We already knew that the elimination of senescent cells, linked to aging, could improve longevity in animals. So-called “senolytic” products have been used and studied for this purpose. Very recently, Japanese researchers have developed a “vaccine” in mice, allowing the body to produce antibodies against these senescent cells.
In fact, the injected peptide product triggers the production of specific antibodies, directed towards a particular protein, very present in the membrane of senescent cells (the GPNMB protein), and which can thus lead to their destruction. These are “aged”, non-functional cells that accumulate with age and promote inflammation and loss of performance of our organs. They are involved in the aging of tissues such as the loss of flexibility of the arteries, brown skin spots, or osteoporosis… (to find out more about senescent cells).
In fact, the researchers first showed that eliminating GPNMB protein-laden cells alleviated adipose tissue senescence and decreased metabolic problems in mice fed a high-fat diet. In addition, they noted a reduction in signs of atherosclerosis.
They therefore decided to immunize the mice against this protein, and observed a decrease in the number of senescent cells. At the same time, they noted an improvement in aging-related phenotypes, less frailty, and an increase in the lifespan of male mice.
On the other hand, this method would have fewer collateral effects on healthy cells than the best-known senolytics, such as dasatinib, which is usually used in chemotherapy.
This leads them to think that it is a way of the future in the fight by senolytics against diseases related to aging.
The Integral Anti-Aging Opinion
It is always interesting to discover mechanisms of aging and to look for ways to reduce them.
Some media present things as the end of aging. But if the elimination of senescent cells seems relevant to fight against the effects of aging (senolytics), keep in mind that this only represents a part of the processes linked to aging.
In the method proposed here, it will certainly be necessary to ensure, before using it in humans, that the antibodies produced (anti-GPNMB) will not attack other healthy cells in the body, in the short or long term. And of course the absence of other side effects. To be continued then…
See thestudy in Nature