Tuesday, December 14, 2021

New Vaccine May Slow Aging - Tasnim News Agency

(Tasnim) - A vaccine was developed by a Japanese research team that allows the body to create antibodies against "zombie cells" that accumulate as people age and cause aging-related diseases, such as arterial stiffening.

Study lead researcher Professor Toru Minamino from Juntendo University said that the vaccine could be applied as a treatment against arterial stiffening, diabetes, and other diseases associated with aging.

As people age, damaged cells accumulate and cause inflammation that could alter metabolism and stem cell function. According to the University of Minnesota Medical School, these damaged cells are commonly known as zombie cells because they refuse to die but instead promote aging and the diseases associated with it, ScienceTimes reported.

Zombie cells are also formally known as senescent cells, which have been damaged or replicated too many times that they undergo a process called cellular senescence. This process is the irreversible removal from the cell cycle and starts removing inflammatory factors that activate the immune system to clear the damaged cells.

When people are younger, they have healthier immune systems capable of clearing damaged cells. However, this capability slowly decreases as people get older when their immune system can no longer effectively remove damaged cells. This results in the accumulation of damaged cells and causes potential diseases.

Scientists have been experimenting with various ways to clear these zombie cells by developing drugs to help people lead healthier lives. A Japan team created a vaccine that can effectively remove senescent cells and potentially treat aging-related diseases.

The new vaccine developed by Japanese vaccines effectively slowed down signs of frailty associated with aging in mice who received the vaccine compared to unvaccinated mice. According to Newsweek, researchers claimed that this new vaccine has fewer negative side effects than other anti-senescent treatments that are currently available.

Anti-aging treatments have always been a major pursuit of science that many huge investors are eager to invest in medicines that may slow aging and combat aging-related diseases. The Institute for Aging Research at Yeshiva University's Albert Einstein College of Medicine founding director Nir Barzilai told the news outlet that people are willing to invest billions of dollars in pursuit of longevity.

Japan Times reported that researchers created a peptide vaccine based on an amino acid from the protein they identified in senescent cells found in humans and mice. They explained that the vaccine allowed the body to create antibodies that attach to zombie cells and activate the white blood cells to remove the damaged cells.

When they administered the vaccine to mice with arterial stiffening, they found that many senescent cells were removed ad the disease in affected areas shrank. Aged mice showed slow progression of frailty but with lesser side effects and longer-lasting efficacy.

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