Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Peptide targeting senescent cells restores health of aging mice

Scientists have found that regular infusions of a peptide can selectively seek out and destroy broken-down cells that inhibit proper tissue renewal. These cells are called senescent cells. They showed evidence of improving healthspan in naturally-aged mice and mice genetically engineered to rapidly age. This peptide took over four years of trial and error to develop. It works by blocking the ability of a protein implicated in senescence, FOXO4, to tell another protein, p53, not to cause the cell to self-destruct. By interfering with the FOXO4-p53 crosstalk, the peptide causes senescent cells to go through apoptosis, or cell suicide. The Results occurred at different times over the period of treatment. Fast-aging mice that had patches of missing fur began to regrow their fur after 10 days. After about three weeks, fitness and endurance benefits began to show, the older mice were running double the distance of their counterparts who did not receive the peptide. A month after treatment, aged mice showed an increase in markers indicating healthy kidney function. 
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