Kishi Yusuke, PhD
Competition Sponsor: Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development
Prevention or restoration of the decline in memory associated with aging is one of the most important issues for healthy aging. In the brain, which controls memory, neurons are responsible for processing information, and the function, or potential, of neurons should reduce in the aging process. Therefore, revealing the mechanism of the decline in neuronal potential and developing methods to prevent or restore it contribute to healthy aging.
The potential of a cell is determined by the gene sets that can express. The potential of gene transcription, the trigger for gene expression, is controlled by chromatin structure. Therefore, changes in chromatin structure should be involved in the decline of the potential of aged neurons. However, the mechanism for the changes in chromatin structure in aged neurons and the resulting decline in neuronal function has not been elucidated. In this study, I will comprehensively analyze the changes in chromatin structure during neuronal aging and reveal the mechanism of the decline in neuronal potential. I would also like to contribute to the development of methods to prevent or restore the decline in neuronal potential.
In this study, I will 1) isolate nuclei of neurons from the brains of young and old mice and monkeys, 2) perform comprehensive chromatin structural analysis, and 3) identify functional chromatin regions involved in aging and analyze their functions in order to clarify the mechanism of the decline of neuronal potential in aging.