Energy deficiency in immune cells provokes inflammation and accelerates aging

Scientists from the University of Madrid have found out how mitochondrial dysfunction in the immune system cells affects aging. Mitochondrias are organelles that generate energy for all cellular processes. During the experiment, specialists disturbed mitochondria work in T-lymphocytes in young mice. These immune cells are responsible for the destruction of dangerous microbes, including through the development of an inflammatory reaction.

Due to artificial damage to mitochondria in immune cells, the latter began to suffer from energy shortages. As a result, mice at the age of seven months started looking and acting like older animals: they developed muscle weakness, impaired cognitive function, typical for old age metabolic shifts and vascular disorders.

Besides, rodents showed inflammatory reactions - the immunity had excessive aggression, which led to even greater damage to tissues. After the experimental animals introduced drugs to help restore mitochondrial function in the immune cells, they had positive changes - improved heart function, increased muscle strength. 

According to experts, similar processes occur with age in the human body: over the years more and more cells with damaged mitochondria, including T-lymphocytes accumulate. Energy deficiency in immunocytes leads, on the one hand, to weakened protection against foreign agents, and on the other - to the development of chronic inflammation in the body. Total inflammation - one of the key factors in the aging of the body. Based on the results of the experiment, scientists believe: the development of drugs to support the work of mitochondria in the immune cells of older people. 

May 28, 2020, 12:55 p.m.

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