Medical

Clearing out damaged cells in mice extends lifespan by up to 35 percent

Researchers have improved the healthy lifespan of mice though the removal of senescent cells from their bodies
Researchers have improved the healthy lifespan of mice though the removal of senescent cells from their bodies
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Researchers have improved the healthy lifespan of mice though the removal of senescent cells from their bodies
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Researchers have improved the healthy lifespan of mice though the removal of senescent cells from their bodies

As we age, cells within our bodies can become damaged. As a way of helping prevent cancers developing, a biological mechanism called cellular senescence stops these damaged cells from dividing. Researchers at Mayo Clinic have now shown that clearing these senescent cells from the body of mice can improve health and extend their lifespan by up to 35 percent without any apparent adverse side effects.

Although senescent cells are regularly cleared out by the immune system, as we get older this mechanism become less and less effective, resulting in an accumulation of these cells in various tissues and organs over time. And even though they no longer divide, they can still damage adjacent cells and cause chronic inflammation that is closely associated with age-related diseases.

To give the immune system a helping hand in its clean up duties and shed light on the role of senescent cells play in the aging process, Mayo Clinic researchers used a compound called AP20187 to eliminate these cells from mice. After this compound was administered and the senescent cells removed, the researchers say the formation of tumors and deterioration of several organs in the mice was reduced. Treated mice also enjoyed an extension of median lifespan by 17 to 35 percent, while exhibiting a healthier appearance and a reduced inflammation in fat, muscle and kidney tissue.

"Senescent cells that accumulate with aging are largely bad, do bad things to your organs and tissues, and therefore shorten your life but also the healthy phase of your life," says Jan van Deursen, Ph.D., senior author of the paper. "And since you can eliminate the cells without negative side effects, it seems like therapies that will mimic our findings – or our genetic model that we used to eliminate the cells – that drugs or other compounds that can eliminate senescent cells would be useful for therapies against age-related disabilities or diseases or conditions."

First author of the study, Darren Baker, Ph.D., adds that senescent cells also appear a good target for treatment because a clearance rate of only 60 to 70 percent can result in significant health improvements.

"If translatable [to humans], because senescent cells do not proliferate rapidly, a drug could efficiently and quickly eliminate enough of them to have profound impacts on healthspan and lifespan," says Dr. Baker.

Dr. van Deursen and Dr. Baker discuss the research in the video below, while the team's paper is published in Nature.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Researchers Extend Lifespan by as Much as 35 Percent in Mice

9 comments
Mel Tisdale
Just what we need: a way of increasing the world's population when we have no idea of how we are going to feed those we are currently projected to have.
Mirmillion
The translation from relatively short-lived species like mice to humans is never a sure thing however, this therapy could increase the quality of life in that last 10 years; a considerable achievement, if effective.
DocBlake
Medical science actually develops something that does not have dangerous side effects, sure! As usual they will show-up after it is long ago released, and causing havoc among those using the drug. Then we will hear about the hidden studies, and the government will come down with a hard slap on the hand fine out of their profits. ---Bank robbers would love to be punished like that, "I robbed the bank, killed half the people there, and my punishment was $250,000 out of the $1,000,000 I took!
HensleyBeuronGarlington
Mel Tisdale, your comment is horribly concerning and is an indictment of a superiority complex. These treatments have more potential to increase the quality of life for the elderly and infirm, not just enable us to all have longer lives. These same people could hold the key to solving the basic survival needs of the rest of mankind. Imagine if many of our greatest scientist and leaders had even another 30% extended and healthier life?
guzmanchinky
Let me guess, this is decades away from reality. Just like everything life changing and incredible (fusion, superconductivity, 5 minutes charging car batteries, cheap desalinization, etc)...
Larry Hooten
I wonder how effective this would be against heart and kidney disease, cancer, glaucoma, and a myriad of other applications?
ADVENTUREMUFFINffin
Yes, one could perhaps take a drug to get rid of cellular senescence, and deal all the side effect. But, the key is to keeping healthy cells is to prevent telomeres from shortening. Studies by Dean Ornish, among others, have proven that eliminating saturated fats (e.g. meat), exercise and switching to plant based diet reduce the shortening of these telomeres by 30%. http://nutritionfacts.org/video/telomeres-cap-it-all-off-with-diet
Douglas Bennett Rogers
Reproductive rates are dropping precipitously as society becomes more affluent. Our real problem is a decrepit population. This could be part of a way out.
AGO
Fasting and a low carb diet has the same effect. If you dont have the money or the time for mainstream science, biohack! Research ketogenic adaptation......