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Nutraceutical intervention reverses the negative effects of blood from aged rats on stem cells


Aging is associated with a decline in function in many of the stem cell niches of the body. An emerging body of literature suggests that one of the reasons for this decline in function is due to cell non-autonomous influences on the niche from the body. For example, studies using the technique of parabiosis have demonstrated a negative influence of blood from aged mice on muscle satellite cells and neurogenesis in young mice. We examined if we could reverse this effect of aged serum on stem cell proliferation by treating aged rats with NT-020, a dietary supplement containing blueberry, green tea, vitamin D3, and carnosine that has been shown to increase neurogenesis in aged rats. Young and aged rats were administered either control NIH-31 diet or one supplemented with NT-020 for 28 days, and serum was collected upon euthanasia. The serum was used in cultures of both rat hippocampal neural progenitor cells (NPCs) and rat bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Serum from aged rats significantly reduced cell proliferation as measured by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) assays in both NPCs and MSCs. Serum from aged rats treated with NT-020 was not different from serum from young rats. Therefore, NT-020 rescued the effect of serum from aged rats to reduce stem cell proliferation.

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Conflict of interest

PCB is co-founder of Natura Therapeutics, Inc. PCB, JT, RDS, and CDS are inventors on patents relating to NT-020. JT and RDS are consultants for Natura Therapeutics.

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Correspondence to Paula C. Bickford.

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Bickford, P.C., Kaneko, Y., Grimmig, B. et al. Nutraceutical intervention reverses the negative effects of blood from aged rats on stem cells. AGE 37, 103 (2015).

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