Improved Health in Mice after Peptide Transfusions 

By Katie Campbell

            Peptide infusions may be able to selectively find and destroy cells that prevent normal tissue renewal. Senescent cells cause cell death by blocking the ability of the FOXO4 protein to tell the p53 protein not to cause self-destruction of the cell. An anti-senescence peptide, developed over the past four years, causes the senescent cells to perform cell suicide, or apoptosis.

            The study, performed by researchers at Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands, infused genetically engineered, fast-aging mice and non-engineered naturally aging mice with the peptide to measure age-related symptoms of fur-loss, stamina, and kidney function. After only 10 days, mice began to regain missing fur, but after about three weeks, older mice who received the peptide could run twice the distance of the mice without the peptide, and after one month, mice showed improved kidney function.

            Over the past few years, researchers across the world have been investigating the prevalence of numerous therapies to reverse aging or lengthen the healthy years of mice. From calorie-restriction at University of Southern California to epigenetic modification at the Salk Institute, researchers are working to find new ways to prevent cell damage, remove senescent cells, and stimulate stem cells. Overall, these studies complement each other to treat disease that exhibit overexpression of the FOXO4 gene and combat age-related decline in health.

 

Cell Press. "Peptide targeting senescent cells restores stamina, fur, and kidney function in old mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 March 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170323141414.htm>.