Succeeded in the experiment of "forcing mice to hibernate", one step forward in realizing human artificial hibernation


Succeeded in the experiment of "forcing mice to hibernate", one step forward in realizing human artificial hibernation

by Eddy Van 3000

A research group at the University of Tsukuba announced that it has succeeded in stimulating the brain of mice to bring them into a state close to hibernation. The success of this experiment, which artificially hibernates an animal that does not normally hibernate, is expected to realize "artificial hibernation" that allows humans to hibernate, and can be applied to space development, medical care, and technology that delays aging.

A discrete neuronal circuit induces a hibernation-like state in rodents | Nature

University of Tsukuba|Notice/Information|Remarkable Research|Discovery of a new neural circuit that induces hibernation-A major step towards the realization of artificial hibernation-

Scientists trigger hibernation in mice, astronauts could be

Reptiles such as snakes and turtles, and some mammals such as bears, go into hibernation when the winter becomes low. Since energy and oxygen required for survival greatly decrease during hibernation, if artificial hibernation of humans is realized, in addition to SF-like applications such as reducing the load of manned spacecraft and enabling interstellar flight, It can be expected to be used for medical purposes such as increasing the survival rate of patients during emergency transportation due to trauma or illness, or delaying the progress of aging or illness.

However, the mechanisms by which animals hibernate have been largely unknown. One of the reasons is that experimental animals such as mice and rats do not hibernate, so it is very difficult to observe animals in hibernation. Meanwhile, he is a doctor of medicine at the University of Tsukuba, where he is a leader in sleep research.Takeshi SakuraiA group of professors and colleagues succeeded in identifying a new neural circuit that can induce mice into a hibernation-like state.

Research group in mouse brainHypothalamusI stimulated a group of nerve cells in the area where the body temperature of the mouse dropped significantly over several days, and the metabolism was also very low. The research group named this neuron group as Q nerve (Quiescence-inducing neurons), and the hibernation-like state generated by stimulating the Q nerves as QIH (Q neuron-induced hypometabolism).

The mouse that became QIH (right) showed almost no movement for several days and the body temperature dropped significantly, but no abnormality was seen in the body even after returning from QIH repeatedly. From this, the research group thinks that "QIH is a state close to the safe hibernation that wild animals do in nature."

by University of Tsukuba

When the research group investigated the mechanism of QIH using neuroscientific methods, etc., "QIH is a neurotransmitter in the dorsomedial nucleus of the hypothalamus.Glutamic acidIs caused by sending.”

by University of Tsukuba

In addition, when the research group stimulated the Q nerve of the rat, which is 10 times larger than the mouse and does not hibernate like the mouse, the rat also became QIH state. The mechanism by which the Q nerves of mice and rats are excited is common to many mammals, including humans, so the research group said, "Many creatures, including humans, have Q nerves and function in the same way. I guess."

by University of Tsukuba

Co-author of the paperGenshiro SunagawaMr,Own site“I think that the most effective use of artificial hibernation is medical care. I think that it is possible to save patients whose prognosis worsens with time by using artificial hibernation. I hope we can take R&D forward."

In addition, Mr. Sakurai told the news media UPI news agency in the United States, "In the future, human astronauts may be hibernated for missions to Mars and beyond." talked.

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