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French Scientists Restored The Youth Of 100 Years Old Cells

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French researchers were able to restore theyouthof cells taken from people aged over 100 years, reprograming them to stem cells stage, demonstrating that aging isin factreversible. The research on the possibility to remove traces left byaging cells, published in the Genes & Developmentjournal, marks a new stagein theregenerative medicine field, said Jean-Marc Lemaitre from Fonctionnelle Génomique Institute (INSERM / CNRS / Université de Montpellier), who led the study, informs AFP.

The study contributed to another important achievement: a better understanding of aging and its pathological aspects correction, say scientists at INSERM.

Old cells were reprogrammed to bepluripotent stem cells in vitro – IPSC (Induced pluripotent stem cells), which have theyouth and characteristics of embryonic stem cells (hESC). They can differentiate back into cells of all types (neurons, heart cells, epithelial, liver etc)after the “rejuvenation”curemade byFrench scientists.

pluripotent human stem cells

Since 2007, scientists have shown that they can reprogram adult cellsinto pluripotent human stem cells (IPSC), whose properties are similar to those of embryonic stem cells. Those reprogrammed adult cells fromavoid the criticisms regarding the use of embryonic stem cells.

Before the greatsuccess of French researchers, reprogramming adult cellshit a limit, senescence, cellular aging ultimate point. The team of scientists led by Jean-Marc Lemaitre managed to exceed this limit.

The researchers first multiplied epithelial cells (fibroblasts) from a donor aged 74 years to reach senescence, characterized by cessation of cell multiplication process. The researchers then conductedan in vitro reprogramming of these cells. Since this process wasnot possiblethrough clasic preparationbased onfour genetic factors (OCT4, Sox2, Myc and KLF4 C), they added two more (NANOG and LIN28).

With this new “cocktail” of six ingredients, reprogrammed senescent cells have regained the characteristics of pluripotent stem cells embryonic type without any trace of aging to preserve their past. Age markers were deleted fromcells and the IPSC (Induced pluripotent stem cells) that were obtained can produce all type offunctional cells, with multiplication capacityand increased longevity.

Researchers then tested the “cocktail”on older cells, aged 92 years, 94 years, 96 years and 101 years, the same success is achieved each time, including for the101 year old cells.

“Age is certainly nota barrierforcell reprogramming,” concluded the research leader.

This study opens the way for usingreprogrammedIPS cells as a sourceofadult cells ideally tolerated by the immune system to repair damaged organs or tissues in elderly patients.