The Secret for Eternal Youth Has Been Discovered—But Is It Safe?

Skin Stem Cells

There are a number of lotions and serums that promise to reverse the signs of aging, but can you really trust any of them? As long as people have visibly grown older, we’ve searched for the key to reversing the dreaded process. Botox and other fillers have become popular as they offer temporary solutions to the years that eventually become visible on all of our faces. But what if we told you a permanent solution has been found?

The Study

In a recent study published by Peter de Keizer of the Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands, the answer might have finally been uncovered. Peter de Keizer’s study put the spotlight on senescent cells—it’s been discovered that these cells are the “culprit for aging.” If the cells that cause aging have been identified, then it should be easy to target them and eliminate them, right? Well, it’s a little more complicated than that.

De Keizer’s study suggests that cell-penetrating peptides can render these senescent cells immobile, which will disallow them to impair skin tissue rejuvenation. His study suggests and anti-senescence therapy can disable these cells in order to let skin tissue easily rejuvenate without interference; basically, no more aging. He says that,

“A perfect anti-senescence therapy would not only clear senescent cells, but also kick-start tissue rejuvenation by stimulating differentiation of nearby stem cells. This may be complementary with, for instance, the exciting approaches recently made in the field of transient expression of stem cell factors.”

Creating an anti-aging serum to fight against the effects to senescent cells seems doable, except for the fact that disabling these cells would have a negative impact on nearby cells.

When researchers tested their theory by impairing senescent cells,

“They noticed that these permanently arrested cells accumulate in mature tissue and that some of them secrete factors that are harmful to tissue function and impair their neighboring cells.”

De Keizer’s anti-senescent cell therapy may work to prevent visible signs of aging, but it may also have negative effects on elderly people who seek it. This therapy can also be questioned since senescent cells are responsible for more than just impairing tissue rejuvenation: “Senescent cells do have a temporary role in wound healing, so you don’t want to eliminate them when you are injured or at the wrong point in time.”

The Deccan Chronicle says that,

“De Keizer, who plans to co-found a start-up based on the discovery of anti-senescence compounds from his lab, is hopeful that cell-penetrating peptides that can block specific activities of these retired cells could be the path forward over broad-range inhibitors.”

As such, we may witness the introduction of this innovative anti-aging therapy on the market sooner than we think. However, the method of administration and cost is yet to be determined.

 


Sources:

P. de Keizer., “The Fountain of Youth By Targeting Senescent Cells?”, Trends in Molecular Medicine web site; http://www.cell.com/trends/molecular-medicine/abstract/S1471-4914(16)30172-1, last accessed January 10, 2017.

“Anti-aging serum can do more harm than good for elderly people: study,” Deccan Chronicle web site, December 31, 2016; http://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifestyle/health-and-wellbeing/311216/anti-ageing-serum-can-do-more-harm-than-good-for-elderly-poeple-study.html, last accessed January 10, 2017.


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