Behind the Study: Aging and Memory Altered in Neurons or Glia of Flies

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March 22, 2023

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  • Ariel K. Frame, PhD Candidate in the Neuroscience program at Western University, London, Canada, discusses a research paper he co-authored that was published by Aging (Aging-US) in Volume 15, Issue 4, entitled, “Aging and memory are altered by genetically manipulating lactate dehydrogenase in the neurons or glia of flies.” DOI - https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.204565 Corresponding authors - Ariel K. Frame - aframe@uwo.ca, and Robert C. Cumming - rcummin5@uwo.ca Abstract The astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle hypothesis posits that glial-generated lactate is transported to neurons to fuel metabolic processes required for long-term memory. Although studies in vertebrates have revealed that lactate shuttling is important for cognitive function, it is uncertain if this form of metabolic coupling is conserved in invertebrates or is influenced by age. Lactate dehydrogenase (Ldh) is a rate limiting enzyme that interconverts lactate and pyruvate. Here we genetically manipulated expression of Drosophila melanogaster lactate dehydrogenase (dLdh) in neurons or glia to assess the impact of altered lactate metabolism on invertebrate aging and long-term courtship memory at different ages. We also assessed survival, negative geotaxis, brain neutral lipids (the core component of lipid droplets) and brain metabolites. Both upregulation and downregulation of dLdh in neurons resulted in decreased survival and memory impairment with age. Glial downregulation of dLdh expression caused age-related memory impairment without altering survival, while upregulated glial dLdh expression lowered survival without disrupting memory. Both neuronal and glial dLdh upregulation increased neutral lipid accumulation. We provide evidence that altered lactate metabolism with age affects the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, 2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG), and neutral lipid accumulation. Collectively, our findings indicate that the direct alteration of lactate metabolism in either glia or neurons affects memory and survival but only in an age-dependent manner. Sign up for free Altmetric alerts about this article - https://aging.altmetric.com/details/email_updates?id=10.18632%2Faging.204565 Subscribe for free publication alerts from Aging - https://www.aging-us.com/subscribe-to-toc-alerts Keywords - aging, astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle (ANLS), lactate, lactate dehydrogenase, dLdh, Drosophila melanogaster, glia, long-term memory, courtship conditioning About Aging-US Launched in 2009, Aging-US publishes papers of general interest and biological significance in all fields of aging research and age-related diseases, including cancer—and now, with a special focus on COVID-19 vulnerability as an age-dependent syndrome. Topics in Aging-US go beyond traditional gerontology, including, but not limited to, cellular and molecular biology, human age-related diseases, pathology in model organisms, signal transduction pathways (e.g., p53, sirtuins, and PI-3K/AKT/mTOR, among others), and approaches to modulating these signaling pathways. Please visit our website at https://www.Aging-US.com​​ and connect with us: SoundCloud - https://soundcloud.com/Aging-Us Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AgingUS/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/AgingJrnl Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/agingjrnl/ YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/@AgingJournal LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/aging/ Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/AgingUS/ Media Contact 18009220957 MEDIA@IMPACTJOURNALS.COM

    Cell ScienceMicrobiologyMolecular BiologyNeuroscience

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