Good News from Abundance Insider: Scientists Reverse Aging in Rat Stem Cells
A team of researchers at the University of Cambridge… has uncovered a potential mechanism for reversing a loss of function in brain stem cells. The discovery centers on oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) – a type of stem cell critical for normal brain function and myelin reformation. When they put OPCs of older mice into the far softer brain tissue of younger animals, the older cells became rejuvenated.
They hypothesized that the aging was not exclusively within the brain cell, but in response to being surrounded by the harder cell walls of older brain cells. They tested this theory by removing Piezo1, a protein on the cell’s surface that detects whether its environment is soft or stiff.
Once Piezo1 was removed, the OPCs were essentially tricked into believing their environment was soft, subsequently resuming normal, healthy function.
Why it’s important: According to Abundance Insider, this discovery “holds the extraordinary potential to alleviate the pain of patients with Multiple Sclerosis, who suffer the loss of function in both the brain and other parts of the nervous system.”
But it also provides a new and encouraging direction for anti-aging research: this idea to study the link between the “extracellular environment” and the human aging process, opening new avenues for research and therapeutic applications.