Caffeine and its analogues revert memory deficits by normalizing stress responses in the brain

August 30, 2016, Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale
Credit: George Hodan/public domain

A study published in the journal Scientific Reports from Nature publishing group, describes the mechanism by which caffeine counteracts age-related cognitive deficits in animals.

The study coordinated by Portuguese researchers from Instituto de Medicina Molecular (iMM Lisboa) and collaborators from Inserm in Lille, France, along with teams from Germany and United States, showed that the abnormalexpression of a particular receptor - the adenosine A2A, target for - in the brain of rats induces an aging-like profile namely memory impairments linked to the loss of controlling mechanisms.

"This is part of a larger study initiated 4 years ago in which we identified the role of this receptor in stress, but we did not know whether its activation would be sufficient to trigger all the changes. We now found that by altering the amount of this receptor alone in neurons from hippocampus and cortex - memory related areas - is sufficient to induce a profile that we designate as 'early-aging' combining the memory loss and an increase in stress hormones in plasma (cortisol)" - explains Luisa Lopes, Group Leader at iMM Lisboa and the coordinator of the study.

When the same animals were treated with a caffeine analogue, which blocks the action of adenosine A2A , both memory and stress related deficits were normalized.

David Blum, from Inserm research director, adds: "In elderly people, we know there is an increase of that have an impact on . Our work supports the view that the procognitive effects of A2AR antagonists, namely caffeine, observed in Alzheimer's and age-related cognitive impairments may rely on this ability to counteract the loss of stress controlling mechanisms that occurs upon aging"

This is important not only to understand the fundamental changes that occur upon aging, but it also identifies the dysfunctions of the adenosine A2A receptor as a key player in triggering these changes. And a very appealing therapeutic target" - concludes Luisa Lopes.

Explore further: Caffeine against Alzheimer's disease

More information: Vânia L. Batalha et al, The caffeine-binding adenosine A2A receptor induces age-like HPA-axis dysfunction by targeting glucocorticoid receptor function, Scientific Reports (2016). DOI: 10.1038/srep31493

Related Stories

Caffeine against Alzheimer's disease

April 7, 2014
As part of a German-French research project, a team led by Dr. Christa E. Müller from the University of Bonn and Dr. David Blum from the University of Lille was able to demonstrate for the first time that caffeine has a ...

Researchers find possible molecular explanation for caffeine reducing mood disorders

June 9, 2015
(Medical Xpress)—An international team of researchers has found a possible molecular explanation for the stress reducing capabilities of caffeine. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, ...

Support cells in the brain offer a new strategy to boost memory

January 26, 2015
A study by scientists from the Gladstone Institutes shows that decreasing the number of A2A adenosine receptors in a particular type of brain cells called astrocytes improved memory in healthy mice. What's more, reducing ...

Caffeine may block inflammation linked to mild cognitive impairment

October 9, 2012
Recent studies have linked caffeine consumption to a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, and a new University of Illinois study may be able to explain how this happens.

Too much activity in certain areas of the brain is bad for memory and attention

August 23, 2016
Neurons in the brain interact by sending each other chemical messages, so-called neurotransmitters. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the most common inhibitory neurotransmitter, which is important to restrain neural activity, ...

Alzheimer's: Nicotinic receptors as a new therapeutic target

August 29, 2016
Several scientific studies have indicated that nicotine may be beneficial for memory function. Scientists from the Institut Pasteur and the CNRS set out to shed further light on the properties attributed to nicotine - which ...

Recommended for you

Children with brain tumors who undergo radiation less likely to recall recent events

August 20, 2018
Children with certain types of brain tumors who undergo radiation treatment are less likely to recall the specifics of events they experienced after radiation than to remember pre-treatment happenings, according to a Baylor ...

Researchers unravel why people with HIV suffer from more neurologic diseases

August 20, 2018
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which the HIV virus can cause, continue to be one of the world's greatest health problems.

Fluidically linked blood-brain barrier and Organ Chips offer new method for studying effects of drugs on the brain

August 20, 2018
The human brain, with its 100 billion neurons that control every thought, word, and action, is the most complex and delicate organ in the body. Because it needs extra protection from toxins and other harmful substances, the ...

Rogue proteins may underlie some ALS and frontotemporal dementia cases, says study

August 20, 2018
ALS—amyotrophic lateral sclerosis—is a neurodegenerative disease that attacks motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord, slowly robbing its victims of their ability to walk, talk, breathe and swallow. In a cruel twist, ...

Bilingual children who speak native language at home have higher intelligence

August 20, 2018
Children who regularly use their native language at home while growing up in a different country have higher IQs, a new study has shown.

Perinatal hypoxia associated with long-term cerebellar learning deficits and Purkinje cell misfiring

August 18, 2018
Oxygen deprivation associated with preterm birth leaves telltale signs on the brains of newborns in the form of alterations to cerebellar white matter at the cellular and the physiological levels. Now, an experimental model ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.