Age Diminishing as a Barrier in Regenerative Medicine

Over the last few years there have been a series of positive developments in stem cell research that suggest the age of a patient will not be a significant hurdle in generating useful cells for therapeutic use. Here is another: "Researchers were able to successfully transform cells from patients as old as 100 into stem cells virtually identical to those found in embryos. If these can be used to grow healthy tissue which can safely be transplanted into elderly patients it could open up new avenues of treatment for the elderly. ... This is a new paradigm for cell rejuvenation ... the age of cells is definitely not a barrier to reprogramming. ... scientists can use a method of taking normal cells from adults and reversing them to an unspecialised state, known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS), making them almost indistinguishable from embryonic stem cells. But experts are divided over whether the technique can work efficiently in elderly patients, who have the most to gain from the potential treatments, because their cells have deteriorated further. By adding two new ingredients, known as transcription factors, to the method of generating adult stem cells, they were able to overcome this hurdle and 'reset' many of the key markers of ageing in cells."



Hey there

Just read this fascinating article and it made me think about an article you posted back at the end of August ( about the metabolic/physiological effects of tethering together the blood systems of an old and a young mouse.
Wondered what you thought: Could there a be a possible therapeutic relationship between these two areas of research? Could the stem cells of an elderly person be rejuvenated as above to manufacture "young blood" that could be "doped" with different types of rejuvenated stem cells as a means to achieve at least one of the SENS pathways? Obviously this is early days and has its own complexities but it seems in some ways to provide a simpler route to rejuvenation by leveraging the bodies already existing systems to do the work.


Posted by: Shawn Whitney at November 1st, 2011 9:00 AM

We've already discussed this topic thoroughly on SENSF's forum. The problem is that you don't get rid of the aging damage accumulated by those stem cells throughout their lives. You just restore the stem cells' ability to differentiate, an ability that is usually lost with age. The stem cell will then differentiate into a cell that will be, however, no different from the rest of our undamaged cells. It's a breakthrough in regeneration, not necessarily in rejuvenation, though.

Posted by: Nick at November 1st, 2011 11:25 AM

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