Research ArticleAging

mTOR Regulation and Therapeutic Rejuvenation of Aging Hematopoietic Stem Cells

Sci. Signal.  24 Nov 2009:
Vol. 2, Issue 98, pp. ra75
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2000559

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Restoring Hematopoietic Function

Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) function decreases with age, a process that likely contributes to the weakened adaptive immune response characteristic of older individuals. Chen et al. found that HSCs from old mice showed increased activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling compared to those from young mice. Intriguingly, inhibition of mTOR with the drug rapamycin reversed aging-related declines in mouse HSC function and enhanced the ability of old mice to mount an effective immune response to infection with influenza virus. The authors thus propose that manipulation of mTOR signaling may lead to therapeutic approaches to restoring aging-related declines in HSC function.