Researchers turn back the clock to watch aging in fast forward

July 20, 2017

Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a rare genetic disease that resembles rapid aging, with young children displaying hardened blood vessels, fragile bones and wrinkles among other symptoms. It usually results in death during the teenage years from heart attack or stroke. Dr. William Stanford and his colleagues recently showed that cells from individuals with HGPS can be genetically reprogrammed, turning them into stem cells that don’t show any signs of aging. They then directed the HGPS stem cells to produce new blood vessels cells, and were able to observe the start of the aging process in fast forward. Their research could lead to a better understanding of the molecular basis of aging, as well as new treatments for HGPS, cardiovascular disease and other age-related diseases. See Aging Cell for details.

Authors: Zhaoyi Chen, Wing Y. Chang, Alton Etheridge, Hilmar Strickfaden, Zhigang Jin, Gareth Palidwor, Ji-Hoon Cho, Kai Wang, Sarah Y. Kwon, Carole Doré, Angela Raymond, Akitsu Hotta, James Ellis, Rita A. Kandel, F. Jeffrey Dilworth, Theodore J. Perkins, Michael J. Hendzel, David J. Galas, William L. Stanford.

Funders: Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Progeria Research Foundation, Heart & Stoke Foundation of Canada, Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, Luxembourg-ISB program, Canada Research Chairs.

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Disease and research area tags: Aging, Vascular, heart and metabolic disease