Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, FL, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and colleagues have identified a new class of drugs that dramatically improved cardiac function, reduced symptoms of frailty and prolonged the healthy lifespan of mice.
These new class of anti-aging drugs are known as "senolytics." They include: a cancer drug called dasatinib (brand name Sprycel), and an antihistamine /anti-inflammatory supplement called quercetin. When used together, the drugs were able to target and kill aging-related senescent cells in mouse models without causing harm to nearby cells.
The drugs also significantly improved cardiovascular function, boosted exercise endurance, reduced osteoporosis and fraility with a dramatic extension of the animals' lifespan. Often, a single dose was sufficient to get results with effects lasting for at least 7 months.
Commenting on their findings, Prof. Robbins says the team sees this study as a "big first step" toward developing drugs that extend patients' healthy lifespan and tackle age-related diseases. "When senolytic agents, like the combination we identified, are used clinically, the results could be transformative," he adds.
The study has been published in the journal Aging Cell.