Jump to content

Remove old cells & replace 'em!


Recommended Posts

Here's a strategy by some Northwestern researchers that proposes removing all of your old, crooked, and beaten cells, and replacing them with new cells. Sounds SENSie-icious..


Anyone actually read their paper?


Whole-body Induced Cell Turnover: A proposed intervention for age-related damage and associated pathology



Link to comment
Share on other sites



Yes, I read [1]. Here is a link to the full text. And here is a popular press account of the paper we're talking about, posted by Zeta over on this thread about Aubrey and SENS.


It is interesting idea but appears to me to really be just a call for investigating and eventually implementing important part of the SENS strategy for defeating aging, namely replacing all the cells in one's body intentionally over time to rejuvenate them and clear out junk. It also reviews some of the promising research towards accomplishing this goal.


It is good to see more and more scientists taking the idea of this kind of large scale (some would say drastic) engineering interventions to defeat aging more seriously. Perhaps the momentum Aubrey is hoping for is really starting to build...


Of course as has been pointed out elsewhere (e.g. on the cryonics thread), it will be tough(est) to do this in the brain, where cells don't naturally turn over, and where the fine structure of the existing cells (neural synapses) is critical for memory, personality etc.


As far as I know it's only philosophers like David Chalmers, who think seriously (e.g. in this paper) about the possibility of replacing one brain cell at a time with an identical copies, to maintain one's memories and continuity of consciousness.


To their credit,  the authors recognize and speak to the special challenges the brain poses for their approach to whole body rejuvenation via cell replacement:


Extreme care  in mediating  [cell replacement]  as  gradually  as  possible in the central nervous system should be  taken so as to  minimize  the potential for  amnesia and the  loss  of learned information and skills. We  suspect that mediating [cell replacement] in a  sufficiently  gradual manner, so as to allow administered replacement cells to interact with proximal cells and  functionally  integrate into the endogenous neural networks of  the brain, would  allow for  the retention of  memory  and historyWhole-body Induced Cell Turnover: A proposed intervention for age-related damage and associated pathology (doi: 10.1089/rej.2015.1763) Rejuvenation Research dependent neurological function due  to the  plasticity  of  the central nervous  system.78  Thus while the central nervous system represents  a  special  case  with special considerations and concerns,  we do not think that the  gradual induced turnover of  the  central nervous system is infeasible  or unforeseeable  given the  brain’s ability  to adapt and capacity  for neurological plasticity.   


So they talk about the challenges of the brain for their approach. I'm just not sure they take the challenge seriously enough...





[1] 1. Rejuvenation Res. 2015 Dec 9. [Epub ahead of print]


Whole-body Induced Cell Turnover: A proposed intervention for age-related damage 

and associated pathology.


Cortese FA(1), Santostasi G(2).


Author information: 

(1)ELPIs Foundation for Indefinite Lifespans, Research Department, London, United

Kingdom ; francocortese1@gmail.com. (2)Northwestern University, Fienberg School

of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Chicago, Illinois, United States ;



In both biomedicine in general and biomedical gerontology in particular, cell

replacement therapy is traditionally proposed as an intervention for cell loss.

This paper presents a proposed intervention - Whole-body Induced Cell Turnover

(WICT) - for use in biomedical gerontology that combines cell replacement therapy

with a second therapeutic component so as to broaden the therapeutic utility of

cell therapies and increase the categories of age-related damage that are

amenable to cell-based interventions. In particular, WICT may allow cell

therapies to serve as an intervention for accumulated cellular and intracellular 

damage, such as telomere depletion, gDNA and mtDNA damage and mutations,

replicative senescence, functionally-deleterious age-related changes in gene

expression, accumulated cellular and intracellular aggregates and

functionally-deleterious post-translationally modified gene products. WICT

consists of the gradual ablation and subsequent replacement of a patient's entire

set of constituent cells gradually over the course of their adult lifespan via

the quantitative and qualitative coordination of targeted cell ablation with

exogenous cell administration. The aim is to remove age-associated cellular and

intracellular damage present in the patient's endogenous cells. Here we outline

the underlying techniques and technologies by which WICT can be mediated,

describe the mechanisms by which it can serve to negate or prevent age-related

cellular and intracellular damage, explicate the unique therapeutic components

and utilities that distinguish it as a distinct type of cell-based intervention

for use in biomedical gerontology and address potential complications associated 

with the therapy.


PMID: 26649945  [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...