the cells in the hypothalamus that control aging: a tiny population of adult neural stem cells, which were known to be responsible for forming new brain neurons.


Our research shows that the number of hypothalamic neural stem cells naturally declines over the life of the animal, and this decline accelerates aging,” says senior author Dongsheng Cai, M.D., Ph.D., professor of molecular pharmacology at Einstein. “But we also found that the effects of this loss are not irreversible. By replenishing these stem cells or the molecules they produce, it’s possible to slow and even reverse various aspects of aging throughout the body.”

The findings have been published online in Nature.


Nanoparticule To Cure Acne

Advances in nanotechnology have demonstrated potential application of nanoparticles (NPs) for effective and targeted drug delivery. A research team from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine have investigated the antimicrobial and immunological properties and the feasibility of using NPs to deliver antimicrobial agents to treat a cutaneous pathogen. For instance acne is one of the most common dermatologic diseases affecting between 40-50 million people each year. While best known as bothersome part of puberty, affecting approximately 75% of teenagers, acne can persist or even first start during adulthood, causing emotional and physical distress as well as permanent disfigurement.

NPs synthesized with chitosan and alginate demonstrated a direct antimicrobial activity in vitro against Propionibacterium acnes, the bacterium linked to the pathogenesis of acne. By electron microscopy (EM) imaging, chitosan–alginate NPs were found to induce the disruption of the P. acnes cell membrane, providing a mechanism for the bactericidal effect.