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Friday, May 9, 2014


The secret of antiaging may lie in a hormone found in the blood. When injected in mice, researchers from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute found that the hormone repaired failing hearts and improve brain and skeletal muscle function in aging mice so that the animals resembled young, healthy mice.
In two separate papers published in the journal Science, Harvard professors Amy Wagers and Lee Rubin reported that injections of a protein known as GDF11, which is found in humans as well as mice, improved the exercise capability and the function of the olfactory region of the brains of elderly mice, restoring their sense of smell, which is better in younger mice.
In the first test, researchers studied the effects of GDF11 using a parabiotic system, in which two mice are surgically joined and the blood of the younger mouse is infused through the older mouse. In a second test, investigators then injected the older mice with GDF11.

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An earlier study by Wagers and collaborator Richard Lee of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston showed that GDF11 could reverse characteristics of aging in the heart. But in this study, Wagers and her team also observed repair of DNA damage associated with aging in the mice and saw improvements in muscle function and strength.
"Based on other studies, we think that the accumulation [of] DNA damage in muscle stem cells might reflect an inability of the cells to properly differentiate to make mature muscle cells, which is needed for adequate muscle repair," Wagers said in a statement.
GDF11, or a drug developed from it, may eventually be able to treat conditions associated with aging, such as Alzheimer's disease. Rubin and Wagers are continuing preclinical work on GDF11 in hopes of testing it in clinical trials within three to 5 years.
- read the press release
- see the study abstracts here and here
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Read more: Hormone could be key to reversing the aging process - FierceBiotech Research

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