Navigation Links
Gene Tweak Reverses Aging in Mouse Skin Cells

It's a long way from this to a human 'fountain of youth,' however

THURSDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists say they've been able to temporarily return old skin cells to their youthful state by blocking the activity of a single gene.

"This gene gets more and more active with age," said lead researcher Dr. Howard Chang, an assistant professor of dermatology at Stanford University. "It doesn't exist to make us old. It is active in a number of processes, including the immune system and inflammation."

Chang said tweaking the gene, which produces a protein called NF-kappa-B, will not serve as a "fountain of youth" for the foreseeable future. The protein has a number of functions, some involved with cancer, and as-yet-unknown side effects must be explored before its safety is known. But one possible use is to help heal wounds more quickly in older people, he noted.

What's exciting about the discovery is that a single gene can have an immediate effect on older cells, Chang said. "People have known that you can affect the aging process with drastic interventions, like calorie restriction. Now we are talking about a single gene that, if blocked in an individual who is already old, can return cells to a youthful status, at least temporarily."

The researchers came across NF-kappa-B by searching existing data on genes that become more or less active as people get older. They found that the activity of a number of those genes is regulated by the protein.

They then used a genetically engineered mouse model to test the effect of inhibiting NF-kappa-B activity in a patch of skin cells.

After two weeks, a patch of treated skin from a 2-year-old mouse not only had the same genetic activity as that of a newborn animal but also looked more youthful, with more dividing cells.

It's fascinating "to engineer a mouse so that the rest of the mouse is old, but that one patch is young, to see that even locally, in a targeted way, you can affect the aging process," Chang said.

The finding also adds support to the theory that aging is not simply a process of wear-and-tear but the result of specific genetic changes, he said. And it shows that at least locally and temporarily, those changes can be stopped, Chang added.

The gene treatment has to be used cautiously, because NF-kappa-B is involved in so many different processes in the body, he noted.

A question to be asked now is, "What is the long-term effect of blocking the aging process for a while?," Chang said. "Would the tissue age rapidly again after the treatment stopped, or would they take much longer to age? It's important to sort these things out."

Long-term blockage of the gene would raise serious issues in terms of side effects, Chang said, since the gene is involved in so many body processes. Short-term use -- for wound healing, for example -- might sidestep those problems.

More information

There's more on skin aging at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Howard Chang, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor, dermatology, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif; Nov. 29, 2007, Genes and Development

Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Combination therapy reverses effects of portal hypertension in rats
2. Stanford researchers find culprit in aging muscles that heal poorly
3. Brain imaging reveals breakdown of normal emotional processing
4. Clarity Imaging International, Inc. Rolls Out Mobile DEXA Program
5. Oncologists are critical in managing psychiatric disorders in patients with advanced cancer
6. Fry Construction Selected for High-Profile Medical Imaging Project
7. September is Healthy Aging Month
8. The era of global aging: GSAs annual meeting to present new research on hot topics in aging
9. Elbit Medical Imaging Ltd. Announces Publication of a Prospectus in Israel
10. U.S. Health Initiative Targets Aging Hispanics
11. Ultrasonix Adds Global Medical Imaging Into Its North American Sales Force
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Gene Tweak Reverses Aging in Mouse Skin Cells
(Date:10/13/2017)... Shelton, CT (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... and long-term care services, staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of ... Department, Shelton Fire Department, Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh, has released ... understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of Revelation paints a picture ... Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl Hawkins says that is ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First Healthcare ... program management, will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at the ... Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) will present ... the Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s Annual Symposium ... Collen, a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award is presented ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... Leading pediatric oncology experts at Children’s National Health System will ... the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) Oct. 12-15. Chaired by Jeffrey ... Disorders at Children’s National, and Stephen P. Hunger, M.D., Chief of the Division ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... Texas , Oct. 11, 2017  Caris Life ... focused on fulfilling the promise of precision medicine, today ... has joined Caris, Precision Oncology Alliance™ (POA) as its ... cancer centers, the St. Jude Crosson Cancer Institute will ... advance the use of tumor profiling, making cancer treatment ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... 11, 2017  Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") (NYSE: HRC), ... in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico , ... Following a ... sustained minor structural damage, temporary loss of power and ... been completed, manufacturing operations have resumed, and the company ...
(Date:10/10/2017)...   West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE: WST), ... administration, today shared the results of a study highlighting ... intradermal administration of polio vaccines. The study results were ... 2017 by Dr. Ondrej Mach , Clinical Trials ... (WHO), and recently published in the journal Vaccine. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: