Anti-inflammatory drug turns back time, makes aging blood young again

NEW YORK — Young blood studies have been focusing on infusing older patients with the blood of their younger and healthier peers. While these transfusions show promise at turning back the clock, a new study finds scientists may be able to do this without using someone else’s blood. Researchers from Columbia University in New York say an anti-inflammatory drug can rejuvenate the system which makes blood — possibly increasing the human lifespan by decades!

“An aging blood system, because it’s a vector for a lot of proteins, cytokines, and cells, has a lot of bad consequences for the organism,” says Emmanuelle Passegué, PhD, director of the Columbia Stem Cell Initiative, in a university release. “A 70-year-old with a 40-year-old blood system could have a longer healthspan, if not a longer lifespan.”

How does the drug make blood young again?

Passegué and graduate student Carl Mitchell discovered the anti-inflammatory drug anakinra, approved for use in rheumatoid arthritis cases, reverses some of the effects of aging on the hematopoietic system. The drug is available under the brand name Kineret.

“These results indicate that such strategies hold promise for maintaining healthier blood production in the elderly,” Mitchell says.

The team found this drug after examining the stem cells which are responsible for creating all the blood in a person’s body. They also analyzed the niches where these special cells reside within bone marrow — the center of a person’s bones.

As a person ages, the hematopoietic stem cells start to change as well. They start producing fewer and fewer red blood cells and immune cells. This can lead to blood conditions like anemia as well as a weakening immune system. These aging blood cells also have more trouble maintaining their genetic structure, which can result in the onset of blood cancer.

Previous attempts at rejuvenating the blood system — through exercise, diet, and even young blood transfusions — all failed in experiments with mice. That’s when Passegué’s team started looking at the bone marrow itself.

“Blood stem cells live in a niche; we thought what happens in this specialized local environment could be a big part of the problem,” Mitchell explains.

Within aging mice, the new study reveals that the environment where the blood-producing stem cells live becomes overwhelmed with inflammation and deteriorates — leading to blood stem cell dysfunction. Results show the damaged bone marrow niche, IL-1B, plays a key role in driving these aging features. However, anakinra is capable of blocking this. Administering the drug returned aging blood to a younger and healthier state.

This could lead to an anti-aging treatment for people over 50

The team discovered even more anti-aging benefits in the blood system and bone marrow after preventing IL-1B from triggering inflammation throughout the animals’ lifespans. The New York team is now studying whether humans would benefit from this same treatment, instead relying on young blood transfusions.

“Treating elderly patients with anti-inflammatory drugs blocking IL-1B function should help with maintaining healthier blood production,” Passegué says, who hopes this study will soon lead to clinical trials.

“We know that bone tissue begins to degrade when people are in their 50s. What happens in middle age? Why does the niche fail first?” Passegué continues. “Only by having a deep molecular understanding will it be possible to identify approaches that can truly delay aging.”

Passegué’s findings are published in the journal Nature Cell Biology.

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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  1. Damn near impossible to read. With constant pop ups and adds appearing to take up the whole page I gave up and instead of wanting to support the advertisers I hold resentment towards them!

      1. Without capitalism we would still be living in huts. Although one could argue we would be better off that way.

    1. It’s not cheap but it’s not given in pill form. It’s administered via subcutaneous injection.

  2. Article says a lot about anti-inflammatory.
    Inflammation is the root cause of all diseases.
    Thus, logic suggests you eat an anti-inflammatory diet.
    Your local herbalist can help you with that.
    Basically, quit eating all those inflammatory things. Such as
    GMO grains

    I know, I know, If it tastes good, it is bad for you.
    The answer to that one: you have to re-train your taste buds.
    It can be done. It takes a while.

  3. Happy to hear this may we hope that it works one will ever know until they try it, so fingers crossed when they do try it.

  4. We would Big Pharma want to increase longevity? Pfizer? J&J, Moderna? I thought they were making billions off of genocide.

  5. The current administrations and media who have been bought by Big Pharma and have been working hard to cut healthcare costs (a la Cuomo, Fauci, Trudeau) by killing the elderly with viruses and fake vaccines are unlikely to cooperate in lengthening the life spans of the elderly.

    The mixed messages from the healthcare industry are starting to look like a lumpy puree.

    1. Oh they will allow lifespans to be lengthened, but it will only be the 3rd world labor replacements they are importing by the millions.

      Very hardworking, full of gratitude, and most important of all…..compliant.

    2. Every administration going back to the 1980’s has been owned by pharma cartels…Reagan gave immunity to pharma cartels who make vaccines and he did that in 1985-86 and as usual, not a single word, just a wink and nod. Pharma runs it all, always gets favorable legislation and are protected by FDA and DEA. It is not “currnewt” admin’s…it has been all of them since 1980’s…Trump was completely sold out to pharma…and the father of the jab, yet his faithful just wink and nod as they did when Reagan gave pharma immunity. Meanwhile, people are dying daily from the very drugs being pushed on TV, radio, all forms of media…most think it is “health care”. We the people lost a long time ago…after nine eleven, most were willing to give away their freedoms under Bush, another wink and nod, Bush bailed out the “too big to fail”…not a word form the faithful…not until Obama took office, they blamed him. Hypocrisy is stunning in todays politics.

    1. In St. Augustine, FL. you can buy bottles of water from the fountain of youth, discovered by Ponce de Leon.

    1. They’ll be coming out with mRNA cancer immunity drugs fairly soon. You can skip those, too. Also skip the ER next time you’re sick.

  6. I’m afraid the medical industry and “profession” has completely trashed their credibility and trustworthiness due to c-19. I’ll pass on any new drugs. But thanks for playing.

    1. They’ll be coming out with mRNA cancer immunity drugs fairly soon. You can skip those, too. I hope you do. Also skip the ER next time you’re sick.

      1. Why not just spin your own blood to make platelet rich plasma using a acid citrate dextrose & anticoagulant to re-inject yourself which would cost basically nothing and would have healing abilities as well as should have anti inflammatory effects.

    2. They’ll be coming out with mRNA cancer immunity drugs fairly soon. You can skip those, too. Also skip the ER next time you’re sick.

    3. So much hate here. People just blindly believe the news…even though Big Pharma Advertising accounts for over 4.5 billion dollars a year…

  7. My first thought: dose the author of the study have a vested interest in the drug ?? Or was the study partially or fully funded by the drug manufacturer ? I’ve been around too long—I’m always skeptical

  8. I give a whole blood donation at the American Red Cross draw location every two months. My body rewards me by making new blood for me to immediately start using. Rejuvenation

  9. If this were actually true, you can bet that the government would try to shut it down. Giving old geezers additional lifespan just increases all sorts of costs for the government, from Medicare to Social Security to all the discounts for old people. They are already spending like drunken sailors, and this would really push the deficit over the top.

  10. Hmmm, maybe trying to stay younger is what Dracula was doing the whole time as he sucked up his victims blood.

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