May 11, 2013

GDF-11, Anti-Aging Protein from Harvard Stem Cell Institute

GDF-11, An anti-aging protein discovered at Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI).

Young mice have much more GDF-11 protein in their bloodstream as compared to older mice.

Two Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers — a stem cell biologist and a practicing cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital — have identified a protein in the blood of mice and humans that may prove to be the first effective treatment for the form of age-related heart failure that affects millions of Americans.

When the protein, called GDF-11, was injected into old mice, which develop thickened heart walls in a manner similar to aging humans, the hearts were reduced in size and thickness, resembling the healthy hearts of younger mice.

“In this study, we were able to show that a protein that circulates in the blood is related to this aging process, and if we gave older mice this protein, we could reverse the heart aging in a very short period of time,” Lee said. “We are very excited about it because it opens a new window on the most common form of heart failure.”
Richard Lee and Amy Wagers discuss their findings further in this video.

This may lead to anti-aging supplements that reverse the effects of aging and/or delay the aging process. The timeframe – a few years.

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