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Journal Club – Reversing Cellular Age in Mice Restores Vision

December 22nd at 12:00 pm Eastern / 5 pm UK time

The journal club is back for December and we will be discussing the new Sinclair lab paper where researchers have successfully rejuvenated the eyes of aged mice using cellular reprogramming. As some additional background, we recently covered the paper in an article on the news outlet which you can find here.

Join us December 22nd at 12:00 pm Eastern / 5 pm UK time live on our Facebook page.

Ageing is a degenerative process that leads to tissue dysfunction and death. A proposed cause of ageing is the accumulation of epigenetic noise that disrupts gene expression patterns, leading to decreases in tissue function and regenerative capacity. Changes to DNA methylation patterns over time form the basis of ageing clocks, but whether older individuals retain the information needed to restore these patterns—and, if so, whether this could improve tissue function—is not known. Over time, the central nervous system (CNS) loses function and regenerative capacity. Using the eye as a model CNS tissue, here we show that ectopic expression of Oct4 (also known as Pou5f1), Sox2 and Klf4 genes (OSK) in mouse retinal ganglion cells restores youthful DNA methylation patterns and transcriptomes, promotes axon regeneration after injury, and reverses vision loss in a mouse model of glaucoma and in aged mice. The beneficial effects of OSK-induced reprogramming in axon regeneration and vision require the DNA demethylases TET1 and TET. These data indicate that mammalian tissues retain a record of youthful epigenetic information—encoded in part by DNA methylation—that can be accessed to improve tissue function and promote regeneration in vivo.

You can find the research paper here.

Literature

Lu, Y., Brommer, B., Tian, X., Krishnan, A., Meer, M., Wang, C., … & Yang, J. H. (2020). Reprogramming to recover youthful epigenetic information and restore vision. Nature, 588(7836), 124-129.

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About the author

Steve Hill

Steve serves on the LEAF Board of Directors and is the Editor in Chief, coordinating the daily news articles and social media content of the organization. He is an active journalist in the aging research and biotechnology field and has to date written over 600 articles on the topic, interviewed over 100 of the leading researchers in the field, hosted livestream events focused on aging, as well as attending various medical industry conferences. His work has been featured in H+ magazine, Psychology Today, Singularity Weblog, Standpoint Magazine, Swiss Monthly, Keep me Prime, and New Economy Magazine. Steve is one of three recipients of the 2020 H+ Innovator Award and shares this honour with Mirko Ranieri – Google AR and Dinorah Delfin – Immortalists Magazine. The H+ Innovator Award looks into our community and acknowledges ideas and projects that encourage social change, achieve scientific accomplishments, technological advances, philosophical and intellectual visions, author unique narratives, build fascinating artistic ventures, and develop products that bridge gaps and help us to achieve transhumanist goals. Steve has a background in project management and administration which has helped him to build a united team for effective fundraising and content creation, while his additional knowledge of biology and statistical data analysis allows him to carefully assess and coordinate the scientific groups involved in the project.
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