Removing old cells from joints may delay the onset of age-related joint conditions, such as osteoarthritis, a new study has found.
Senescent cells (SnCs) that accumulate in many vertebrate tissues as we age, contribute significantly in delaying the onset of age-related pathologies such as osteoarthritis. Researchers, including those from John Hopkins University in the US, presented a novel pharmacologic candidate that alleviates age-related degenerative joint conditions, by selectively destroying SnCs.
Senescent cells (SnCs) accumulate with age in many vertebrate tissues and are present at sites of age-related pathology. Although these cells play an essential role in wound healing and injury repair, they may also promote cancer incidence in tissues, researchers said. For instance, in articular joints, such as the knee and cartilage tissue, SnCs often are not cleared from the area after injury, thereby contributing to OA development.
Researchers took both younger and older mice and cut their anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) to mimic injury. They then administered injections of an experimental drug, named UBX0101 to selectively remove SnCs after anterior cruciate ligament transection (ACLT) surgery.
The team noted that aged mice did not exhibit signs of cartilage regeneration after treatment with UBX0101 injections. “The findings provide new insights into therapies targeting SnCs for the treatment of trauma and age-related degenerative joint disease,” researchers said. The study was published in the journal Nature Medicine.