Researchers from Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine revealed that new class of oxidants can serve as a target for anti-aging interventions.
Aging is characterized by loss of cell division, oxidative stress, and DNA damage. Aging as a psychological process is defined as decline of physiological function caused by cell arrest (senescence) and cell death (apoptosis). Oxidant stress causes injury to cellular proteins and DNA leading to senescence and apoptosis.
A new research led by Joseph I. Shapiro, dean of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine demonstrated that the Na/K-ATPase oxidant amplification loop (NAKL) is intimately involved in the aging process. Improved anti-aging drugs capable of targeting this loop could be developed to counter impaired physiological functions and disease development. PNaKtide, a synthetic peptide discovered by the team could actually slow the aging process. Lab experiments on mice were conducted to study the effect of the synthetic peptide. To stimulate oxidant stress to antagonize NAKL, the mice were fed with western diet. The western diet resulted in functional and structural evidence of aging in mice. Dermal fibroblasts that aid skin recovery from an injury, when subjected to oxidant stress in vitro by stimulating NAKL, revealed similar results. The process resulted in increased expression of senescence markers, and caused cell injury. However, pNaKtide treatment regenerated the cells to dampen the signs of aging. The report was published in the online journal Nature on June 26, 2018. The clinical success of the technique can deliver a new approach to the aging process. The research state that further studies on the anti- aging effects of pNaKtide with other agents is required for better understanding of process. As the study confirmed the involvement of NKAL in aging process, it could serves as a therapeutic target in applications of anti- aging.