Learning about aging from induced stem cells

Research on human aging is a hot topic nowadays, due to a growing aging population and the consequent prevalence of aging-associated diseases such as Alzheimer’s, arthritis or cardiovascular diseases. Researchers at the CMRB review  the use of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) to study the fundamental mechanisms underlying aging in this article published in Current Opinion in Cell Biology.

Indeed, hiPSC-based models of aging and aging-related diseases are facilitating the study of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying aging. For example, the use of iPSCs from patients with accelerated aging (like those with Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome) could recapitulate the aging process in vitro much faster than the several decades needed for normal human tissue to age. Also, cell and organ derivatives from patient-specific iPSCs can be transplanted into animal models and the integrated human living materials could provide an opportunity to study human tissue and organ aging or disorders in an in vivo context.

Reference:

Liu GH, Ding Z, Izpisua Belmonte JC. iPSC technology to study human aging and aging-related disorders. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2012 Sep 18;

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