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From Tissue Regeneration to Reversal of Aging: Reprogramming as the Fountain of Youth

26 Sep 18

Speaker: Vittorio Sebastiano, PhD, Institute for Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford – CA – 94305 USA



Organizers: IRB Barcelona

Date: Wednesday, 26 September, 13:00h


Aula Fèlix Serratosa, Parc Científic de Barcelona

Host: Manuel Serrano, PhD



Aging is characterized by a gradual loss of function occurring at the molecular, cellular, tissue and organismal levels. At the chromatin level, aging is associated with the progressive accumulation of epigenetic errors that eventually lead to aberrant gene regulation, stem cell exhaustion, senescence, and deregulated cell/tissue homeostasis. The technology of nuclear reprogramming to pluripotency, through over-expression of a small number of transcription factors, can revert both the age and the identity of any cell to that of an embryonic cell by promoting epigenetic reprogramming. Recent evidence has shown that transient transgenic reprogramming can ameliorate age-associated hallmarks and extend lifespan in progeroid mice. However, it is unknown how this form of ‘epigenetic rejuvenation’ would apply to physiologically aged cells and, importantly, how it might translate to human cells. Here we show that transient reprogramming based on non-integrative mRNA technologies reverses hallmarks of physiological aging of human fibroblasts and endothelial cells, ameliorates disease phenotypes in osteoarthritis, and restores youthful regenerative response to aged, human muscle stem cells, in each case without abolishing cellular identity. Our method of transient cell reprogramming paves the way to a novel, potentially translatable strategy for ex vivo cell rejuvenation treatment. In addition, this approach holds promise for in vivo tissue rejuvenation therapies to reverse the physiological manifestations of aging and the risk for the development of age-related diseases.


Molecular Medicine Programme Seminar