French Scientists Restored The Youth Of 100 Years Old Cells

French researchers were able to restore the youth of cells taken from people aged over 100 years, reprograming them to stem cells stage, demonstrating that aging is in fact reversible. The research on the possibility to remove traces left by aging cells, published in the Genes & Development journal , marks a new stage in the regenerative 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 be pluripotent stem cells in vitro – IPSC (Induced pluripotent stem cells), which have the youth 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” cure made by French scientists.

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

Before the great success of French researchers, reprogramming adult cells hit 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 conducted an in vitro reprogramming of these cells. Since this process was not possible through clasic preparation based on four 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 from cells and the IPSC (Induced pluripotent stem cells)  that were obtained can produce all type of functional cells, with multiplication capacity and 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 the 101 year old cells.

“Age is certainly not a barrier for cell reprogramming,” concluded the research leader.

This study opens the way for using reprogrammed IPS cells as a source of adult cells ideally tolerated by the immune system to repair damaged organs or tissues in elderly patients.

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42 Responses to French Scientists Restored The Youth Of 100 Years Old Cells

  • Aleina / November 3, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Wow. It’s a great step into a regenerative medicine.

  • Tre Giles / November 3, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Okay, I’ll say what everyone is thinking: I want to be immortal, and herein lies the key >:D

    • Riciu Andrei / November 3, 2011 at 9:46 pm

      Maybe one day Giles, maybe one day … but have you raised enough money? :) )

      • Kyle Rybski / November 4, 2011 at 3:39 am

        A difference of two decades, at most.

    • Henry Hamilton / November 4, 2011 at 3:29 am

      For a few to be immortal, many must die.

      • Gert / November 10, 2011 at 10:18 pm

        Why is that, Henry? Why must needs anyone die for something like this to grant longevity to us all?

  • Ivy Rose / November 3, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Isn’t this how zombies started in the first Resident Evil movie??

  • ciuciudude / November 3, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Teoretically, you could be immortal, but practically, you can still die if you get hit by a car, or get shot or something :D

    • Jamie / November 3, 2011 at 11:28 pm

      Miserable bugger! :D

    • Eyenine / November 5, 2011 at 10:46 am

      There is restrictions. Not just any accident will do, unless a serious damage in the brain is induced, the least being brain death. Any shot in the body is worthless because immortal people have regenerative abilities, letting them heal constantly.

  • derpina / November 4, 2011 at 12:33 am

    all i can think of is ZARDOZ

  • Brian / November 4, 2011 at 1:03 am

    In case nobody noticed…happy cell is happy.

  • Brian / November 4, 2011 at 1:07 am

    In case I need to explain myself…epithelial cells are constantly shed and replaced over ones lifetime. Just because the donor is 100 years old doesn’t mean the individual cells the research was done on were that old.

    Mind you, the science and research behind the article is fine, it’s just a poor headline.

  • Sean Harper / November 4, 2011 at 4:00 am

    We’ll have to see where this takes us. Or whether or not we want to go.

  • defderdar / November 4, 2011 at 4:24 am

    The question is, is this prevent somehow the shortining of telomers

  • Riciu Andrei / November 4, 2011 at 6:00 am

    Right defderdar. We are talking about the genetic age of those cells Brian…

  • ryan / November 4, 2011 at 8:17 am

    I remember them talking about energy loop theory being able to make this happen. I didn’t think it would happen so soon though. Now what?

  • Krishna / November 4, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Quite interesting. Though as others have said it may be awhile before it’s ready to be used on humans… We’ll have to see where we are as a species, and if it will be available to all.

    If we all truly become immortal then we will have to discontinue having children. There are many factors that are being changed as a culture and species as we speak. I’m sure many more will have to be implemented if we become immortal.

  • Eyenine / November 5, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Might be a step to regeneration, immortality, the scatter of immoral deeds, and population supernova. I guess it’s better left the same as how it was several decades ago…

    • Lori / November 7, 2011 at 2:56 am

      So…a few decades ago we didn’t have vaccines and antibiotics…I guess you’re right…it was better then..without todays medicine I would have died at least 6 times…how about you?

  • James L / November 8, 2011 at 9:36 am

    May be this tech already been know, but unpublished until now. if it’s that so, Question is, what is the real progress?

  • maico desir / March 23, 2012 at 3:25 am

    that’s crazy

  • Marauda / April 13, 2012 at 3:25 am


    When will we become imortal? I don’t have that much time left.

  • Nancy / April 16, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    I wonder whats in the cocktail.

  • Marauda / April 16, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Does anyone know WHEN this will be on the market?

  • Szokia / September 13, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    We are all afraid of Death, because it is unknown and because the ones who have not yet died experience the death of others as a loss. But what if it’s actually a wonderful thing? A step up, or a next step along a grand adventure? We cling to the status quo, but there is no such thing. Everything is always in flux. We may be delaying or missing out altogether on that next great thing if we reach for “immortality”. Perhaps we are only reaching for a different kind of death. The death of further development. We may never know and we may be missing out…

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