Scientists rejuvenate skin cells by 30 years

WALL – In England, researchers have rejuvenated the skin cells of a 53-year-old woman to the equivalent of those of a 23-year-old woman.

City of Cambridge scientists believe they can do the same with other tissues in the body.

To research; It aims to develop treatments for age-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and neurological disorders.

The skin cell rejuvenation technology builds on the techniques used to create the cloned sheep Dolly over 25 years ago.

The leader of the Babraham Institute team, in partnership with the University of Cambridge, is Prof. Wolf Reik told the BBC he hopes the technique can be used to keep people healthy longer as they age.

teacher. “Many common illnesses get worse with age, and it’s very exciting to be able to help people in this way,” said Wolf Reik.

Reik notes that the study, published in the journal eLife, is still at a very early stage. According to Reik, there are a few scientific issues that need to be resolved before this work moves from the lab to the clinic, but this is an important step in showing for the first time that cellular rejuvenation is possible.


The origins of the technique date back to the 1990s, with Dolly the cloned sheep. Researchers at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh have developed a method to turn a sheep’s skin cell into an embryo, giving rise to Dolly.

The goal of Roslin’s team was not to create sheep or human clones, but to create embryonic stem cells with this technique. They hoped that these stem cells could be transformed into specific tissues, such as muscle, cartilage and nerve cells, to replace diseased organs.

The cart technique was simplified in 2006 by Professor Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University. The new method, called IPS, involved adding chemicals to adult cells for about 50 days. This led to genetic changes that transformed adult cells into stem cells.

In the Dolly and IPS techniques, the stem cells created must be replicated to turn into cells and tissues that the patient needs. It turned out to be difficult. Despite decades of effort, the use of stem cells to treat disease is currently extremely limited.

Professor Reik’s team used the IPS technique on 53-year-old skin cells. However, they reduced the chemical bath applied to produce stem cells from these 50-day cells to 12.

Dr. Dilgeet Gill was surprised to find that the cells did not develop into embryonic stem cells, but that these cells were rejuvenated and produced skin cells that looked and acted as if they had been taken from a 23 year old. years.

“I remember the day I got the results, and I didn’t really believe that some of the cells were 30 years younger than they should have been. It was a very exciting day,” says Gill.


Because the IPS method increases the risk of cancer, the technique cannot be put into clinical practice immediately.

But according to Professor Reik, now that it is known that it is possible to rejuvenate the cells, his team could find a safer alternative method:

“The long-term goal is to get people to age more healthily, by extending healthy lifespan rather than lifespan.”


According to Professor Reik, the first applications of this technique could be to develop drugs that rejuvenate the skin so that older people can speed up the healing of cut or burned areas of the body.

In experiments simulating a wound, the researchers found that rejuvenated skin cells move faster, showing that this is in principle possible.

The next step is to see if this technology will work on other tissues such as muscle, liver and blood cells.

Professor Melanie Welham, chair of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, which partially funded the research that revealed Dolly the sheep, says the technology’s long-suspended clinical benefits may not be so far off with this new development.

“If similar approaches or new therapies can revive immune cells that become less functional with age, it may be possible in the future to increase people’s ability to fight infections as well as their ability to respond to vaccines. .”


The question is whether research efforts in this area will lead to a whole body regeneration method, an elixir of youth or an anti-aging pill. teacher. Reik states that this idea is not far from complete.

“When the technique was applied to genetically modified mice, some signs of rejuvenation were observed. One experiment showed signs of rejuvenated pancreas for its diabetes-fighting potential.”

But the professor at the Crick Institute in London. According to Robin Lovell-Badge, the scientific barriers between Reik’s results in the laboratory and the simplest clinical applications are significant.

Lovell-Badge thinks it would also be important to translate the rejuvenation process into other tissue types, or an anti-aging pill:

“If you can find other chemicals that will do the same thing, that’s good, but they can be just as bad. So it’s a long-term goal to think that you’ll find those chemicals easily and that you will be safer.

“Other cell types may also require different conditions that are difficult to control. Whether it can be done safely throughout the body is such a remote possibility that I think it would be pure speculation.” (Turkish BBC)

Leave a Comment