Study Finds that Transfusions With “Young Blood” Can Reverse Aging

Study Finds that Transfusions With “Young Blood” Can Reverse Aging

Scientists have discovered that injecting youthful blood into elderly bodies may have a “rejuvenating effect.”

It may sound far fetched to inject fresh blood into an older body and expect it to work better but it is apparently possible and not just the stuff of science fiction.

According to a new study published in the journal Nature Cell Biology, the infusion could make aged hearts, muscles, and even the brain of the elderly tougher.

The Columbia Stem Cell Initiative director, Emmanuelle Passegué, stated that “An aging blood system, because it is a vector for many proteins, cytokines, and cells, has a lot of consequences for the organism. A 70 year old with a 40 year old blood system could have a longer health span, if not even a longer lifespan.”

An anti-inflammatory medication, which is commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, was shown to “turn back time in mice and reverse some consequences of aging on the hematopoietic system,” according to a study by doctoral student Carl Mitchell and Passegué.

The medication was discovered during an extensive examination of the stem cells that produce all blood cells.

As part of the research published in 2021, Passegué and her colleagues attempted to use food and exercise to revive aged hematopoietic stem cells in mice but this method failed.

The same disappointing result happened when they tried to implant aged stem cells into youthful bone marrow.

The lab then made the decision to more thoroughly examine bone marrow.

So how exactly does it all work? First of all, the bone marrow is where all of the above-mentioned stem cells are found.

These cells gradually start to generate fewer immunological and red blood cells, which increases the risk of infection and causes anemia, among other things.

Mitchell mentions that “Blood stem cells live in a niche; we believed that what happens in this specialized local environment may be a big part of the problem,” Mitchell said.

What the team of researchers found was that an inflammatory signal released by the damaged bone marrow, IL-1B, was “critical in driving aging features, and blocking it with the drug, remarkably returned the stem cells to a younger and healthier state.”

Passegué said that “Treating elderly patients with anti inflammatory drugs blocking IL-1B function should help with maintaining healthier blood production,” adding that she hopes these results will be followed by clinical testing.

Katherine Baldwin

Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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