New prize-winning research highlights potential of immune intervention in improving regenerative medicine

March 12, 2020

Joana Neves is the 2019 grand prize winner of the Sartorius & Science Prize for Regenerating Medicine & Cell Therapy, for work in mice that offers a promising approach to improve the outcome of regenerative stem cell-based therapies aimed at delaying age-related degenerative diseases. The findings help to address a major roadblock imposed by the natural aging processes, which has limited the clinical application of regenerative medicine approaches to treat those most likely to suffer from chronic and often debilitating degenerative conditions - elderly patients. According to Neves, aging is associated with the loss of ability for many tissues to regenerate, largely due to the inflammatory environment common in aged and diseased tissues. Finding a way to resolve chronic inflammation and promote an environment supportive of repair could provide an efficient and effective way to improve the success of stem cell-based therapies. Using the fruit fly Drosphila as a model organism, Neves found that an evolutionarily conserved mechanism of tissue repair - the immune modulatory molecule MANF - could be harnessed to increase the success of regenerative therapies for retinal disease. The protein MAMF is critical in suppressing age-related inflammation while promoting tissue maintenance in young organisms. Using MAMF intervention alongside stem-cell based photoreceptor replacement therapies, Neves was able to greatly improve the restoration of vision in old, blind mice, highlighting the approaches' clinical utility. "[This] work is the proof of principle demonstration that immune modulatory interventions can be effective strategies to improve the success of regenerative therapies applied to aged and diseased organs," said Neves. Finalists for the prize were Arun Sharma, for his essay "Stem cells to help the heart," and Adam Wilkinson, for his essay "Hope for hematological diseases."
-end-


American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Aging Articles from Brightsurf:

Surprises in 'active' aging
Aging is a process that affects not only living beings.

Aging-US: 'From Causes of Aging to Death from COVID-19' by Mikhail V. Blagosklonny
Aging-US recently published ''From Causes of Aging to Death from COVID-19'' by Blagosklonny et al. which reported that COVID-19 is not deadly early in life, but mortality increases exponentially with age - which is the strongest predictor of mortality.

Understanding the effect of aging on the genome
EPFL scientists have measured the molecular footprint that aging leaves on various mouse and human tissues.

Muscle aging: Stronger for longer
With life expectancy increasing, age-related diseases are also on the rise, including sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass due to aging.

Aging memories may not be 'worse, 'just 'different'
A study from the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences in Arts & Sciences adds nuance to the idea that an aging memory is a poor one and finds a potential correlation between the way people process the boundaries of events and episodic memory.

A new biomarker for the aging brain
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (BDR) in Japan have identified changes in the aging brain related to blood circulation.

Scientists invented an aging vaccine
A new way to prevent autoimmune diseases associated with aging like atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease was described in the article.

The first roadmap for ovarian aging
Infertility likely stems from age-related decline of the ovaries, but the molecular mechanisms that lead to this decline have been unclear.

Researchers discover new cause of cell aging
New research from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering could be key to our understanding of how the aging process works.

Deep Aging Clocks: The emergence of AI-based biomarkers of aging and longevity
The advent of deep biomarkers of aging, longevity and mortality presents a range of non-obvious applications.

Read More: Aging News and Aging Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.