Japanese Researchers Are Developing Vaccines That Eliminate Cells Behind Aging

A Japanese research team has created a vaccine to eliminate so-called zombie cells that develop while aging and damage surrounding cells, which can cause age-related conditions like arterial stiffening.

The research showed that after inoculating, the host, or the mice in this case, showed a decrease in the zombie cells which are the primary reason for stiffening the arteries. These zombie cells are referred as the senescent cells.

Juntendo University Campus in Tokyo (Image: Kyodo)

“We can expect that (the vaccine) will be applied to the treatment of arterial stiffening, diabetes, and other aging-related diseases,” Minamino who is a part of the research team as well as a professor of the Juntendo University.

The results of the research conducted by the team were posted on the online publication of Nature Aging on Friday.

Senescent cells are those cells that are in a growth arrest. They harm healthy cells around them by releasing chemicals that cause inflammation. The team discovered the protein in senescent cells of mice and humans and then developed a peptide vaccine made up of an amino acid that makes up proteins.

The vaccine helps to boost the production of the antibodies that stick to the senescent cells. They are eliminated through white blood cells that stick with the antibody.

The researchers administered their vaccine to mice with arterial stiffening, many inactive cells were eliminated, and the areas affected by the disease slowed down. If the vaccine was administered to old mice, their frailty progress was less rapid than that of non-vaccinated mice, as per the group.

senescent cells aging vaccine

Most drugs used for removing senescent cells can be utilized as anti-cancer medications and can cause adverse unwanted side negative effects. The team claimed that the damaging effects of these new drugs were far less as their effectiveness was longer-lasting.


Source: The Japan Times

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