Tags: anti | aging | telemorase

Scientists Test Anti-aging Gene Therapy

Thursday, 17 May 2012 12:18 PM

Scientists have tested the first gene-based anti-aging therapy using an enzyme that – on a cellular level -- slows down the body’s biological clock by extending the lifespan of the body’s cells.
Researchers said the findings, published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine, provide a "proof-of-principle" that the approach can effectively "improve health span," in the words of a commentary published in the same journal.
The study, conducted in laboratory mice, involved the use of the enzyme telomerase, which plays a key role in aging. Previous studies have shown that it is possible to lengthen the life of many species, including mammals, by acting on specific genes.
For the new study, researchers at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), led by its director María Blasco, have proved that mouse lifespan can be extended by 24 percent through a single treatment using telomerase. The therapy also improved the animals' health, delaying age-related conditions, such as osteoporosis, insulin resistance and neuromuscular coordination.
Telomeres are the caps that protect the end of chromosomes, but each time the cell divides the telomeres get shorter, until they are so short that they cannot function and die. Telomerase prevents telomeres from shortening and even rebuilds them – essentially stopping or resetting the cell's biological clock.
This study "shows that it is possible to develop a telomerase-based anti-aging gene therapy without increasing the incidence of cancer," the researchers said.

© HealthDay

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A new gene-based therapy has been found to slow down the body’s biological clock by extending cell life.
Thursday, 17 May 2012 12:18 PM
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