In a recent breakthrough study, scientists treated mice with an anti-ageing regimen during the beginning of their middle age. They found that as a result of the regiment, there was no increase in cancer or other health problems later on. This treatment could prove to be major breakthrough towards helping people ive longer.
In this study, the scientists at the Salk Institute were able to partially reset the rodents’ tissues to more youthful states.
They believe that the results of this study could reverse some common symptoms for ageing in humans, like brittle bones and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.
According to co-corresponding author Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, professor in Salk’s Gene Expression Laboratory and holder of the Roger Guillemin Chair: “We are elated that we can use this approach across the life span to slow down ageing in normal animals.
“The technique is both safe and effective in mice.
“In addition to tackling age-related diseases, this approach may provide the biomedical community with a new tool to restore tissue and organismal health by improving cell function and resilience in different disease situations, such as neurodegenerative diseases.”
A key reason humans and animals visibly age over time is that each cell in a body has a biological clock that records the passage of time.
Cells isolated from older people or animals have different patterns of chemicals present along with their DNA compared to younger people or animals.
Scientists know that adding a mixture of four reprogramming molecules—Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and cMyc, also known as “Yamanaka factors”—to cells can reset these patterns, known as epigenetic marks to their original patterns.
“Indeed, we did not see any negative effects on the health, behaviour or bodyweight of these animals.”
When compared to the animals in the control, the mice that received the treatment reported no blood cell alterations or neurological changes.
When the researchers looked at normal signs of ageing in the animals that had undergone the treatment, they found that the mice, in many ways, resembled younger animals.
In both the kidneys and skin, the epigenetics of treated animals more closely resembled epigenetic patterns seen in younger animals.