Scientists from China and the United States have discovered a factor in premature aging: it is associated with a protein.

Scientists in the course of experiments on mice found that with a decrease in the blood content of the ADORA2B protein in animals, memory and hearing deteriorate, inflammation develops in the brain and aging accelerates.

This protein is part of the membrane of red blood cells and helps release oxygen from the blood. But with age, its content is greatly reduced. As scientists suggested, there is a connection between the content of this protein in the blood and the aging process.

In order to prove their hypothesis, the authors of the work bred mice that do not have ADORA2B in their blood, in order to compare their behavior with ordinary relatives.

The animals were placed in conditions of oxygen starvation, and it turned out that as they age, mice, in whose blood ADORA2B was not present, lost their cognitive abilities faster and more noticeably than animals from the control group. From this, the authors conclude that the ADORA2B protein regulates the supply of additional oxygen to the brain in the event of a lack of oxygen.

Red blood cells perform an indispensable oxygen delivery function to maintain the bioenergy of each individual cell in the body. Our results show that the ADORA2B red blood cell signaling cascade, by promoting oxygen delivery to the brain, fights early-onset age-related cognitive decline, memory and hearing impairment.

Yang Xia, Fellow, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, McGovern School of Medicine, University of Texas