Researchers have reversed the aging of human skin cells in 30 years, according to a new study.
Although investigations are still in the early stages, they could revolutionize regenerative medicine, especially if it can be replicated in other cell types.
In a study published in ELIFE, scientists say they have developed a method of leaping into human skin cells over three decades, with cells rewinding the aging clock without losing their effectiveness.
The researchers were able to partially restore the function of the old cell, as well as renew the biological age.
In a skin lesion simulation test, partially regenerated cells show signs of behaving more like young cells.
Professor Wolf Reich, a group leader in the epigenetics research program who recently moved to the Altos Labs Cambridge Institute, said: “This work has had a very exciting effect.
“Finally, we may be able to identify regenerated genes without reprogramming and target them specifically to reduce the effects of aging.”
“This method promises valuable discoveries that could open up an amazing therapeutic horizon.”
Dr. Diljit Gill, a postdoctoral researcher at Reeker’s Lab, a professor at the Babraham Institute, said: “Our results represent a major step in our understanding of cell reprogramming.
“We have demonstrated that cells can regenerate without losing their function, and that regeneration appears to restore some function in older cells.
“We also saw a reversal of the aging indicators in the genes associated with the disease, which is particularly promising for the future of this work.”
As humans age, their cells’ ability to function diminishes, and the genome – the DNA blueprint – accumulates signs of aging.
The goal of regenerated biology is to repair or replace old cells.
One of the most important tools in regenerative biology is our ability to create ‘induced’ stem cells.
However, this process basically deletes the cells of their function and gives them the possibility to become any type of cell.
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However, the new method eliminates the problem of deleting cell identities by shutting down the reprogramming part of the path through the process.
This allows researchers to find a way to balance the small cells while still maintaining the functionality of their particular cell.