An antibody to rejuvenate the immune system. It worked on mice. And hope opens up for men

An antibody to rejuvenate the immune system.  It worked on mice.  And hope opens up for men

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Aging is a natural process that involves the decline of several physiological functions, including the effectiveness of the immune system. This decline increases susceptibility to infections, autoimmune diseases and cancer.

Our immune system is divided into two operational arms: the innate system and the adaptive system. The first responds to infections in a non-specific but very rapid manner and is responsible for inflammation and fever. The second is slower but provides a specific response against pathogens, the adaptive system is in fact responsible for the production of antibodies. These two “souls” of the immune system have a different origin, and the explanation lies in two broad categories of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs).

The two categories are myeloid HSC and lymphoid HSC. Myeloid HSCs are responsible for the production of innate immune cells, such as macrophages and neutrophils, which orchestrate inflammatory reactions.
Lymphoid HSCs are responsible for the production of adaptive immune cells, such as B and T lymphocytes, and antibodies, which create a specific immune response against specific pathogens.

Special antibodies against myeloid HSCs

With aging, an increase in the number and activity of myeloid HSCs is observed, while lymphoid HSCs decrease. This imbalance manifests itself in elderly patients where the immune system is characterized by less efficiency in responding to infections and new pathogens. Furthermore, a condition of chronic inflammation develops in the elderly, which can damage tissues and contribute to various age-related diseases. A team from Stanford in the United States wondered whether it was possible to rejuvenate the immune system by restoring the balance between the two populations of hematopoietic stem cells. To answer this question, researchers created special antibodies directed against myeloid HSCs responsible for the inflammatory and innate response and used them in a population of aged mice.

The study showed that by eliminating this specific population of cells in older mice, their immune systems returned to functioning like those of younger mice. In particular, an increase in T and B lymphocyte progenitors and a better immune response against viral infections are observed.

These results are very promising and could lead to new strategies to strengthen the immune system of older people and prevent or treat age-related diseases.

Take Home Message:

– aging weakens the immune system: less efficiency against infections and more chronic inflammation
– a team of researchers managed to eliminate immune cells linked to inflammation thanks to specific antibodies
– new hope for older people: possible new treatments to strengthen the immune system and prevent age-related diseases

REF:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-024-07238-x

Aureliano Stingi, doctor of molecular biology, works in the field of precision and longevity oncology

Instagram: Aureliano _Stingi Twitter: @AurelianoStingi



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