Stem cells study provides clues to aging

Mar 05, 2008

An Italian researcher says adult stem cells may be the biological basis for a rare disease that causes premature aging in children.

Researchers at the U.S. National Cancer Institute said a mechanism involved in stem cell differentiation could help treat the accelerated aging disease known as Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria syndrome, the Italian news service ANSA said Tuesday.

Lead researcher Paola Scaffidi of Italy discovered in 2003 that the syndrome is caused by a mutated protein called progerin. New research by Scaffidi's team at the cancer institute indicates progerin activates genes involved in regulating the process by which stem cells develop into mature cells that make up different tissues.

"'We saw that progerin caused intrinsic defects in the adult stem cells we used,'' Scaffidi told the Italian news agency ANSA. "This suggests that a transplant of healthy stem cells could theoretically be useful in treating patients. This is because it would, at least in part, rebuild a functional reserve of pluripotent stem cells."

The findings are published in the journal Nature Cell Biology.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Study reveals one reason brain tumors are more common in men

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Aging, interrupted (w/ Video)

Feb 23, 2011

The current pace of population aging is without parallel in human history but surprisingly little is known about the human aging process, because lifespans of eight decades or more make it difficult to study. ...

Uncovering the trail behind growing too old, too soon

Jan 24, 2011

Scientists from A*STAR's Institute of Medical Biology (IMB) in Singapore and the University of Hong Kong's Department of Medicine have produced the world's first human cell model of progeria, a disease resulting in severe ...

Recommended for you

Clues to curbing obesity found in neuronal 'sweet spot'

4 hours ago

Preventing weight gain, obesity, and ultimately diabetes could be as simple as keeping a nuclear receptor from being activated in a small part of the brain, according to a new study by Yale School of Medicine ...

Small RNAs in blood may reveal heart injury

14 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—Like clues to a crime, specific molecules in the body can hint at exposure to toxins, infectious agents or even trauma, and so help doctors determine whether and how to treat a patient. ...

User comments : 0