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Columbia University claims possible breakthrough in blood revitalization, could 'delay aging'

Anti-inflammatory drugs could hold key to major treatment.

Published: February 8, 2023 1:59pm

Updated: February 8, 2023 2:39pm

Scientists at Columbia University this week revealed a possible major breakthrough in blood medicine, one that could hold the promise of effectively de-aging blood cells to ensure a longer and healthier lifespan.

The prestigious university's Irving Medical Center said in a press release that "rejuvenating an older person’s blood may now be within reach" based on research from Emmanuelle Passegué, the director of the Columbia Stem Cell Initiative.

Research under Passegué revealed that "blood stem cells live in a niche" and that "detailed investigation of the bone marrow milieu" revealed that when those niches age they are subject to "deteriorati[on]" and "overwhelmed with inflammation."

Blocking that deterioration with an anti-inflammatory drug "remarkably returned the blood stem cells to a younger, healthier state," the scientists discovered.

Those experiments were carried out in mice; the researchers "are now trying to learn if the same processes are active in humans and if rejuvenating the stem cell niche earlier in life, in middle age, would be a more effective strategy."

“We know that bone tissue begins to degrade when people are in their 50s. What happens in middle age? Why does the niche fail first?” Passegué said in the release.

“Only by having a deep molecular understanding will it be possible to identify approaches that can truly delay aging," he added.

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