Now Hahvahd confirms: Antiaging protein is the real deal, Harvard team claims
Back in the 1950s in a weird, vampiric experiment, scientists first showed that connecting the circulatory systems of old and young mice seems to rejuvenate the more elderly animals. A handful of labs have recently been racing to find factors in young blood that may explain this effect. Now, a Harvard University group that claims to have found one such antiaging protein has published a study countering critics who dismissed the work on the molecule as flawed.Following that is some discussion about confusion in initial results from an immunoassay that was not specific enough, but it concludes:
Harvard stem cell biologist Amy Wagers, cardiologist Richard Lee of the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and their colleagues claim that a specific protein, GDF11, may explain young blood’s beneficial effects. They have reported that blood levels of GDF11 drop in mice as the animals get older and that injecting old mice with GDF11 can partially reverse age-related thickening of the heart. In two papers last year in Science, Wagers and collaborators also reported that GDF11 can rejuvenate the rodents’ muscles and brains.
To back up their earlier results, Wagers and collaborators again show in the new paper that daily GDF11 injections can shrink heart muscle in both old and new mice. But this time they note another observation: The mice also lost weight. “We don’t have much insight into that right now, but we’re looking into it,” Wagers says. She says the findings suggest that as with other hormones, GDF11 may have “a therapeutic window” for beneficial effects—too much may cause harm.And get rid of middle aged spread too? So when do we start taking mandatory blood donations from 18 year old kids to extract the GDF11 for the rest of us? Or I suppose, we could just figure out how to mass produce GDF11 from raw amino acids. But what's the fun in that?
Linked at #9 in Pirate's Cove's "The Fine 15" in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and links. Thanks, Teach!