A cocktail of two drugs could be the first anti-ageing treatment after a trial in mice cleared ‘senescent’ cells from their bodies – restoring health and extending life.
Senescent cells are alive, but have lost function, including the ability to divide and replicate, but are resistant to cell death.
Senescent cells increase in many tissues with aging; they also occur in organs associated with many chronic diseases and after radiation or chemotherapy.
Researchers found that mice injected with the cells lost health and function – but when traeted with a mixture of cancer drug dasatinib and quercetin, it was restored.
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Dasatinib is used to treat some forms of leukemia; quercetin is a plant flavanol found in some fruits and vegetables.
National Institute on Aging director Richard J. Hodes said, ‘This study provides compelling evidence that targeting a fundamental aging process – in this case, cell senescence in mice – can delay age-related conditions, resulting in better health and longer life.
‘This study also shows the value of investigating biological mechanisms which may lead to better understanding of the aging process.’
Felipe Sierra, Ph.D., director of NIA’s Division of Aging Biology said, ‘This study clearly demonstrates that senolytics can relieve physical dysfunction in mice.
‘Additional research will be necessary to determine if compounds, like the one used in this study, are safe and effective in clinical trials with people.’