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Molecule produced during calorie restriction delays vascular aging

A stem cell factor could be a pharmacological target for slowing down or preventing aging
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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

September 26 2018. An article that appeared on September 6, 2018 in Molecular Cell reported the discovery of researchers at Georgia State University of a protective effect on the vascular system for a molecule produced during fasting or calorie restriction.

“The most important part of aging is vascular aging,” explained senior author Ming-Hui Zou. “When people become older, the vessels that supply different organs are the most sensitive and more subject to aging damage, so studying vascular aging is very important. This study is focused on vascular aging, and in old age, what kind of changes happen and how to prevent vascular aging.”

During periods of calorie restriction, the ketone body known as beta-hydroxybutyrate is produced by the liver from fatty acids. Beta-hydroxybutyrate promotes cell division, which becomes impaired when senescent cells can no longer divide. “We found this compound, beta-hydroxybutyrate, can delay vascular aging,” Dr Zhou reported. “That’s actually providing a chemical link between calorie restriction and fasting and the antiaging effect. This compound can delay vascular aging through endothelial cells, which line the interior surface of blood vessels and lymphatic vessels. It can prevent one type of cell aging called senescence, or cellular aging.”

Dr Zou’s team determined that the binding of beta-hydroxybutyrate to a specific protein increases the activity of a stem cell factor known as Oct4, which contributes to the prevention of senescence caused by DNA damage “This stem cell factor (Oct4) could be a pharmaceutical or pharmacological target for slowing down or preventing aging,” Dr Zou suggested. “Then, if the vascular system becomes younger, it is less likely to have cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer because all of these diseases are age-related.”

“How to actually delay aging is a major pathway to reducing the incident and severity of human disease.”

—D Dye

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