March 24, 2017

"Even if you aren’t elderly, your body is home to agents of senility—frail and damaged cells that age us and promote disease."

Science: Now, researchers have developed a molecule that selectively destroys these so-called senescent cells. The compound makes old mice act and appear more youthful, providing hope that it may do the same for us. by Mitch Leslie

'“It’s definitely a landmark advance in the field,” says cell and molecular biologist Francis Rodier of the University of Montreal in Canada who wasn’t connected to the study. “This is the first time that somebody has shown that you can get rid of senescent cells without having any obvious side effects.”

'As we get older, senescent cells build up in our tissues, where researchers think they contribute to illnesses such as heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. In the past, scientists have genetically modified mice to dispatch their senescent cells, allowing the rodents to live longer and reducing plaque buildup in their arteries. Such genetic alterations aren’t practical for people, but researchers have reported at least seven compounds, known as senolytics, that kill senescent cells. A clinical trial is testing two of the drugs in patients with kidney disease, and other trials are in the works.'

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