Re: AGING: reversal of neuron functional declines

From: jeff davis (
Date: Sat Oct 27 2001 - 16:50:12 MDT


--- "Robert J. Bradbury" <> wrote:
> This is great news...
> Conner JM, Darracq MA, Roberts J, Tuszynski MH.
> Nontropic actions of neurotrophins: subcortical
> nerve growth factor gene
> delivery reverses age-related degeneration of
> primate cortical cholinergic
> innervation.

One line from the abstract caught my attention:

"...aging is associated with a significant 25%
reduction in cortical innervation by cholinergic
systems in rhesus monkeys (P < 0.001). Further, these
age-related reductions are ameliorated by cellular
delivery of human nerve growth factor to cholinergic
somata in the basal forebrain, restoring levels of
cholinergic innervation in the cortex to those of
young monkeys."

My question would be, "Is there a causative correlated
age-related reduction in on board nerve growth factor,
which might be increased by some manner of stimulation
(hormone therapy, gene therapy, other?), or is the
nerve growth factor still at "youthful" levels but the
neurons are no longer responding as before to those
levels, needing more NGF to achieve the higher
"youthful" level of response?

Also, I note that the abstract says that the monkeys
were dosed with ***human***nerve growth factor. Now,
the results suggest that human and rhesus nerve growth
factor are highly similar--so similar that the "human"
NGF "works" on the rhesus subjects. I'd be curious to
know the degree of difference.


Best, Jeff Davis

 "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
                       Ray Charles

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