Researcher's Profile

PEI-YU WANG (王培育)

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Research Outline      2015-11-18 19:06:56

Calorie restriction and the aging brain

Understanding aging is a major challenge of our time, given demographic trends and the predicted burdens of an elder society. Studies investigating age-related diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases have already yielded significant insights into human senescence. Calorie restriction (CR) has emerged as the most effective intervention prolonging healthy lifespan across species, from yeast to flies to mammals. Although understanding of the role of CR in brain functions is still in its infancy, recent studies have provided some enlightenment. In a number of epidemiological studies, CR has been shown to decrease the risk for both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. In animal models, CR is able to reduce the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease and improve toxin-induced motor and memory dysfunctions. These observations highlight the potential for using CR-related molecules/pathways as targets for treating age-related disease. In my lab, we undertake a systematic study of the action of CR on the aging brain. Understanding the molecular basis of the effects of CR on cognition will help us to protect neurons from insults and promote mental fitness.


Development of anti-aging interventions

We have previously used high throughput gene expression profiling to explore the underlying mechanism of CR-induced lifespan extension. Several novel longevity genes were identified and they were potential targets for developing CR mimetics. In addition to the genetic approach, we also screened natural products (Chinese herbs) for their ability to delay the aging process and to treat neurodegenerative disease. The anti-aging effects were evaluated in mutant mice and flies having Alzheimer’s disease-, Parkinson’s disease- and Huntington’s disease-like phenotypes. These newly developed interventions are likely to benefit people with not only a longer lifespan, but also a healthier lifespan.



卡路里節制與老化的大腦

由於人口結構老化以及高齡社會所造成的負擔,老化的議題儼然成為人類現今生活上所面臨的一大挑戰。近來許多著重於老化及疾病的相關研究讓我們對於衰老現象有著些許的了解,而其中卡路里節制已經在各種生物實驗結果中證實具有有效延長壽命的效果。雖然對卡路里節制的研究才剛起步,然其在臨床研究以及動物實驗上已表現出可有效降低巴金森氏症及阿滋海默症的發生,且減緩神經毒素所造成的傷害,這些結果顯示出卡路里節制對於生物個體及細胞所引起的分子機制是抗老化研究未來的重要標的。本實驗室對卡路里節制於大腦老化過程的影響將作系統性的分析,而瞭解卡路里節制調控認知功能的分子機轉將有利於保護神經損傷並維持心智健康。


抗衰老之研究開發

利用高速基因表現分析法,我們對於卡路里節制延緩老化的分子機轉已有初步的研究,也因此發現許多新的長壽基因,而這些基因極具研究潛力並可成為卡路里節制替代物質的研發標的。此外,我們亦利用帶有類似巴金森氏症、阿滋海默症及亨丁頓舞蹈症的突變小鼠及果蠅進行試驗,藉此篩選具有抗衰老功效的天然物或中草藥,這些抗衰老藥物之研究開發將有助於人類活的健康長久。