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Volume 2 Issue 6, June 2022

Brain mitophagy delays systemic aging

In this issue, Schmid and colleagues demonstrate that the cellular clearance of dysfunctional mitochondria, via mitophagy, is compromised in the aging fruit fly brain. Genetic overexpression of neuronal BNIP3, a protein involved in the induction of mitophagy, was shown to delay systemic aging in the fruit flies. The cover illustrates engulfment of dysfunctional mitochondria in the brain for removal via mitophagy to promote healthy aging and depicts the fruit fly as the model organism.

See Schmid et al. and the accompanying News & Views by Lautrup and Fang

Cover image: Dr. Leila Fletcher. Cover Design: Lauren Heslop

Comment & Opinion

  • Nature Aging speaks with Steve Horvath, biogerontologist, biostatistician and developer of epigenetic clocks, about the Mammalian Methylation Consortium, the construction of a pan-mammalian clock, and epigenetic age measurements for translational and clinical studies. Horvath reflects on his career and the fortunate circumstance that started his exploration of methylation changes in aging.

    • Anna Kriebs


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Research Highlights

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News & Views

  • Compromised clearance of dysfunctional mitochondria, through the process of mitophagy, has garnered attention as an essential contributor to aging and neurodegeneration. Schmid and colleagues1 reveal that genetic enhancement of mitophagy via neuronal overexpression of BNIP3 alleviates brain aging and prolongs healthspan in fruit flies.

    • Sofie Lautrup
    • Evandro F. Fang
    News & Views
  • Tau neuropathology is a defining feature of Alzheimer’s disease. For decades, its progression throughout the cortex has been captured post mortem using Braak stages. A new study replicated Braak staging in living patients using positron emission tomography, showing associations with other biomarkers and clinical deficits.

    • Maura Malpetti
    • Renaud La Joie
    News & Views
  • Transcription factors can control cell identity and function in health and disease. However, how they do so during aging is incompletely explored. Maity and colleagues identify age-related changes in gene regulation by analyzing the expression patterns of transcription-factor target genes in single-cell transcriptomics data.

    • Cyril Lagger
    • João Pedro de Magalhães
    News & Views
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Research Briefings

  • High-affinity tau-PET was used to apply the Braak neuropathological staging system for Alzheimer’s disease in vivo. Tau-PET can be used to stage Alzheimer’s disease from presymptomatic to clinical dementia phases in people, while also providing a framework to model the natural history of Alzheimer’s disease using biomarkers.

    Research Briefing
  • Older adults from long-term care facilities who had been infected with COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic were found to have robust cellular and humoral responses to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Importantly, serostatus did not affect humoral immunity to influenza or other respiratory syncytial viruses.

    Research Briefing
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  • Whether and how cognitive training may be used to improve cognitive functions in older age remains incompletely explored, and existing studies have yielded inconsistent results. Here, the authors argue that emerging technologies can transform the field of cognitive enhancement by enabling personalized strategies for cognitive enhancement in older adults.

    • David A. Ziegler
    • Joaquin A. Anguera
    • Adam Gazzaley
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Amendments & Corrections

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