Research published in the journal BMC Cell Biology shows that old human cells can be rejuvenated using chemicals similar to resveratrol, which is a substance found in #redwine and #darkchocolate.
The study was carried out by researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Brighton, both of which are located in the United Kingdom.
Lorna Harries, a professor of molecular genetics at the University of Exeter, led the researchers, and the first author of the paper is Dr. Eva Latorre, a research associate at the same institution.
The study builds on previous research from the University of Exeter, which found that so-called splicing factors — which are a type of protein — tend to become inactive as we age.
In the study, the researchers added “resveralogues,” or chemicals similar to resveratrol, to #aging human cells and found that they reactivated these splicing factors. This, in turn, not only made the old cells appear younger, but they also started dividing again, as young cells would. “When I saw some of the cells in the culture dish rejuvenating I couldn’t believe it,” says Dr. Latorre. “These old cells were looking like young cells. It was like magic,” she says. “I repeated the experiments several times and in each case, the cells rejuvenated. I am very excited by the implications and potential for this research,” Dr. Latorre adds. “[The findings demonstrate] that when you treat old cells with molecules that restore the levels of the splicing factors, the cells regain some features of youth,” explains Prof. Harries. “They are able to grow, and their telomeres — the caps on the ends of the chromosomes that shorten as we age — are now longer, as they are in young cells.”