Food for thought: effects of aging and diet on neuroinflammation
Department of Physics, UCSD
The world population is becoming older and more obese, which makes neuro-inflammation a major challenge for biomedical research. Neuroinflammation is a characteristic, among other, of stroke and neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s). There is a continuous cross-talk between the nervous and the immune systems (reviewed by Mueller et al. 2016 Science), and I have contributed to this field showing how nervous system regulates inflammation (Shaked et al. 2009 Immunity; Wang & Shaked 2013 Immunity; Shaked et al. 2015 Nat Immunol).
Herein, I will describe state-of-the-art microscopy approach that I developed, which allows infliction of focal laser injury to the mouse brain vasculature while monitoring the inflammatory events that proceed in real-time. This model mimics brain clot formation and ischemic stroke in human patients. I will present my recent findings using this model, which identify platelet-leukocyte interaction as an immediate and critical step in the development of cerebrovascular blood clots. My data reveal the kinetics and dynamics of blood clot formation and leukocyte activation in normal conditions and in neuro-degeneration (aging) or under metabolic stress (hyperglycemia). Our study is of great importance for understanding the inflammatory-metabolic-aging traits but also for developing therapeutics avenues.