Natural killers of cognition

One of the mechanisms driving aging and neurodegenerative diseases is the accumulation of senescent cells, while their elimination mitigates age-related decline. A new report details how, with aging, changes in the dentate gyrus microenvironment lead to natural-killer-cell-mediated clearance of neurogenic senescent cells, resulting in cognitive decline.

Life expectancy worldwide is continuously rising. At the same time, living to an old age also increases the risk of developing chronic pathological conditions. Understanding the common mechanisms that drive age-related diseases is necessary to treat these conditions and extend health span. These mechanisms, including impairments in immune system activity and accumulation of senescent cells, are the focus of extensive research. However, do the same molecular and cellular players of aging perform similar functions in all tissues and cell types? Jin et al.1 report a new role of natural killer (NK) cells in promoting brain aging, underscoring that not all tissues age the same.



About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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