Lipids are usually thought of as structural components in cells, aiding in the integrity of cell membranes and storing energy. However, researchers at the University of Buffalo have found that they might play a more active role in the body, particularly in cell aging. Their findings show that fat content in cells can change as cells age and might actually be involved in replicative senescence.
The researchers discovered increased accumulation of triacylglycerols in aging cells that no longer divide. Further analysis showed that lipids are highly regulated in senescent cells and that genes associated with lipid regulation became more highly expressed. These results show the potential for more in-depth lipid metabolism research and might pave the way for development of lipid-based methods to prevent cell death.
(Research from University of Buffalo; Wochit News)