Friday, March 10, 2023

An arthritis drug mimicks the anti-aging benefits of youthful blood transfusions

Some edited clips from the New Atlas description of research by Passegué and collaborators on rejuvenating the stem cells located in the blood marrow that produce blood cells:
An aging blood system, because it’s a vector for a lot of proteins, cytokines, and cells, has a lot of bad consequences for the organism...A 70-year-old with a 40-year-old blood system could have a longer healthspan, if not a longer lifespan.”
The bone marrow "niche" in which stem cells exist deteriorates over time and becomes overwhelmed by inflammation, which impairs the blood stem cells. One particular inflammatory signal, called IL-1B, is critical to impairing the blood stem cells... since this signal is already implicated in other inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, there are already drugs in wide use that target it... the researchers used an arthritis drug called anakinra to block IL-1B in elderly mice, and found that the blood stem cells returned to a younger, healthier state. This helped improve the state of the niche, the function of the blood stem cells and the regeneration of blood cells. The treatment worked even better when the drug was administered throughout the life of the mice, not just when they were already old.
Animal tests don't always translate to humans, but this work suggests that treating elderly patients with anti-inflammatory drugs blocking IL-1B function should help with maintaining healthier blood production

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