The Klotho gene, known for its anti-aging properties, has been the focus of increasing attention in recent years. Researchers have discovered that enhancing the expression of this gene can increase the lifespan of mice by more than 30%. Additionally, studies have shown that mice deficient in Klotho not only have shorter lifespans but also experience more age-related complications such as muscle and fat tissue loss, thinning skin, reduced fertility, cardiovascular issues, movement abnormalities, and bone disease. These complications often result from kidney dysfunction, as Klotho is primarily produced in the kidneys.
Klotho has been found to have benefits beyond the brain as well. Individuals with high levels of the hormone in their blood tend to live longer, be more resistant to age-related complications, and perform better on learning and memory tasks. Animal studies have shown that even a small dose of Klotho can lead to significant changes in the brain, allowing for more connections to be made in the learning and memory center.
While the hormone itself cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, it relies on intercellular signaling. Researchers have found that Klotho encourages glutamate signaling in the NMDA learning pathway, promoting synaptic plasticity, which is crucial for learning and memory. The presence of Klotho in the blood triggers the release of glutamate across the blood-brain barrier, providing long-lasting benefits even after the hormone is cleared.
A recent study conducted in China found that introducing Klotho into the bloodstream reduces inflammation and oxidative stress in both the kidneys and the brain. Inflammation is a primary driver of age-related complications, so these findings suggest that the Klotho gene may be a promising therapeutic target for treating chronic inflammation and potentially extending lifespan.
Further research is needed to fully understand the impact of Klotho at the cellular level and its role in mediating inflammation. However, the potential therapeutic effects are promising. Packaging and selling Klotho hormones as supplements may be a possibility in the future, bringing us closer to a world where aging can be slowed down or prevented.