Aging is characterized by a functional decline in many physiological systems. Cellular senescence, a central component of aging, is a cell-intrinsic stress response programmed to impose stable cell-cycle arrest in damaged cells. These senescent cells are not completely dead but do suffer loss of function or irreparable damage, and they have been implicated in diseases of aging by promoting inflammation. Normally, senescent cells are cleared by the immune system, allowing for the regeneration of the tissues that harbor them. In advanced age, however, the efficiency of this process may be compromised.
Researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science are exploring ways to prompt the human body to remove its old senescent cells, particularly to find means of activating the immune system to do this job. The researchers used Prf1−/− mice. These mice have their perforin gene knocked out, thereby disabling the process of granule-exocytosis-mediated apoptosis, which is required for the clearance of senescent cells. The Prf1−/− mice exhibited a higher senescent-cell tissue burden and chronic inflammation as compared to their wildtype counterparts, and suffered from multiple age-related disorders and lower survival.
Researchers then treated these mice with the drug ABT-737. This drug inhibits the expression of anti-apoptotic factors, thereby pushing senescent cells toward apoptosis. The treated mice responded exceptionally well to the drug. The amount of senescent cells was reduced in the treated mice and inflammation was reduced. Researchers also looked at a mouse model of Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome, an accelerated aging disease due to senescent cell formation accumulation. Overall, ABT-737 alleviated the age-related phenotype and increased median survival.
By linking the age-related decline in the immune system to the accumulation of senescent cells during aging, this study provides a path forward to explore anti-aging therapies. The article titled “Impaired immune surveillance accelerates accumulation of senescent cells and aging” was published in Nature Communications.
From January 22 – 25, Phacilitate Leaders World and the World Stem Cell Summit will be co-located in Miami, FL. This popular event will attract 2,000 attendees, 150 exhibitors and 300 speakers representing every major stakeholder group.
On January 22 at 3:20 pm, Dr. Claudia Zylberberg, CEO will be participating in a panel titled “SCB: Developing a standards landscape for regenerative medicine manufacturing.” The following day, January 23, at 11:00 am, she will be speaking in a standards workshop titled “Mitigating clinical and business risk: Standardising manufacturing practice in cell and gene therapies.” Additional round table speakers include Dr. Gail Naughton, Chief Scientific Officer of Histogen and Dr. Robert Deans, Chief Technology Officer of Bluerock Therapeutics.
Meet other members of the Akron team and learn more about our product portfolio at booth #304 in the exhibition area. And stop by to register for a free sample of cGMP IL-2. We look forward to seeing you!