Aging is a critical factor in disorders associated with the spinal cord, especially in relation to motor neurons, which regulate daily and essential activities, such as walking, speaking or swallowing, among many others.
A team of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Beijing, has identified in an experimental model of non-human primates a group of cells that are close to aging motor neurons and that are differentiated by a specific biomarker. The results are published in Nature.
Using a single-cell resolution analysis of the spinal cord of some macaques with advanced age (17 to 18 years)scientists have observed that these cells express a high level of the factor chitotriosidase-1 (CHIT1), a driver of motor neuron aging.
The researchers, led by Guang-Hui Luiprofessor at the Institute of Regeneration and Stem Cells, at the Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, have also shown that the prosenescent effects of the CH1T1 factor can be attenuated by vitamin C.
“We have shown that CHIT1 acts as a driver of motor neuron aging, and its pro-senescence effects can be counteracted by the geroprotective compound ascorbic acid. [vitamina C]”, they write in Nature.