Mitrix Bio Works on the Production of Mitochondria for Transplantation

One of the more practical near term approaches to address the age-related decline of mitochondrial function is transplantation of functional mitochondria. As an approach, it bypasses all of the remaining unknowns relating to the biochemistry of mitochondrial aging. Cells will take up whole mitochondria and make use of them, and early studies suggest that providing new mitochondria can improve tissue function when native mitochondria are impaired. It is likely that this improvement will last for only a limited time, as the same processes that degrade the function of mitochondria, such as a lack of effective mitophagy, will still operate on the new arrivals. If that limited time is a few months to a few years, that will nonetheless gives tissues a chance to restore themselves to some degree - and the therapy can always be repeated.

The major focus of the few companies presently working towards this goal of mitochondrial transplantation is the development of practical methods of production of mitochondria. Ultimately, therapies for aging humans that replace mitochondria throughout the body will require enormous numbers of these organelles, and thus the development of a cost-effective means of manufacture at scale. Even producing enough mitochondria for demonstrations in mice proved to be an initial hurdle. It is interesting to see reports along the way in this process of development, such as the materials provided by Mitrix Bio, noted here. Academic papers will be forthcoming, it seems, to describe the details.

Bioreactor-Grown Mitochondria for Potential Anti-Aging

Mitrix Bio announced early results of an 18-month project in which a series of mitochondrial transplants were performed in animal studies of brain, eye, liver, immune system, and skin tissues. In these tests, "young" highly functional mitochondria are grown in prototype bioreactors and transfused into the bloodstream. Cells absorb them to help supplement old, dysfunctional mitochondria and reverse energetic decline. These tests showed apparent age reversal in multiple endpoints in animal disease models in vivo and human cells in vitro. The results indicate potential future therapies for diseases such as Alzheimer's, macular degeneration, cardiovascular disease, frailty, and immunosenescence. Experiments not only point toward specific diseases but suggest anti-aging effects on test animals' strength, cognition, and appearance. A series of peer-reviewed papers will be released in coming months.

For the past decade, researchers have been testing exogenous mitochondrial transplants. But these tests have been confined mainly to rare pediatric diseases and surgery, not the larger world of adult diseases and longevity, due to scarce supplies of donor mitochondria. Just as liver or kidney organ transplants are limited by the availability of donors, mitochondrial "organelle transplants" are limited by scarce supplies of donor mitochondria. The Mitrix Bio project was launched to overcome this limitation for adult diseases. In the Mitrix process, the first step is to grow mitochondria in prototype bioreactors. Next, those mitochondria are given a special coating to protect against immune reactions along with molecular receptors to target specific tissue types. These coated mitochondria are infused into the body, where they travel to desired tissues and take up residence in cells.

"As people age, their tissues experience chronic energy depletion - there's not enough energy for cells to function, DNA becomes damaged, and stem cells lose their stemness. Our goal with mitochondrial transplant is to raise the energetics of the entire system so it's ready for other types of longevity treatments. All things considered, having improved bioenergetics trumps many of the negative impacts of aging. Even if improvement from mitochondrial transplant is indirect, it buys time, and that is what longevity is all about."


Wasn't one of the reasons that stem cells fail to transplant to animals and humans recently found to be expanding these cells ex vivo introduced minor mutations in the mitochondrial DNA which still led to immune rejection of the stem cells? Is it even possible to expand mitochondria ex vivo with low or no DNA mutionations that would result in immune rejection?

Posted by: jimofoz at July 27th, 2022 3:52 PM

this is to be seen in the future but the experiments with extracellular vesicles show that there are ways to transport and deliver mitochondria and other cellular organelles without triggering much if any immune reaction.

Mitochondria replenishment/replacement can cure or at least control a whole class of genetic diseases which affect mitochondria.

Posted by: Cuberat at July 27th, 2022 4:33 PM
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