Aging and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Yunlong Qin
2014 Journal of Investigative Genomics  
Editorial Aging in humans is irreversible, characterized by a decline of physiological functions in various organs and tissues, leading to multidimensional process of physical, psychological, and social change, causing most human diseases and an increasing probability of death. At present, the exact mechanism and biological basis of aging is unknown. The antagonistic pleiotropy theory and competing model of senescence explain the aging occurrence of some physiological functions of human body
more » ... ns of human body from different angles. The single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of genome suggest the individual's difference of aging process is associated with SNPs-related individual's sensitivity to diseases. As the naturally occurring DNA damages and age-associated accumulation of DNA damage as well as decline in gene expression regulation indicate individual life expectancy, whereas the shortening mechanism of telomeric terminals of chromosomes and Hayflick limit of cell division determine human life span. The genomic aging exerts impact on various physiological functions, also imprints individual's appearance, such as wrinkled, thinning skin, graying and loss of hair. Feeling helpless before slowing down senescence of the genetic materials people turn to anti-aging products, spending billions of dollars each year on such creams and lotions for decreasing signs of aging and nutrients for postponing decline of physiological functions. Indeed, recently, scientists carried out reversing muscle aging in mice model through feeding an experimental compound and made a comment that for humans the effect would be similar to a 60-year-old feeling like a 20-year-old, but still powerless for reversing of genomic aging, even a little. Is there a possibility of U-turn in the highway of life progress? Recently, the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent and the development of rehabilitative and regenerative medicine rekindle spark in hope of humans against aging. The induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) hold great promise in the field of regenerative medicine because each individual could have their own pluripotent stem cell line and these unlimited supplies of autologous cells bypass body's immune defense system, immune rejection, this will be a new milestone in transplantation medicine, one of the most challenging and complex areas of modern medicine. Nowadays, iPSCs are mainly used in medical research, including organ synthesis, disease modeling of cellular basis and drug development, tissue repair in animal model. Here is an opinion regarding the possibility and feasibility of iPSCs application in gerontology. The gerontology is the study of the social, psychological and biological aspects of aging, itself
doi:10.15406/jig.2014.01.00010 fatcat:kezlfu6ltzg6foa55cmbaeb57y