Can we optimize the aging of people?
Most people want good health into old age, but it is difficult to get there. In a current study, researchers have now uncovered how the aging process can be influenced in order to minimize negative effects on health and to enjoy good health even in old age.
The latest study by the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering investigated the key process that causes aging. The results of the research work were published in the English-language journal "Journal of Biological Chemistry".
Effects of senescence
In order to understand how aging can be influenced by humans, the process of aging must first be deciphered, which ultimately causes our cells to stop growing. In the course of senescence, the risk of numerous diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases increases. Basically, senescent cells are the opposite of stem cells, which have unlimited potential for self-renewal or self-division, the researchers explain. Senescent cells can no longer divide. It is an irreversible condition.
Senescent cells do not produce so-called nucleotides
In the current study, the pioneering discovery was made that senescent cells do not produce so-called nucleotides, which are essential for the formation of DNA. The results show that the production of nucleotides is essential to keep the cells young. Cells could age more slowly if their nucleotide synthesis is preserved. The researchers examined the phenomenon of senescence in detail. They found that senescent cells have two nuclei, which do not multiply and do not synthesize DNA. In contrast to previous studies, which focused primarily on fibroblasts, the current study examined the occurrence of senescence in epithelial cells, the researchers emphasize.
Senescence affects the risk of cancer
If senescence is disturbed, it can affect the development of cancer. If body cells are damaged due to their cancerous properties, they get into a so-called senescence state to prevent cancer from spreading, the researchers explain. Therefore, the goal was not to completely prevent aging, as this could promote the development of cancer cells. Instead, they looked for a way to remove senescent cells and promote healthy aging. However, they had to take some precautions to prevent cancer.
Eliminating aging cells enables a healthier aging process
The team is currently experimenting with medication to help people age healthier. Previous studies on mice have already shown that the elimination of aging cells rejuvenates the animals and their body functions can be maintained longer. Understanding the uniqueness of the senescent cell is an essential basis for already planned clinical studies, the researchers emphasize. (as)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Alireza Delfarah, Sydney Parrish, Jason A. Junge, Jesse Yang, Frances Seo et al .: Inhibition of nucleotide synthesis promotes replicative senescence of human mammary epithelial cells, in Journal of Biological Chemistry (query: July 29, 2019), JBC