Under the Hood

Is An Anti-Aging Serum In Your Future? Science-Backed Therapy Targeting Senescent Cells May Be The Answer

As hard as it is to face, aging is a natural and inevitable part of life. Growing older results in a buildup of the body’s senescent cells, or cells which have stopped dividing and naturally accumulate with age.

A new study published in Cell Press that examined how senior rodents reacted to a type of therapy that removed these cells found that mice were able to regrow hair, run faster, and improve organ function following therapy.

Read: Slow Down Aging In The Human Brain: Ultrasound Scans May Delay Cognitive Decline

Since the 1960s, scientists have been examining how the removal of senescent cells affects the body and mind’s decline. Medical XPress reported that there has been a renewed interest in this process in the last few years, which could be a therapeutic option to combat some aspects of aging.

mouse Senior rodents given anti-senescence therapy can actually regrow hair, run faster, and improve organ function. Photo courtesy of Pixabay

By taking out these cells, naturally aging mice lived 25 percent longer, but scientists still don’t fully understand the link between senescence and the cause of aging. Researchers need to identify if clearing senescent cells is what accounted for the improvements. 

Read: How Aging Changes The Human Brain: As You Get Older, Even The Mind Becomes More Flabby

So, will a futuristic anti-aging serum be available soon? Some details still need to be figured out.

"When bringing in a defective car for repairs it is insufficient to remove the rust and broken parts; you also want to replace these," said researcher Peter de Keizer, according to Medical XPress. “A perfect anti-senescence therapy would not only clear senescent cells, but also kick-start tissue rejuvenation by stimulating differentiation of nearby stem cells," he explained. "This may be complementary with, for instance, the exciting approaches recently made in the field of transient expression of stem cell factors."

Source: de Keizer LJ. The Fountain of Youth by Targeting Senescent Cells? Trends in Molecular Medicine. 2017.

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