Mice studies conducted by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh reveal that stem cell injections can slow the aging process.
Scientists noticed that the aging process was reversed when the old mice were injected with stem cell-like cells (progenitor cells) taken from the muscle of young, healthy mice. These rapidly aging mice lived up to three times longer. The stem cell injection also made the animals healthier, improving their muscle strength and brain blood
Study author, Dr. Laura Niedernhofer, said, "Even though the injection of young cells didn't necessarily rebuild the bodies of the
mice, it did seem to improve their body health. The young stem cells seem to secrete something that is quite beneficial. Just what that is, we're not entirely sure."
Scientists are now studying how to treat humans with their own muscle cells. Niedernhofer said, "If all of us could be treated with our own cells, we could eliminate problems with rejection and immunity." Research is also needed on both the short and long term effects of the treatments.
The research is published in the journal Nature Communications.