Medical

Senolytic drugs boost protein that protects against effects of aging

Senolytic drugs boost protein ...
A new discovery showing the effects of senolytic drugs on a protective protein could help limit some of the effects of aging
A new discovery showing the effects of senolytic drugs on a protective protein could help limit some of the effects of aging
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A new discovery showing the effects of senolytic drugs on a protective protein could help limit some of the effects of aging
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A new discovery showing the effects of senolytic drugs on a protective protein could help limit some of the effects of aging

Senolytics are an emerging class of drugs designed to target zombie-like cells that have stopped dividing and build up in the body as we age, and the past few years have seen some exciting discoveries that demonstrate their potential. Adding another to the list are Mayo Clinic researchers, who have shown that these drugs can protect against aging and its related diseases, by acting on a protein long associated with longevity.

The zombie-like cells involved in this research are known as senescent cells, and their accumulation during aging is associated with a range of diseases. Recent studies have shown that using senolytics to clear them out could serve as new and effective treatments for dementia and diabetes, and also improve health and lifespan more broadly.

The Mayo Clinic team were exploring how senolytics can influence levels of a protein called a-klotho, known to help protect older people from the effects of aging. The role of this protein in the aging process is well established and has placed it at the center of much research in this space, with studies demonstrating how it could help reverse osteoarthritis and regenerate old muscles.

Levels of a-klotho are also known to decrease with age, and studies have shown these declines shorten the lifespan of mice. Conversely, inserting genes that encode for the protein has been shown to increase the lifespan of mice by 30 percent. Boosting its levels in humans has been problematic, however, as its larger size would require it to be administered intravenously. But now the Mayo Clinic scientists believe they have found another route, as senolytic drugs can be administered orally..

They first showed that senescent cells reduce levels of a-klotho in human cells. They then demonstrated that using a combination of senolytic drugs on three different types of mice could counter this and increase levels of a-klotho. This effect was then observed in follow-up experiments on patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease that can cause breathing difficulty, frailty and death.

"We show that there is an avenue for an orally active, small-molecule approach to increase this beneficial protein and also to amplify the action of senolytic drugs," says James Kirkland, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic internist and senior author of the study.

The research was published in the journal eBioMedicine.

Source: Mayo Clinic

9 comments
9 comments
Username
There have been quite a few developments in the last few years regarding aging. When will some of these make it to market? It would be nice to have follow ups on these article when these technologies either move to the next step or fail.
noteugene
Crazy as the world is becoming, don't know that I want to add another 20- 25 yrs to my life.
tangential
It would be interesting to see how this compares to the processes of autophagy. Typically started up through fasting, autophagy harvests senescent or damaged cells
ljaques
Shades of my science fiction youth: That first picture looks like what would happen when a cellular disruptor beam hit human tissue, NOT the positive outcome of using senolytic drugs.
Please, let's get these safe senolytic drugs out into the herds so we can live nicer second halves of our lives.
HoppyHopkins
I am still waiting for human trials sign up or FDA approval
DonnaAnita
I agree with Username: I think it would be highly interesting reading if New Atlas would follow up with reports on the progress made with some of these wonderful advances in medicine and technology. I've seen follow-ups on graphene put to use, for example, but I'm more interested in the bio-medical research, esp anti-aging. Is there a section of New Atlas I'm not seeing that reports on the successes tied to the articles I read here?
mikewax
There's a reason why none of these anti-aging breakthroughs ever get to market. The ethical issues are ginormous without even considering the overpopulation problem
guzmanchinky
I'm 51 and retired. I would very much love to have an extra 20-30 healthy years...
ReservoirPup
Prevention is boring and cheap, intensive care is as exciting and expensive. But being human means let's look for miracle drugs and treatments instead of taking care of the health from early on.