Cellular Damage Drives the Aging of the Kidney

The SENS view of aging is a synthesis of decades of evidence produced by the research community. It is that aging is caused at root by an accumulation of molecular damage in and around cells, damage that occurs as the result of the normal operation of cellular metabolism. The logical approach to aging is therefore to repair this damage, but, sad to say, only a small fraction of the research community pursues work of this nature.

Why is this case? Perhaps because the dominant paradigm of investigative research involves picking one age-related disease and then working backwards from the disease state, trying to uncover contributing factors that occur in the final stages of the progression of disease. The first opportunities to produce therapies as a result of increased understanding therefore involve changes in cells and tissue that are far downstream of the root causes of aging, have limited relevance to aging beyond the specific disease, and offer only limited potential benefits. It is not the right path forward if we want to see meaningful progress in our lifetimes.

Autophagy is a process of destruction and processing of damaged cell components by the cells themselves. It is used by a cell to clean itself of excessive organelles and sometimes for programmed cell death. This adaptive mechanism supports a healthy phenotype on the cellular level. Autophagy is activated in certain cases of acute kidney failure (e.g., caused by the administration of antibiotics or anti-cancer drugs), sepsis, or kidney ischemia. Scientists already know that it is the activation of autophagy that reduces kidney damage manifestation.

However, while an organism is aging, the efficiency of autophagy declines as well. Though the number of lysosomes (the organelles that digest damaged cell components) is increased in old cells, they fail to perform their function. Oxidized proteins and damaged organelles (including mitochondria that participate in the respiration and energy production) start to pile up.

A team of scientists considered kidney pathologies that accompany aging - first of all, acute kidney failure that is several times more likely to be observed in patients over 60. "In our article we demonstrated that aging is associated with the accumulation of damaged biological structures (proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, organelles) in the kidney. The replacement of a young (healthy) phenotype with an old one takes place when a certain threshold level of such changes is reached."

Link: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-08/lmsu-msu081018.php


>Though the number of lysosomes (the organelles that digest damaged cell components) is increased in old cells, they fail to perform their function

The lysosomes number probably increases because the smaller number fail to perform well with aging. Therefore, the cell has to compensate and increase the numbers, if the efficiency is lower.

Of course, the damage repair is a better solution, since we don't really have to understand the intricate mechanisms of getting the damage. Like, if we can replace the car engine, as a whole, we don't really need to know all the complicated processes of wear and tear, or corrosion or chemical degradation of various components. Just replace/repair the whole thing. If we could grow kidneys in a jar and replace them on demand, we wouldn't need to know how exactly they fail with time. Just replace the failing ones periodically...

Of course, that is not feasible yet

Posted by: cuberat at August 13th, 2018 10:50 AM

@cuberat, agreed, once we can grow organs (I hope and expect that will be within 10 years, once they can figure out the vascular issues), it will solve many problems. I have a friend who has a genetic problem (cysts growing around her kidneys) and will within a few months be on dialysis.

Does anyone feel we are growing exponentially in the medical field, particularly in the past 10 years? I would hope that we will see some fantastic advances in the next decade or so.

Posted by: Robert at August 14th, 2018 2:01 AM

Hi Robert,
I don't see an exponentially growth yet but we are getting a momentum. But on the other hand, for the last 40 years the room temperature superconductivity or controlled nuclear fusion were just around the corner. Yet here we are. Knowing vastly more details without really getting closer. Let's hope we can do better than that. We have a few promising treatments in the pipeline. We know that full regeneration is not impossible ( example axolotl). We know that lifespan of many species cold be hundreds of years. And the problems seem to be rather engineering and not principle.

For the time being your friend sold try fasting, wings even for 24h can measurably, albeit temporally, reduce the inflammation. Datasutib+quercetin are worth considering too, as a last resort unproven magic...

Posted by: Cuberat at August 14th, 2018 5:03 AM

@Robert: A genetic condition called autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease is often the cause of kidney failure in those over 60 years old, with type 2 diabetes being a bigger cause. There is no known cure, and kidney transplantation or dialysis are the main ways of treating it at present. I have a sister waiting for a kidney transplant (64) and a brother (68) doing self-dialysis. My mother was on dialysis for 8 years starting at 70 and later gave it up and died of uremia.

Posted by: Biotechy Marcks at August 15th, 2018 8:37 AM

@Biotechy Marcks: Yep, it is polycystic kidney disease. I could not think of it when I wrote the comment. Her mother died at an early age from it. She also plans to do dialysis at home as well.

My mother died at 81 (nearly a year ago) , because she was on dialysis and stopped going after about 5 years.

I hope of all organs, this is one of the first to have real options for rejuv.

Posted by: Robert at August 15th, 2018 12:22 PM

Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. New comments can be edited for a few minutes following submission. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.