Could this be the source of youth? The drug that clears dead cells has left the most active mice with lower levels of inflammation
- Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel studied how the immune system cancels aging cells
- These cells are not completely dead but are irreparably damaged
- They administered a drug that blocked a certain protein, which normally allows aging cells to thrive
According to a new study, a drug that helps the immune system clean up old cells could restore youth.
Research suggests that it may be possible to reverse the aging process and could potentially pave the way for anti-aging treatments that actually work.
Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel investigated how the immune system is involved in removing old senescent (or aging) cells that have not completely died but are irreparably damaged and barely functioning.
Within a few weeks, those who received the new team drug had fewer aged cells, low levels of inflammation and were more active.
There are some proteins in the body that can fuel aging cells, allowing them to thrive. A team in Israel gave mice a drug that blocked that protein, and left them younger
Senescent cells have been linked to the diseases of aging by promoting inflammation.
For the study, published in Nature Communications, scientists used two sets of mice.
The first group consisted of mice lacking a crucial gene needed to wipe away the aging cells. The second group had the gene.
At two years old, who is elderly for mice, the first group had a greater accumulation of senescent cells than mice in the second group.
The former also suffered from chronic inflammation, various functions in their bodies seemed to be diminished, looked older and had shorter life expectancy than their healthy counterparts.
"The accumulation of senescent cells in these mice is accompanied by a progressive state of chronic inflammation, followed by an increase in tissue fibrosis and other types of tissue damage, as well as impaired organ function," said Dr . Valery Krizhanovsky, professor of molecular cell biology at Weizmann and lead author of the study.
"The poor health of older mice is associated with reduced physical fitness, weight loss, kyphosis, older appearance and shorter lifespan than other mice."
There are some proteins in the body that can fuel aging cells, allowing them to thrive despite being essentially useless.
The team of dr. Krizhanovsky gave some of the mice a drug that inhibits the function of these proteins.
The treated mice responded exceptionally well to the drug – their blood tests and activity tests showed improvement, and their tissues shared much more similarities with the younger mice.
Scientists found far fewer senescent cells in the bodies of treated mice and their inflammation levels had plummeted.
In addition to this, the mice treated with the drug were more active and their average life increased.
Researchers believe that if future experimentation demonstrates their correct theories, they could end up creating truly "anti-aging" therapies.
The dott. Krizhanovsky said: "The pharmacological elimination of senescent cells from these mice has prolonged lifespan.
"These results demonstrate the importance of the immune clearance of senescent cells for the aging process, as well as the relevance and potential promise of drug elimination of senescent cells in counteracting age-related phenotypes."