Category Archives: Senescent Cells

Zombie Cell Killing Drugs and Hair Loss Reversal

Hair loss is caused by two main factors for the vast majority of men and women:

1) The ravaging effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) upon scalp hair in those who are genetically susceptible.

2) Aging.

Even in men that are genetically cursed with androgenetic alopecia, a majority seem to maintain decent hair into their 30s. i.e., they do not necessarily go fully bald in their late teens and early 20s, when testosterone and DHT production levels peak.

Moreover, many men with no male pattern hair loss can still end up rapidly going bald in their 60s and onwards due entirely to aging. Scalp skin and elasticity worsen with age, and an increasing number of hair cells tend to die as people get older (with some lucky rare exceptions). Therefore, a cure for aging could help a lot in delaying hair loss. Anti-aging research is a twin brother to hair loss research.

On a related note, the first thing you notice in young people with progeria is that they usually have no scalp hair left despite not even reaching puberty yet.

Senolytic Drugs to Slow Down Ageing Two Years Away?

I have covered senolytics and cellular senescence several times on this blog in the past. In brief, senescent cells (also known as “zombie” cells) are normal cells that have stopped dividing, but do not die and get cleared away as is typical. Instead, these zombie cells begin pumping out various damaging chemicals, which in turn harm healthy cells throughout the body. Senolytics in turn are anti-aging drugs that clear away these damaged zombie cells.

A large amount of research has been taking place in this field in recent years. Yesterday, the Mayo Clinic made a major announcement that a miracle senolytic drug could be on the market in as soon as two years. Worth a full read, and thanks to “Chris in CT” who first sent me the link for this story.

In mice, the senolytic drugs currently being tested have extended healthy lifespan by 36 per cent, the equivalent of adding around 30 years to human lifespans. More importantly, the treated mice have significantly more and better quality hair (fur).

The drugs used in this latest work in mice were a combination of dasatinib (used to treat leukemia) and quercetin (a flavonoid found in green tea, red wine and apples).

More research on this subject from Dr. James Kirkland’s team at the Mayo Clinic. According to Dr. Tamara Tchkonia, who works with Dr Kirkland: “As an optimistic person I can say we might have these drugs in maybe two years.”

Six human trials on senescent cell removal are already in progress, and an additional six will start shortly.

Recent interview with Dr. Judith Campisi where she discusses senolytic drugs and the removal of senescent cells from the human body:

Huge Week for Anti-Aging Research in Mice

I have covered anti-aging research on this blog a few times in the past: partly because aging reversal can often imply hair loss reversal; and partly because I also cover medical items of interest once a month. This week was one of the best ever in anti-aging research, especially for mice (and their fur). A number of people have posted links about some of the below developments in the last post (with special thanks to commentator “Netshed” who was especially prolific), and several people have also e-mailed me relevant links.

Senescent Cell Destruction Results in More Youthful Mice

For many years, scientists have known that the quantity of senescent cells (i.e., aged cells that have stopped dividing) correlates with aging in humans. More recently, research has suggested that senescent cells also damage other nearby healthy cells. So, not surprisingly, some scientists have conducted experiments to see if removing these old senescent cells (ideally, without damaging other normally functioning cells) reversed signs of aging and increased life expectancy. A few experiments in mice have suggested the answer to be in the affirmative (e.g., this one from 2011 and this one from 2015). There is now even a name (senolytics) for the class of drugs that can kill senescent cells.

This week, a groundbreaking study (led by Dr. Peter de Keizer) from the Netherlands found that a drug that they developed to kill senescent cells causes dramatic improvements in mice health and essentially reverses their aging. For our purposes, the most important thing was that these mice saw regrowth of healthy fur/hair! Key photos below (green arrows on rightmost column show hair regrowth in almost all mice after FOXO4 peptide ingestion):

Mice hair regrowth from destroying senescent cells

The team behind this research plans clinical trials in humans in the near future. There are literally 100s of articles on this development, and various scientists from other countries have been quoted as saying that this development is potentially a huge breakthrough in anti-aging science. Two contrasting sources here and here.

Addendum 1: In case anyone got the wrong idea from my recent post on obesity perhaps benefiting scalp hair, this study is worth reading.

Addendum 2: Specially for Mr. “nasa_rs”: “JAK inhibition alleviates the cellular senescence-associated secretory phenotype and frailty in old age“.

David Sinclair Update

I have covered anti-aging Harvard-based Australian researcher Dr. David Sinclair (widely associated with resveratrol) once on this blog before here. In a new paper, him and his colleagues have found a way to protect a mouse’s DNA from damage via boosting NAD+ levels, and they are supposedly ready to test it in people. Dr. Sinclair in some ways is the Dr. George Cotsarelis or Dr. Ken Washenik of the anti-aging world. You decide what I mean by the above sentence.

Note that there is also a Dr. Rodney Sinclair who is a famous hair loss researcher that I have covered a few times on this blog. He is also from Australia.

Young Blood Without the Need for a Donor

In recent years, a number of scientists have been researching the fascinating subject of whether older people can be rejuvenated by the infusion of blood from the young! Billionaire Peter Thiel is especially interested. However, one major problem with this strategy for older non-wealthy people is that there might not be enough young healthy donors with the correct blood type willing to donate at reasonable prices. However, this week, scientists from Germany published research that could be a workaround for this problem. Just make old blood young again (in mice) via the addition of osteopontin protein and forget about the young. After all, “youth is wasted on the young”.