Klotho is a protein that has been of interest in scientific research due to its potential role in aging and age-related diseases. It is believed to have several beneficial effects on various organ systems, including the brain, kidneys, and cardiovascular system. Until now, studies on Klotho have primarily focused on its effects on animal models such as mice, rather than directly increasing its levels in primates.
This new study by scientists from the University of California, explores the potential of using the protein Klotho to enhance cognition in nonhuman primates, specifically rhesus macaques. Klotho declines with aging, and previous research has shown that increasing Klotho levels can improve cognitive function in mice. So the scientists wanted to verify whether this effect could be replicated in nonhuman primates, which have a higher genetic and functional complexity more similar to humans.
The researchers first validated the activity of the rhesus form of the Klotho protein (a variant of the Klotho protein that is found in rhesus macaques) in mice, demonstrating that it increased synaptic plasticity and cognition. They then tested different doses of Klotho in aged rhesus macaques and found that a single low-dose administration enhanced memory performance. Interestingly, higher doses did not produce the same cognitive benefits. The results suggest that systemic low-dose Klotho treatment may have therapeutic potential for aging humans.
The study emphasizes the importance of studying animal models with greater complexity, such as nonhuman primates, in the development of cognitive treatments for humans. By demonstrating the cognitive benefits of Klotho in rhesus macaques, the researchers bridge a knowledge gap and provide evidence for the potential translation of this treatment to humans.
There are several known ways to potentially increase Klotho levels in the body. Here are a few approaches that have shown promise:
Exercise: Regular physical exercise has been associated with increased Klotho levels.
Pharmaceutical interventions: Certain drugs and compounds have been explored for their potential to increase Klotho levels.
Dietary factors: Some studies have suggested that certain dietary factors may influence Klotho levels. For example, diets rich in fruits, vegetables (rhubarb), and whole grains have been associated with higher Klotho levels.
Hormonal interventions: Hormonal factors, such as vitamin D and sex hormones (e.g., estrogen), have been implicated in Klotho regulation.
Yet it's not clear what is the mechanism of action of klotho on cognition. It must be stated also that there be nasty side effects to elevated levels of klotho like risks of weight gain, cancer or insulin resistance.