We also tested the ability of dietary antioxidants to oppose these transcriptional markers of aging. Lycopene, resveratrol, acetyl-L-carnitine, and Tempol were as effective as caloric restriction in the heart, and α-lipoic acid and coenzyme Q10 were as effective as caloric restriction in the cerebellum. These findings suggest that transcriptional biomarkers of aging in mice can be used to estimate the efficacy of aging interventions on a tissue-specific basis.
Richard T. Lee, M.D., senior author of the study, says: "We have been taught for decades that when your heart cells are dead, they are dead and there is nothing we can do about it. We are excited about anything suggesting that we can grow more heart cells."
Lee and his colleagues tested 880 bioactive substances – including drugs and vitamins – approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to see if they stimulated the mouse stem cells to become heart muscle cells. The cells were genetically altered to give off a fluorescent bright green color when viewed under a microscrope if they had become heart muscle cells.
"We only got 1 out of the 880 to light up, and that was from ascorbic acid, the chemical commonly known as vitamin C," says Lee, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and a lecturer in biological engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.
In 2007, Blasco's group demonstrated that it was feasible to prolong the lives of transgenic mice, whose genome had been permanently altered at the embryonic stage, by causing their cells to express telomerase and, also, extra copies of cancer-‐resistant genes. These animals live 40% longer than is normal and do not develop cancer.
The mice subjected to the gene therapy now under test are likewise free of cancer. ...
This study is viewed primarily as "a proof-‐of-‐principle that telomerase gene therapy is a feasible and generally safe approach to improve healthspan and treat disorders associated with short telomeres," state Virginia Boccardi (Second University of Naples) and Utz Herbig (New Jersey Medical School-‐University Hospital Cancer Centre) in a commentary published in the same journal.
TA-65®, exclusively licensed to TA Sciences from Geron Corporation, is a >95% pure single chemical entity isolated from a proprietary extract of the dried root of Astragalus membranaceus and formulated into 5- to 10-mg capsules with inert excipients. Starting doses of 5–10 mg/day were considered safe on the basis of historical usage of extracts.
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