Harvard scientists develop anti-aging gene therapy, can it be panacea?

“Five damaged, one countermeasure!” “A Team at Harvard University who studied anti-aging, using gene therapy to experiment with mice, can almost directly use the classic ad term. Led by Professor George Church, a dual academician at the National Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Engineering, scientists sent a group of longevity-related genes into laboratory mice to significantly alleviate or even completely reverse many aging-related conditions in one place, according to a recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), led by Professor George Church, a dual academician at the American Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Engineering. These include obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart failure and kidney failure.

“This study marks a milestone in the effective treatment of a wide range of aging-related diseases, and may lead to a solution to aging itself. Professor Church believes.

Can Harvard scientists develop anti-aging gene therapy that could be a "one-way drug"?

One of the corresponding authors of the study, Professor George Church, a prominent Harvard scholar (Photo: Harvard University’s Wyss Institute)

With aging, the human body in metabolism, cardiovascular and other systems are prone to different diseases, but there are many diseases are interrelated, the presence of one disease tends to increase the risk of other diseases. Traditional drug development is usually a drug for a condition in which patients need to take a variety of medications, inevitably increasing the risk of adverse reactions.

The team’s idea is to find key genes while treating a variety of age-related diseases that make aging an easier process to control.

Can Harvard scientists develop anti-aging gene therapy that could be a "one-way drug"?

The gene therapy designed and tested by the team was based on three genes: fibrous growth factor 21 (FGF21), soluble mouse conversion growth factor receptor 2 (sTGFR2) and Klotho. Past studies have shown that overexpression of these three genes in genetically modified mice has the effect of improving health and increasing longevity.

In the experiment, the researchers used adeno-related viruses (AAVs) as vectors to build gene therapies for the three genes and inject them into non-GMO mice individually or in combination.

Experimental results from several disease models show positive results. In mice with a long-term high-fat diet, the FGF21 gene alone could completely reverse the ghee of obesity and diabetes. In mice with heart failure, heart function increased by 58% using sTGFR2 alone or in combination with one of the other two genes. In mice with renal fibrosis, the combination of FGF21 and sTGFR2 reduced the atrophy of the kidney myelin by 75%.

Can Harvard scientists develop anti-aging gene therapy that could be a "one-way drug"?

Gene therapy reverses obesity phenotypes in older mice (Photo: Supplied)

These results mean that these four aging-related conditions can be improved by a combination of FGF21 and sTGFR2 gene therapy “one response” to improve the health and survival of animals.

The authors also analyzed why the effect of simultaneous application of three genes in the experiment would be a little worse, possibly because FGF21 and Klotho have adverse interactions that need further study.

Overall, the results obtained in mice gave the researchers a lot of optimism. Lead author Dr Noah Davidsohn, co-founder of Gene Therapy biotechnology company Rejuvenate Bio, said: “The results we have seen are shocking and suggest that systematically solving the problem of aging through gene therapy may be more effective than the fragmented approach available. “

What’s more, when injected into mice, the gene therapy remains independent of the animal’s own genome, meaning it does not modify the animal’s natural DNA and does not pass on it to future generations.

Can Harvard scientists develop anti-aging gene therapy that could be a "one-way drug"?

Photo credit: Pixabay

Professor Church said: “Achieving these results in non-GMO mice is an important step in the development of this approach as a clinical therapy. Moreover, by providing multiple independent gene therapies for each disease and applying multiple genes that can target the disease at the same time, it may help alleviate immune-related problems. “

In the future, can the damage caused by fighting aging really be done so “simply”?

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