Health Care

Ageing reversed in old human cells

Ageing reversed in old human cells”

Researchers from University of Exeter in the United Kingdom worked with senescent (ageing) cells, that had stopped dividing and within hours of the treatment the older cells started to divide.

Senescent cells can be found in copious amounts in the organs of the elderly.

The team, comprising of researchers from the University of Exeter and the University of Brighton, noted that within hours of applying the chemicals, the genes started to behave like young cells and began dividing.

Brighton's Prof Lorna Harries said: "Our data suggests that using chemicals to switch back on genes switched off as we age might provide a means to restore function to old cells".

Exeter's Dr Eva Latorre said: "When I saw some of the cells rejuvenating I could not believe it". Within a few hours, the old cells appeared to look younger and started rejuvenating. The resuscitated cells also boasted longer telomeres, the chromosome caps that shrink as cells age.

Moreover, the same compounds that are found in red wine and dark chocolate (not to mention grapes and blueberries too) are strong in flavonoids as well, which are successful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.

The research was published in journal BMJ Cell Biology.

Splicing factors are important in enabling genes to perform their full range of functions. In the new study, the researchers added "resveralogues", or chemicals similar to resveratrol, to ageing human cells and found that they reactivated these splicing factors. "Splicing factor expression is dysregulated in the peripheral blood of aging humans, where they are the major functional gene ontology class whose transcript patterns alter with advancing age and in senescent primary human cells of multiple lineages". As people age, the splicing factors tend to work less efficiently or not at all, restricting the ability of cells to respond to challenges in their environment.

The researchers hope that the breakthrough could lead to therapies that help people age better and without many of degenerative problems people encounter as we get older. "I am very excited by the implications and potential for this research".

Many people would simply love to reverse the signs of ageing and scientists may have managed to do just that!

Harries went on to explain that the research proves that the cells can be treated to regain some features of youth.

"At a time when our capacity to translate new knowledge about the mechanisms of ageing into medicines and lifestyle advice is limited only by a chronic shortage of funds, older people are ill-served by self-indulgent science fiction".



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