Real 'Benjamin Button'? Stem cells reverse aging in mice

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Reader, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    http://vitals.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2...jamin-button-stem-cells-reverse-aging-in-mice

    Scientists may one day slow down aging with a simple injection of youthful stem cells. They’ve just proven this can be done in mice, according to a study published Tuesday in Nature Communications.

    The mice, which had been engineered to mimic a human disease called progeria, would normally have grown old when they were quite young. But that changed when researchers injected muscle stem cells from healthy young mice into the bellies of the quickly aging mice. Within days, the doddering and frail mice began to act like they were living the storyline of “The Strange Case of Benjamin Button” as they started looking and acting younger.
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    One day it might be standard for people to stash away stem cells when they are young so they can use this fountain of youth elixir when they start aging, he said.

    If it was up to you, how long would you want to live?


    More at link....
     
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  3. jjenny

    jjenny Well-Known Member

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    It didn't reverse aging in normal mice. It prolonged life of progeria-like mice, which live much shorter lives than normal mice. And they still lived much shorter lives than normal mice even after that treatment.
     
  4. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    True, but......

    Quote: The stem-cell injected mice didn’t live as long as normal mice, but they did survive about three times as long as would have without the treatment. Huard suspects if he re-injected the mice they would live even longer.

    This was also interesting to me:

    Quote: One of the biggest surprises for Huard and his colleagues was the impact on the brain from muscle stem cells injected into the belly. Even though the cells didn’t get to the brain, they still improved its health.

    “The number of blood vessels in the brains of progeria mice are significantly reduced,” Huard said. “But when you inject stem cells from a normal mouse into the belly of the progeria mouse, the number of blood vessels increases.”

    That means that the normal stem cells must be releasing some kind of protein that spurs the growth of healthy cells, Huard said.
     
  5. jjenny

    jjenny Well-Known Member

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    So these progeria-like mice lived 60 days instead of 20 days, whereas normal mice live 2 years. Not exactly a fountain of youth. If they gave this to normal mice and they lived 6 years instead of 2 years then they could have argued they discovered a fountain of youth for mice.
     
  6. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    I hope that they can use discovery to prolong the lifespan and quality of life with those that do suffer from progeria.
     
  7. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ Active Member

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    Bad idea.... Old age nursing homes for mice can't be a good thing ;)
     
  8. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    I think they used an extreme example of aging mice to test the effects in the shortest time....their grant may have been time limited. Maybe now that the results did show some positive effects, the next stage will be to use normal mice for the tests.
     

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