Vampire legends turned out to be true; The blood of young mice regenerated the old
Scientists at the University of Pittburgh conducted a study to prove the reality of a common theme that is the subject of vampire legends and movies.
In the study, blood from young mice was transplanted into old mice. As a result, regeneration was detected in the muscles, cells and tissues of the aged mice. The new research, published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature, caused great excitement in the scientific world. This method may be the first step of treatments that will prolong human life in the future.
In the study by Amrita Sahu and her team, old mice suffering from muscle injuries were injected with the blood of young mice.
After removing the coagulating cells from the blood taken from the young mice, the remaining fluid was given to the sick mice. Significant muscle regeneration and functional improvement were detected in the blood transfused mice, in contrast to the control group that received the placebo. The findings of the study are an important step in understanding why the rate of muscle regeneration decreases with age. At the same time, this study enabled the determination of the molecules necessary for the regeneration of the body.
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According to scientists, extracellular vesicles (EVs) in the blood enable the production of an anti-aging protein called “Klotho” in muscle cells.
As mice age, their extracellular vesicles weaken, reducing production of the protein in question. The study’s lead author, Sahu, says extracellular cleavages transmit information to target cells, like a message in a bottle. To confirm the results of the study, Sahu and his team again experimented by removing extracellular vesicles from serum injected into mice. When the extracellular vesicles were removed, it was observed that the blood transfusion lost its reparative and regenerative properties. As a result, it has been proven that the blood taken from young people benefits from extracellular vesicles.
Whether a similar study will be adapted to humans remains unclear for the time being.
Shortly after the research was published, people started asking questions about whether vampire legends were real. For this reason, if scientists want to repeat the experiment in humans, they may be subjected to great ethical criticism. Still, the research team says that this study provides insight for the development of new treatment modalities. For example, although the experiment cannot be replicated in humans, extracellular vesicles that carry messages to muscle cells can be designed in the laboratory. According to Fabrisia Ambrosio from the research team; extracellular vesicles can be used to increase muscle regeneration in elderly individuals or to accelerate functional recovery after an injury. For this reason, it is thought that a similar study will be repeated in the laboratory environment in the near future.