Scientists reverse aging and what it means for you
Researchers were able reverse the aging process in mice by blocking a macrophage receptor.
Old age has many causes. Telomere shortening and DNA damage are some of the suggested causes.
Researchers have recently discovered that a cell type called a macrophage plays an important role in the aging process. Macrophages, which are phagocytotic immunity cells, consume cells and pathogens that the immune system flags as harmful. Macrophages’ energy requirements increase dramatically when they need to consume pathogens.
The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cells. Cells generate energy in two ways: through glycolysis and by oxidatively phosphorylation. These two processes are carried out inside the mitochondria. They both convert glucose into ATP. This molecule is used as a \”currency\” for energy in cells. By converting glucose to pyruvate, glycolysis transforms glucose into ATP. This reaction produces 2 ATP molecules per glucose molecule, which the cell can use to perform other biological functions. Oxidative phosphorylation is more complex, but yields more ATP. It works by stripping the electrons off hydrogen molecules to create an electric gradient, which can produce up 38 ATP for each glucose molecule. Researchers discovered that macrophages tend to shut these so-called \”metabolic pathways\” down as they age.