Recent studies show that transfusions of young blood hold many rejuvenating benefits for older people, such as increased heart strength and mental clarity. Many researchers are working to identify the elements in youth-filled blood so they can be replicated into a pill form. However, an even more effective approach may be found by refreshing the system within our bodies responsible for creating fresh red cells, the oxygen carriers throughout our systems. This could mean that a 70-year old with a 40 year-old’s level of new red cell production could experience extended more youthful health span, if not overall lifespan longevity.
A recent breakthrough from Dr. Passegué’s lab could potentially make the clock go backwards for older individuals – a long-held ideal in our pursuit of health and longevity. In Nature Cell Biology, it was demonstrated that an already approved anti-inflammatory drug is able to rejuvenate mouse blood cells by reversing the effects of aging on their hematopoietic system.
Stem cells within bone marrow are responsible for producing all of the blood cells in our bodies. As we age, however, these hematopoietic stem cells begin to deteriorate and become unable to create immune or red blood cells efficiently. Recent studies have attempted to reverse this aging process through exercise regimens, diets limiting calories intake as well as introducing young stem cell transplants into old bones. But none were successful enough in reversing the effects on hematopoiesis caused by aging.
As we age, remarkable changes occur deep within our bone marrow. The researchers dug deeper to uncover why and discovered the environment surrounding blood stem cells is deteriorating with an influx of inflammation that compromises their function. Through sophisticated analysis developed in the Passegué lab, these researchers shed light on how this specialized local environment plays a major role in aging-related issues.
Through the use of an anti-inflammatory drug, researchers have discovered a new way to reverse aging in both bone marrow niches and blood stem cells. By blocking IL-1B signaling released from damaged sites within the body throughout life, remarkable youthful health effects can be seen – giving us hope for slowing down many age related symptoms.
With the aim of understanding how stem cell rejuvenation works in humans, researchers are exploring if targeting middle age would be a more effective approach. Additionally, they believe that by treating elderly patients with anti-inflammatory drugs able to inhibit IL-1B function, better blood production could result – leading them closer towards clinical trials.
This exciting finding suggests potential strategies may exist to help maintain healthier bloodstreams among elderly populations.
To view the original scientific study click below:
Stromal niche inflammation mediated by IL-1 signalling is a targetable driver of haematopoietic ageing