Aged hematopoietic stem cells rejuvenated to be functionally younger
Scientists at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Ulm University of Medicine in Germany have rejuvenated aged hematopoietic stem cells, making it possible for the cells to be functionally younger. This finding counters what used to be broad consensus that the aging of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) was locked in by nature and irreversible. HSCs are multipotent stem cells that originate in bone marrow and give rise to red and white blood cells and platelets, making them essential to healthy blood and immune systems. During the human aging process, they become more numerous but less effective, making older people more susceptible to infection and disease. In the new study, researchers used a protein that regulates cell signaling called Cdc42 to reverse HSC aging. “Our findings suggest a novel and important role for Cdc42 and identify its activity as a target for ameliorating natural HSC aging,” principal investigator Hartmut Geiger said.