Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Breaking bad blood: β2-microglobulin as a pro-aging factor in blood

Aging is a major risk factor for cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases. A new study identified β2-microglobulin as a blood-borne factor that detrimentally influences the brain during the aging process.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: The influence of the blood-borne factor B2M on aging and cognition.

Marina Corral Spence/Nature Publishing Group


  1. Smith, L.K. et al. Nat. Med. 21, 932–937 (2015).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Villeda, S.A. et al. Nat. Med. 20, 659–663 (2014).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Bert, P. J. Anatomie Physiologie. 1, 69–87 (1864).

    Google Scholar 

  4. Villeda, S.A. et al. Nature 477, 90–94 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Bochner, D.N. et al. Sci. Transl. Med. 6, 258ra140 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Djurisic, M. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 110, 20771–20776 (2013).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Montagne, A. et al. Neuron 85, 296–302 (2015).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Filiano, A.J., Gadani, S.P. & Kipnis, J. Brain Res. 1617, 18–27 (2015).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Quan, N. & Banks, W.A. Brain Behav. Immun. 21, 727–735 (2007).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Kunis, G. et al. Brain 136, 3427–3440 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Iliff, J.J. et al. Sci. Transl. Med. 4, 147ra111 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Louveau, A. et al. Nature 523, 337–341 (2015).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Anthony J Filiano or Jonathan Kipnis.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Filiano, A., Kipnis, J. Breaking bad blood: β2-microglobulin as a pro-aging factor in blood. Nat Med 21, 844–845 (2015).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing