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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7498528, 9 pages
Review Article

Nutrients, Microglia Aging, and Brain Aging

1Department of Aging Science and Pharmacology, Faculty of Dental Science, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan
2Department of General Surgery, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100730, China
3Institution of Geriatric Qinghai Provincial Hospital, Xining 810007, China

Received 25 September 2015; Revised 21 December 2015; Accepted 31 December 2015

Academic Editor: Trevor A. Mori

Copyright © 2016 Zhou Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


As the life expectancy continues to increase, the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) becomes a big major issue in the world. After cellular activation upon systemic inflammation, microglia, the resident immune cells in the brain, start to release proinflammatory mediators to trigger neuroinflammation. We have found that chronic systemic inflammatory challenges induce differential age-dependent microglial responses, which are in line with the impairment of learning and memory, even in middle-aged animals. We thus raise the concept of “microglia aging.” This concept is based on the fact that microglia are the key contributor to the acceleration of cognitive decline, which is the major sign of brain aging. On the other hand, inflammation induces oxidative stress and DNA damage, which leads to the overproduction of reactive oxygen species by the numerous types of cells, including macrophages and microglia. Oxidative stress-damaged cells successively produce larger amounts of inflammatory mediators to promote microglia aging. Nutrients are necessary for maintaining general health, including the health of brain. The intake of antioxidant nutrients reduces both systemic inflammation and neuroinflammation and thus reduces cognitive decline during aging. We herein review our microglia aging concept and discuss systemic inflammation and microglia aging. We propose that a nutritional approach to controlling microglia aging will open a new window for healthy brain aging.