Rapidly aging stem cells respond to antioxidant treatment

Posted by: on Feb 3, 2012 | No Comments

The Division of Hematology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has found that when mutant stem cells which are damaged and aging are treated with the antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), it prevents and delays the onset of a type of bone marrow failure called X-linked dyskeratosis congenita (DC). DC is caused by a decrease in production of telomerase and excessive telomere shortening, which makes one more susceptible to cancer.

When mice containing mutations similar to DC were treated with NAC, their cells were rescued from senescence, and able to multiply due to an increased production of telomerase. This research further shows the benefits which antioxidants contain when it comes to telomere health and increasing telomere length.