Researchers from Stanford have reversed the effects of aging on the skin of mice by blocking the action of a single critical protein.
Previous aging studies used gene microarrays (DNA chips used to determine which genes out of thousands are active in a particular tissue at a particular time) to the determine which genes were active in old skin cells. The authors of this study looked at these results and figured out that many of these active “aged skin” genes were regulated by a protein called NF-kappa-B.
So what did they do? (This is why I love science).
They devised a way to block this NF-kappa-B in skin.
To determine if this had any effect on aging, they took 2-year-old mice (that’s old in mice-years) and blocked NF-kappa-B for two weeks. When they examined the skin, they discovered that the active genes were more like young skin.
Incredibly, the skin looked and behaved like younger skin — blocking NF-kappa-B had reversed the skin’s aging.
So why aren’t I selling Dr Benabio’s NF-kappa-B face rejuvenating cream?
First, I don’t need the money (ha,ha,ha,ha,ha).
Second, NF-kappa-B does have important regulating properties and likely is significant in blocking cancer development. Therefore, blocking NF-kappa-B might expose you to significant risks for cancer or other complications.
This work could one day, however, be useful in helping older people heal from an injury more quickly.