Aging is a multifaceted process that affects our bodies in many ways. In a new study, researchers from Osaka University in Japan developed a novel vaccine that removes aged immune cells and then demonstrated an improvement of diabetes-associated metabolic derangements by vaccinating obese mice. Aged, or senescent, cells are known to harm their surrounding younger cells by creating an inflammatory environment. A specific type of immune cell, called a T-cell (image), can accumulate in fat tissues in obese individuals in senescence, causing chronic inflammation, metabolic disorders, and heart disease. To reduce the negative effects of senescent cells on the body, senotherapy was developed to target and eliminate these rogue cells. However, as this approach does not discriminate between different types of senescent cells, it has remained unknown whether specific depletion of senescent T-cells can improve their adverse effects on organ physiology. “The idea that eliminating senescent cells improves the organ dysfunction that we experience during aging is fairly new,” says corresponding author of the study Hironori Nakagami, PhD,of the Department of Health Development and Medicine, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine. “Because senescent T-cells can facilitate metabolic derangements similar to diabetes, we wanted to come up with a new approach to reduce the number of senescent T-cells to then reverse the negative effects they have on glucose metabolism.” To achieve their goal, the researchers developed a novel vaccine targeting the surface protein CD153 that is present on senescent T-cells populating fat tissues, thereby ensuring that normal T-cells are not affected.
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