Senescent cells and aging
The MMTP Senolytics project is a collective effort to improve health by helping the aged body get rid of senescent cells -- these cells accumulate with age and are believed to inhibit the regeneration of tissues such as bone or muscles and to increase the risk of various diseases of aging including cancers and neurodegenerative diseases.
Although much remains to be discovered, at low levels senescent cells play a role in wound healing and they were certainly useful for our ancestors that did not generally live more than to the age of thirty.
As we grow old, these cells tend to accumulate in increasing amounts in tissues and it was found that they inhibit the activity of stem cells, thereby contributing to that lack of bone and muscle regeneration among other aspects, and to tissues in general, leading tissues to accumulate damage and degenerate with time. The removal of these dysfunctional toxic cells is known as "Senolytics" and the search is on to discover increasingly more effective senolytic drugs and therapies capable of reducing these problem cells. It was recently shown that genetically removing senescent cells improves health and extends the lifespan of mice.
If you wish to see an example of how can senolytics impact health please click on this link to a Nature article and try to guess which of the two mice is treated. They are both the same age! We hope to achieve similar results with our crowdfunded research with our candidate drugs.
Senescent cells and Cancer
Did you know that lab mice mostly die of cancer? This makes mouse lifespan tests a model of choice to investigate the overall effect of geroprotectors that are believed to have a particular preventive effect on cancer. In 2009 Harrison et al showed that rapamycin robustly extended the life of lab mice. Today, it is one of the most commonly used treatment for cancer patients.
The experiment will be performed at a high quality rodent lab in Leipzig, Germany, under the supervision of Alexandra Stolzing, a leading scientist in stem cell and regenerative médicine. The more funds we can raise, the wider selection of senolytic compounds we we can test and potentially discover synergies and additive effects by testing them in combination. Your can learn about some of the compounds and therapies we are interested in testing here.
make scientific progress.