Gut microbe secreted molecule linked to formation of new ner
The billions of microbes living in your gut could play a key role in supporting the formation of new nerve cells in the adult brain, with the potential to possibly prevent memory loss in old age and help to repair and renew nerve cells after injury, an international research team has discovered.

Researchers found that gut microbes that metabolize tryptophan—an essential amino acid—secrete small molecules called indoles, which stimulate the development of new brain cells in adults.

They also demonstrated that the indole-mediated signals elicit key regulatory factors known to be important for the formation of new adult neurons in the hippocampus, an area of the brain also associated with memory and learning. Memory loss is a common sign of accelerated aging and often an early sign of Alzheimer's disease (AD).

These findings bring us closer to the possibility of novel treatment options to slow down memory loss, which is a common problem with aging and neurodegenerative diseases including but not limited to Alzheimer's disease. These include drugs to mimic the action of indoles to stimulate the production of new neurons in the hippocampus or to replace neurons damaged by stroke and spinal injury, as well as designing dietary intervention using food products enriched with indoles as a preventive measure to slow down the aging.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Source: www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.2021091118
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