This study aimed to examine whether Krill oil protected dopaminergic neurons from age-related degeneration by rewiring the transcriptome and suppressing several signs of aging.

The aging process is characterized by progressing loss of viability and increasing frailty. Since aging is a primary cause of many major diseases, it is generally accepted that slowing aging may reduce their incidence.

Evidence suggests that interfering with conserved processes that induce aging can prolong healthy life, although many cellular processes also contribute to aging.

These processes are referred to as “hallmarks of aging” and include genomic instability, epigenetic changes, mitochondrial dysfunction, senescence, telomere shortening, altered metabolic processes, altered cell-cell communication, and stem-cell exhaustion. An excellent anti-aging supplement should attenuate the majority of these hallmarks.

The health-promoting properties of marine oils have been extensively researched. However, the molecular mechanisms that explain krill oil’s health-promoting properties are incompletely understood. And no study has evaluated krill oil’s potential as a nutraceutical to reduce aging.

There is a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids and DHA in extracts of the Antarctic krill species, Euphausia Superba. Unlike fish oil, which is only bound to triacylglycerol, EPA/DHA in krill oil is mainly bound to phospholipids. 

As essential building blocks of healthy cell membranes, these fatty acids play various roles in maintaining brain structure and function.

What Did The Study Reveal?

This study investigated whether krill oil promotes healthy aging using C. elegans and human cells. The researchers found that krill oil protects dopaminergic neurons from aging-related degeneration, decreases alpha-synuclein aggregation, and improves cognition and behavior associated with dopamine.

Several hallmarks of aging are attenuated by krill oil, including oxidative stress, proteotoxic stress, senescence, genomic instability, and mitochondrial dysfunction.

As a result of temporal transcriptome rewiring, krill oil increases neuronal resilience to promote antioxidative stress and anti-inflammatory effects via transcription factors regulating health span, such as SNK-1. 

In addition, krill oil promotes dopaminergic neuron survival by regulating synaptic transmission and neuronal functions through PBO-2 and RIM-1.

Researchers also discovered that krill oil reduces age-related neurodegeneration through gene expression rewiring.

Furthermore, their data indicate that krill oil might influence synaptic transmission and neuronal function more precisely than just the general oxidative stress response. 

In this study, Krill oil also suppressed the effects of 8-oxoG staining on senescence and oxidative stress.

Overall, krill oil rewires global gene expression programs and promotes healthy aging by abrogating multiple aging hallmarks, suggesting areas for further preclinical and clinical study.