JAN 01, 2019 5:23 PM PST

Restoring The Fountain of Youth

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

According to a study published in Nature Communications, a drug treatment that aided the immune system in eradicating old cells in aging mice assisted in the restoration of youthful characteristics. The research study, performed at the Weizmann Institute of Science and led by Professor Valery Krizhanovsky and Dr. Yossi Ovadya in the Molecular Cell Biology Department, sheds new light onto aging science.

Watch this video below to learn more about the science of aging:

The study began onto an investigation on how the immune system is involved in clearing senescent cells (old cells) that result in complications if left hanging around the body too long. For one, senescent cells are cells that are not actually dead but too old to produce basic biological functions--the presence of these senescent cells can promote inflammation and thus have been implicated in diseases of aging. Therefore, the study looked into model mice that have a missing gene needed for this immune system activity. In other words, these mice were aging because of a great accumulation of senescent cells in comparison to mice in which the gene for removing these cells was present. The mice with the missing gene suffered chronic inflammation along with the vanishing of important biological functions ultimately resulting in premature death.

Image Credit: Berkeley Science Review

The researchers then gave the aging mice a drug that blocks the function of certain proteins needed to help aging cells thrive in their senescent state. The purpose of adding the drug was to examine if it’s possible that it would contribute to the eradication of senescent cells. Results showed that treated mice had an improvement in immune system activity and their tissues were close to appearance to much younger mice. A decrease in the degree of inflammation along with a fewer number of senescent cells were found to be present after drug treatment.

Drug treatment eliminates senescent cells from tissues of old mice. The blue staining shows senescent cells in lung and liver tissue. The amount of the staining is significantly reduced following the drug treatment.

Credit: Weizmann Institute of Science

Overall, treated mice were found to be more active along with an increase in their median lifespan. Researchers are now looking forward to examining new approaches that influence how the human body removes its aging cells in hopes of creating future "anti-aging" therapies.

Source: Weizmann Institute of Science

About the Author
BS/MS
Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
You May Also Like
JUL 15, 2022
Immunology
Pox Virus Proteins Can Launch Early Attack on Immune Defense
JUL 15, 2022
Pox Virus Proteins Can Launch Early Attack on Immune Defense
After a virus gets inside of a cell, it typically takes over the cell to produce more viral particles. But pox viruses g ...
JUL 19, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Experimental Cancer Drug Regrows Nerves in Spinal Cord Injury
JUL 19, 2022
Experimental Cancer Drug Regrows Nerves in Spinal Cord Injury
An experimental cancer drug can regenerate damaged nerves following spinal trauma in mice and rats. The corresponding re ...
JUL 28, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
FDA Approved Cannabis Drug Products
JUL 28, 2022
FDA Approved Cannabis Drug Products
The FDA has approved some cannabis infused drugs for medical usage. Here's what they are.
SEP 14, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Media Survey Panel vs. Media Screen
SEP 14, 2022
Media Survey Panel vs. Media Screen
Media Survey Panel vs. Media Screen: An Interview with R&D Scientist Catherine Nguyen on Benefit of Using a Media Survey ...
AUG 12, 2022
Technology
Bioengineered Cornea Helps Restore Sight for the Visually Impaired
AUG 12, 2022
Bioengineered Cornea Helps Restore Sight for the Visually Impaired
Corneal disease refers to a range of conditions that can cause significant damage to the cornea, the clear tissue layer ...
AUG 16, 2022
Neuroscience
Fighting Cognitive Decline
AUG 16, 2022
Fighting Cognitive Decline
Researchers examined genetic and life course factors that may contribute to a “cognitive reserve” that prote ...
Loading Comments...