Sarah Ehses

(originally awarded to Ravi Jagasi)

Helmholz Zentrum München

Munich, Germany


Role of mitochondrial dysfunction in astrocytes in brain aging


The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying age-related dysfunction of the brain are not fully understood. Impairment of mitochondrial function is a factor for aging in many tissues including the brain. Astrocytes play roles in synaptic plasticity, survival, and adult neurogenesis. Given their role in brain physiology we hypothesize that astrocytic dysfunction might be an important contributor to neuronal dysfunction and cognitive decline associated with aging. To this end astrocytes in aged human brain will be examined for impairment of mitochondrial function. These studies will be combined with studies in mice, in which we induce mitochondrial dysfunction specifically in astrocytes and examine consequence on cognition, neurogenesis, and gene expression. These studies may provide new insight into the role of astrocytes in the process of brain aging.


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