Can thyroid hormone protect neuronal function and increase the survival rate of naturally aged animals? Prof. Ailing Fu and her team, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Southwest University, China performed an animal experiment in which aged mice were administered with low dose of levothyroxine for 3 consecutive months. Results showed that the aged rats exhibited an obvious improvement in cognitive and an increased rat survival rate from 60% to 93%. The underlying mechanism was demonstrated that levothyroxine treatment can increase the levels of choline acetyltransferase and acetylcholine in hippocampal neurons, which are closely related to aging and learning and memory abilities. In addition, levothyroxine also increased superoxide dismutase activity in the hippocampal neurons, improved hippocampal cytoskeletal rearrangement and advanced synapse function. These findings suggest that supplement of low-dose levothyroxine may be a potential therapeutic strategy for normal age-related cognitive deficits. These outcomes are of encouraging translational medicine significance and value. These findings were published in Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 9, No. 8, 2014).
Article: " The synthetic thyroid hormone, levothyroxine, protects cholinergic neurons in the hippocampus of naturally aged mice," by Ailing Fu, Rumei Zhou, Xingran Xu (School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Southwest University, Chongqing, China)
Fu AL, Zhou RM, Xu XR. The synthetic thyroid hormone, levothyroxine, protects cholinergic neurons in the hippocampus of naturally aged mice. Neural Regen Res. 2014;9(8):864-871.