Mayo Clinic researchers tested 46 drugs from the newly discovered class that were able to reduce the amount of senescent cells in mice. Senescent cells largely contribute to many diseases that come with old age by appearing at sites where age-related diseases occur. Dasatanib and quercetin, two of the new drugs, were found to be most effective in reducing sensecent cells and, when combined, created visible declines in the signs of aging. (Photo courtesy of Adam63 via Wikimedia Commons).
By killing only senescent cells and not damaging other cells or tissue nearby, the new drugs – called senolytics – reduced vascular problems, weakening muscles, and some neurological problems that come with age. Changes in cell and tissue composition appeared in the mice who showed lasting effects from the drugs.
James Kirkland, M.D., Ph.D. from the Mayo Clinic Center on Aging, explained that “if translatable to humans — which makes sense as we were using human cells in many of the tests – this type of therapy could keep the effects of aging at bay and significantly extend the healthspan of patients.”
Further studies and research involving these new drugs are underway in Rochester, MN, but current results show that there might be potential to develop similar methods to treat aging in humans.
Dr. Felipe Sierra from the National Institute on Aging’s Division of Aging Biology, explained that “while far too early to predict a clinical relevance, this work demonstrates a novel and exciting way to address multiple morbidities affecting the elderly, at least in a mouse model of accelerated aging. It will be interesting to see further senolytics developed and tested in normal mice and other animal models.”
(Image of Mayo Clinic skyline courtesy of Michael Hicks via Wikimedia Commons)
The Mayo Clinic is a renowned research institution with locations spread throughout the country. The flagship location, in Rochester, MN, is a leader in research and innovation. In the 2014 fiscal year, the Rochester clinic received over $200 million in life science funding from the National Institutes of Health to support research and facilities.
- The Mayo Clinic generates $912 million annually; $423 million from government, foundations, and industry donations along with $489 million of Mayo Clinic funds and benefactor gifts.
- The Mayo Clinic is in the middle of a $72 million hospital expansion.
- The Rochester Mayo Clinic is constructing a multi-million dollar Proton Therapy Treatment Center.
- Mayo Clinic researchers will take part in a $12.7 million NIH funded study intended to advance research in new applications for existing therapeutic compounds.
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