Scientists Discover New Aging Pathway
Scientists have identified a new molecular pathway to aging, and they say that the process can be manipulated to revitalize old blood.
According to a news release from the University of California Berkeley, the researchers found that blood stem cells’ ability to repair damage caused by inappropriate protein folding in the mitochondria, a cell’s energy station, is critical to their survival and regenerative capacity.
The finding was published in the journal Science.
“Ultimately, a cell dies when it can’t deal well with stress,” said study senior author Danica Chen, an assistant professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology. “We found that by slowing down the activity of mitochondria in the blood stem cells of mice, we were able to enhance their capacity to handle stress and rejuvenate old blood. This confirms the significance of this pathway in the aging process.”
“Identifying the role of this mitochondrial pathway in blood stem cells gives us a new target for controlling the aging process,” Chen added.