Aging may not be related to age, scientists say

(ORDO NEWS) — The elixir of life is still legendary, but the premature aging of youth may not be so far-fetched.

When scientists injected young mice with the blood of old mice as a result of the experiment, the young mice showed signs of old age for a short time.

Exactly the same aging effect was observed when human cells were immersed in the plasma of elderly people.

Young mice aged three months (all males) were transfused with blood from an older mouse aged 22-24 months. The young mice were then tested for muscle strength to see if old blood causes tissue aging effects.

The researchers found that compared to a control group (young mice that received a blood transfusion from another young mouse), mice that received blood from an old mouse had “reduced maximal contraction force and significantly shorter rates of strength development and relaxation during contractions.”

At the beginning of the study, the rodents were tested for physical endurance on a treadmill, and 7 days after the blood infusion, they were tested again.

Mice that refused to run were stimulated with a stream of air that forced them to run until they were exhausted.

The mice that received the old blood tired faster and ran shorter distances on the treadmill than the control group. These mice also showed biomarkers of kidney damage and signs of liver aging.

When young blood was given to older mice in this experiment, lipids, fibrosis, and fatigue decreased, and muscle endurance increased.

The latest result is similar to that of an earlier study conducted by the University of California in 2005. It showed that creating Siamese twins from young and old mice could reverse the signs of aging in older mice.

“Using heterochronous blood exchange, we report a transmission of physiological aging from old to young mice,” the researchers say. “This answer is unrelated… to chronological age.”

The researchers hypothesized that the cells of aged mice secrete an “ageing-associated secretory phenotype” (SASP) that contributes to aging, such as muscle weakness, loss of endurance and tissue damage.

Senescent cells that have stopped reproducing have the potential to affect neighboring cells within a younger individual, even if chronological aging does not occur first.

The researchers also placed human kidney cells in plasma taken from people between the ages of 60 and 70 and found multiple biomarkers of aging over a six-day experiment.

These biomarkers were not detected when the experiment was repeated using plasma taken from people in their 20s and 30s.

Both experiments show that adjusting and modulating various factors, including SASP, may lead to new therapeutic strategies to increase lifespan, the researchers conclude.

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