they reversed the aging process
An international research team has succeeded in rejuvenating mice by manipulating their epigenetics. The eyes of the elderly and the blind were restored. According to the researchers, the process is reversible.
American researchers have succeeded in rejuvenating mice and making them age faster, arguing that aging is a reversible process that can be moved forward or reversed at will. A rather bold statement, but supported by extraordinary results obtained in (controversial) experiments with animal models. For example, researchers have been able to restore the sight of old, blind mice, as well as rejuvenate and heal their brains, kidneys, muscles and other tissues. It may sound like science fiction, but several studies in recent years have found similar results; Last year, for example, a Stanford University School of Medicine research team was able to rejuvenate the brains of old mice thanks to infusions of spinal fluid extracted from young samples. Instead, the new practice is based on a completely new look at epigenetics, the Yamanaka factors, and the biological mechanisms underlying aging.
The research was conducted by an international team led by scientists from the Department of Computational Biology at Carnegie Mellon University, Harvard University Medical School’s Department of Genetics, in close collaboration with colleagues from the Departments of Ophthalmology and Neuropsychiatry at Keio University in Tokyo. (Japan), Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and many other institutions. The researchers, coordinated by David A. Sinclair, a professor at the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging Research and a professor at the prestigious university’s Blavatnik Institute, demonstrated that it is possible to simulate the acceleration of aging processes, for example, triggered processes. by exposure to sunlight or toxic chemicals—manipulation of the epigenome, a set of events that alter DNA without changing its sequence. Epigenetics is actually a component of genetics that determines the modifications of the phenotype (a set of morphological and functional characteristics of a living entity) in the absence of genotype modification.
As Professor Sinclair and his colleagues explained in an interview with CNN, they liken DNA to computer hardware and the epigenome to its software. The epigenome is responsible for turning genes on and off, a process that can be triggered by pollution, exposure to chemicals, smoking, poor nutrition, lack of sleep, and more. influenced by environmental factors such as The more these factors alter the epigenome, the more difficult it is for DNA to repair itself. According to the study authors, we age not because of the accumulation of mutations and unwanted DNA, but because of the loss of epigenetic information, which increases the degenerative processes (resulting in disease and death), which causes cells to “forget” how. Read DNA. original. Put very simply, using epigenetics, it is possible for cells to “remember” how to read that original DNA and therefore reverse the aging process. Or speed it up. Indeed, in specific experiments, Professor Sinclair and his colleagues were able to accelerate tissue aging in various organs in mice, from the brain to the eyes, through the kidneys, skin and muscles. The one-year-old mice tested behaved as if they were twice as old.
To reverse the process and rejuvenate them, the scientists used three of the four famous “Yamanaka transcription factors” (Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and cMyc – OSKM) to reprogram the cells and return them to the pluripotent stage. .. stem cells (can differentiate into any adult cell in the body). These compounds were injected into blind mice, and they regained most of their vision after a while. Sinclair and his colleagues used the same technique in the kidney, brain, muscle, and more. they also rejuvenated the cells. Needles 50-75% return to the young stage; fortunately, we are not reaching the “zero point” because, as the scientists explain, it will cause the cancer “or get worse.” Researchers have reversed the aging process in mouse cells several times and now want to see if the same mechanism occurs in primates. The future goal (now far away) is to achieve treatments that can rejuvenate people through experiments that raise numerous ethical questions. The study, titled “Loss of epigenetic information as a cause of mammalian aging,” was published in the prestigious scientific journal Cell.