Your thymus and calories

This 2022 paper studied caloric restriction in humans followed up by rodent experiments:

“Extension of lifespan driven by 40% caloric restriction (CR) in rodents causes trade-offs in growth, reproduction, and immune defense that make it difficult to identify therapeutically relevant CR-mimetic targets. We report that about 14% CR for 2 years in healthy humans improved thymopoiesis.

thymus cr

Expression of the gene PLA2G7 is inhibited in humans undergoing CR. Deletion of Pla2g7 in mice showed decreased thymic lipoatrophy, protection against age-related inflammation, lowered NLRP3 inflammasome activation, and improved metabolic health.

Twenty-four-month-old PLA2G7-deficient mice (analogous to ~70-year-old humans) had larger thymi and higher thymocyte abundance, and were protected from age-related thymic involution.

thymus mice

We propose that reduction of PLA2G7 caused by CR in humans might contribute to better adipose tissue metabolism, lower inflammation, and reduced thymic lipoatrophy.” “Caloric restriction in humans reveals immunometabolic regulators of health span” (not freely available). Thanks to Dr. Alexander Predeus for providing a copy.

I would have liked rodent experiments to continue another year or so to determine the control group’s and PLA2G7-deficient group’s healthspans and lifespans. These researchers could have strengthened their findings if increased healthspans also increased lifespans.

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