Platelet-derived exerkine CXCL4/platelet factor 4 rejuvenates hippocampal neurogenesis and restores cognitive function in aged mice

Nat Commun. 2023 Aug 16;14(1):4375. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-39873-9.


The beneficial effects of physical activity on brain ageing are well recognised, with exerkines, factors that are secreted into the circulation in response to exercise, emerging as likely mediators of this response. However, the source and identity of these exerkines remain unclear. Here we provide evidence that an anti-geronic exerkine is secreted by platelets. We show that platelets are activated by exercise and are required for the exercise-induced increase in hippocampal precursor cell proliferation in aged mice. We also demonstrate that increasing the systemic levels of the platelet-derived exerkine CXCL4/platelet factor 4 (PF4) ameliorates age-related regenerative and cognitive impairments in a hippocampal neurogenesis-dependent manner. Together these findings highlight the role of platelets in mediating the rejuvenating effects of exercise during physiological brain ageing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Blood Platelets
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive Dysfunction*
  • Hippocampus
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Mice
  • Neurogenesis*
  • Platelet Factor 4*


  • Immunologic Factors
  • Platelet Factor 4