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MCP-1 A Potential Aging Biomarker


The search for accurate ways to measure biological age is an ongoing quest in aging research. It is important for academia to reach a consensus on robust, cost-effective, and reliable biomarkers of aging in order for the field to progress. Currently, there is a lack of reliable and fast ways to assess biological age and thus determine the outcome of potential interventions that target the aging processes.

Lifespan studies are, generally speaking, the most reliable and widely accepted way to determine if an intervention works or not; obviously, this is costly and time-consuming, and something better is needed in order to speed up research progress. Currently, the gold standard for aging biomarkers is the epigenetic clock, which is based on changes to DNA methylation patterns, but we need more ways to measure aging.

MCP-1, a new biomarker

A new study published recently added another potential biomarker of aging to the mix[1]. The researchers identified monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) as a potential biomarker of biological age. MCP-1/CCL2 is an important chemokine that recruits monocytes, memory T cells, and dendritic cells to the sites of inflammation created by tissue injury or infection[2-3].

The research team noted that circulating MCP-1 increased in an age-dependent manner in wild-type mice. They also showed that circulating MCP-1 was increased in the two mouse models of progeria that were also included in the study. This makes sense, as the more damaged aged tissues become, the more the immune system is attracted to the site of inflammation; thus, MCP-1 increases with age.

Genetic and drug-based interventions that slow the aging of mice were also found to lower the levels of MCP-1 significantly. Finally, they also demonstrated that, in humans with aortic stenosis, MCP-1 levels were significantly higher in frail individuals compared to non-frail.


These findings suggest that MCP-1 could be a suitable candidate biomarker for biological aging, and the biomarker also shows a responsiveness to interventions that increase lifespan.


[1] Yousefzadeh, M. J., Schafer, M. J., Noren Hooten, N., Atkinson, E. J., Evans, M. K., Baker, D. J., … & Niedernhofer, L. J. (2017). Circulating levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein‐1 as a potential measure of biological age in mice and frailty in humans. Aging Cell.
[2] Carr, M. W., Roth, S. J., Luther, E. D., Rose, S. S., & Springer, T. A. (1994). Monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 acts as a T-lymphocyte chemoattractant. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 91(9), 3652-3656.
[3] Xu, L. L., Warren, M. K., Rose, W. L., Gong, W., & Wang, J. M. (1996). Human recombinant monocyte chemotactic protein and other CC chemokines bind and induce directional migration of dendritic cells in vitro. Journal of leukocyte biology, 60(3), 365-371.


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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