Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have unveiled a groundbreaking anti-aging therapy using chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells to target senescent cells associated with age-related diseases. Led by assistant professor Corina Amor Vegas, MD, PhD, the team tested this senolytic CAR T cell therapy in aging mice, revealing significant improvements in metabolic function and exercise capacity.

The study, published in Nature Aging, provides proof-of-principle evidence that senolytic cell therapies can mitigate symptoms associated with physiological aging.

Key Points:

  1. Senescent Cell Targeting: The therapy focuses on eliminating senescent cells that accumulate in organisms as they age, contributing to inflammation and age-related diseases.
  2. Positive Outcomes in Aging Mice: Testing the CAR T cell therapy on aging mice showcased notable improvements, including enhanced glucose tolerance, reduced body weight, and increased physical activity. Importantly, a single treatment had long-term therapeutic and preventive effects.
  3. Prophylactic Efficacy: The CAR T cells acted prophylactically, preventing age-induced and diet-induced metabolic decline. In young mice fed a high-fat diet, the therapy resulted in lower body weight, improved blood glucose levels, and better glucose and insulin tolerance.
  4. Safety and Longevity of Effects: The therapy demonstrated safety, with observed benefits in aging mice without any tissue damage or toxicity. Additionally, the CAR T cells exhibited longevity, offering a single, low-dose administration with long-lasting effects against conditions like obesity and diabetes.
  5. Potential Beyond Cancer Treatment: While CAR T cells are renowned for cancer treatment, this study reveals their potential to extend beyond cancer therapy, addressing chronic pathologies associated with aging.
  6. Clinical Advantages of CAR T Cells: The durability of effects and the potential for a single low-dose treatment highlight the clinical advantages of senolytic CAR T cell therapy. The cells’ ability to persist in the body for extended periods sets them apart from traditional chemical drugs, providing a significant advantage for chronic pathologies.
  7. Future Research and Longevity Assessment: Ongoing research aims to determine whether CAR T cells not only promote healthier lives but also extend lifespan. The team is exploring the broader implications of this revolutionary therapy.

In summary, the senolytic CAR T cell therapy emerges as a promising avenue in the quest to combat aging-related health issues. Its ability to offer enduring benefits with a single treatment opens new possibilities for addressing chronic pathologies and enhancing the overall healthspan of individuals.

By Impact Lab