The function of the dorsal ACC is to monitor pain in survival contexts

This 2015 California human study was of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC): “No neural region has been associated with more conflicting accounts of its function than the dACC. The best psychological description of dACC function was related to pain processing—not executive, conflict, or salience processing. We conclude by considering that physical pain may be … Continue reading The function of the dorsal ACC is to monitor pain in survival contexts

The soluble receptor for AGEs

Two 2022 human studies on sRAGE, starting with one of hypoxia-related diseases: “The receptor for advanced glycation end products is found on endothelial and inflammatory cell surfaces. It binds to circulating advanced glycation end products, activating a proinflammatory protein cascade that contributes to systemic oxidative stress and inflammation. sRAGE is the soluble isoform of RAGE … Continue reading The soluble receptor for AGEs

Taurine week #7: Brain

Finishing a week’s worth of 2022 taurine research with two reviews of taurine’s brain effects: “We provide a overview of brain taurine homeostasis, and review mechanisms by which taurine can afford neuroprotection in individuals with obesity and diabetes. Alterations to taurine homeostasis can impact a number of biological processes such as osmolarity control, calcium homeostasis, … Continue reading Taurine week #7: Brain

Taurine week #3: Organs

Three 2022 papers investigated taurine’s effects on organs, starting with a rodent study of sepsis: “Sepsis usually causes multiple organ dysfunctions and high mortality. Pathogenesis of sepsis is thought to be driven by hyperactive inflammation following pathogen invasion. If the immune system fails to eradicate pathogens, immune homeostasis is disturbed, leading to an overwhelming inflammation … Continue reading Taurine week #3: Organs

A healthspan improvement

Two 2022 publishments, starting with an excerpt from an informative interview with the Director of one of the three Interventions Testing Program centers: “A paper submitted this week is one in which we tried a combination of rapamycin plus acarbose. Rapamycin works very well in male and female mice, while acarbose works significantly in both … Continue reading A healthspan improvement

Vitamin D and pain

This 2022 human study investigated epigenetic clock associations: “We assessed the potential relationship of Vitamin D’s effects on pain intensity and disability through associations in epigenetic aging in individuals with and without knee osteoarthritis (KOA). We hypothesized that associations between Vitamin D levels with pain intensity and interference in persons with KOA would be significantly … Continue reading Vitamin D and pain

Signaling pathways and aging

This 2022 study investigated biological mechanisms of aging: “Age-related multimorbidity, the presence of more than one age-related disease (ARD) in an individual, poses a major and increasing challenge. Open questions are whether mechanisms of aging can explain ARD co-occurrence in patients, and whether intervention into these mechanisms could prevent or treat multiple ARDs simultaneously. Five … Continue reading Signaling pathways and aging

MET minutes

This 2022 meta-analysis investigated the relationship between cognition and exercise expressed in MET minutes (metabolic equivalent for task, a unit that estimates amount of energy used during physical activity compared to resting metabolism): “44 studies (4793 participants aged 50 years or over) were included. There was a non-linear, dose-response association between overall exercise and cognition. … Continue reading MET minutes

Glutathione primes β-glucan-trained immunity

Two 2021 papers on glutathione interactions with β-glucan, with the first studying human cells from healthy donors: “(1→3)-β-D-Glucan stimulation induces epigenetic and transcriptomic changes in monocytes associated with increased glutathione (GSH) synthesis and metabolism. Intracellular glutathione levels were crucial in regulating several monocyte antifungal functions including resilience to oxidative stress, immunometabolism, nitric oxide production, phagocytosis, … Continue reading Glutathione primes β-glucan-trained immunity

Saving bees by regulating epigenetics

This 2021 study investigated an epigenetic treatment for bees forgetting about their hives: “Over the last few decades, numbers of both wild and managed bee pollinators have been declining. Although reasons for this decline are under debate, it is highly likely that a combination of multiple stressors is to blame, in particular, deformed wing virus … Continue reading Saving bees by regulating epigenetics

Intergenerational epigenetic inheritance of trained immunity

I’ll curate this 2021 rodent study Transmission of trained immunity and heterologous resistance to infections across generations (not freely available) through two instances of its news coverage: “Here we provide evidence for transmission of trained immunity across generations to murine progeny that survived a sublethal systemic infection with Candida albicans or a zymosan challenge. Progeny … Continue reading Intergenerational epigenetic inheritance of trained immunity

Broccoli sprouts and microRNAs

This 2021 in vitro study investigated microRNAs as potential causative factors for broccoli’s beneficial effects: “A computational analysis was performed to explore processes and pathways associated with genes targeted either by: Host-expressed miRNAs (endogenous) modulated by bioactive compounds in broccoli; or miRNAs derived from broccoli (exogenous). miRNAs are noncoding RNAs containing between 19 and 24 … Continue reading Broccoli sprouts and microRNAs

Choosing your gut immune response

This 2021 paper reviewed evidence for immune system effects associated with specific gut areas: “The intestinal immune system must not only contend with continuous exposure to food, commensal microbiota, and pathogens, but respond appropriately according to intestinal tissue differences. The entire intestine, inclusive of its lymph nodes, is considered a immunosuppressive organ overall compared to … Continue reading Choosing your gut immune response

The brainstem’s parabrachial nucleus

I often reread blog posts that you read. Yesterday, a reader clicked Treat your gut microbiota as one of your organs. On rereading, I saw that I didn’t properly reference the parabrachial nucleus as being part of the brainstem. A “parabrachial nucleus” search led me to a discussion of two 2020 rodent studies: “Nociceptive signals … Continue reading The brainstem’s parabrachial nucleus