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Medicine Science

Elderly Mice Perk Up With Transfused Blood 178

Some exciting news, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, might make you glad that human blood is a renewable resource: "Giving old mice blood from young ones makes them smarter and improves such functions as exercise capacity, according to reports from two research teams that point to new ways to study and potentially treat diseases of aging. In one study, researchers at Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco found that blood transfusions from young mice reversed cognitive effects of aging, improving the old mice's memory and learning ability. The report was published Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine. Two other reports appearing in Science from researchers at Harvard University found that exposing old mice to a protein present at high levels in the blood of young mice and people improved both brain and exercise capability. An earlier report by some of the same researchers linked injections of the protein to reversal of the effects of aging on the heart. ... What isn't known from all this research, said Buck Institute's Dr. [Brian] Kennedy, is whether young blood might also increase the life span of mice and, if so, what such implications for humans might be."
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Elderly Mice Perk Up With Transfused Blood

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  • Link (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2014 @02:34AM (#46917005)

  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Monday May 05, 2014 @05:29AM (#46917407)

    Isolate the protiens the young mice have that the old mice don't have. Blood transfusions aren't necessary... Just saline and protien.

    The previous studies that had the same result eventually concluded that it was the pluripotent stem cells in the blood which had come out of the marrow as part of normal blood production.

    On this basis, a treatment was developed (and insurance approved) using autologous stem cell transplantation; it's a common treatment for some types of cardiac events. There are also transplants involving harvesting of marrow stem cells, and then separating leukotic stem cells from those which are non-leukotic, and then growing and storing them while the patient undergoes radiation or chemotherapy to kill of their remaining marrow (this requires frequent transfusions to keep the blood volume of functional cells up, as the body is no longer replacing them itself at a high enough rate). Subsequent to this, the saved and separated cells are then transplanted back into the long bones (the rest of the interior areas of the smaller bones are allowed to be recolonoized by stem cells that escape the long bones). Since the treaments are autologous, you about conditions like interstitial pneomonitis, or the need for anti-rejection therapy, which is sometimes problematic when using a heterologous cell source.

    See also: []

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