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  • Writer's picturePhilip Ammerman

Skin Cell reprogramming demonstrates 30 year Rejuvenation Effect

Those of you following Navigator Consulting's Digital Utopia / Digital Dystopia vision know that among the medium-term changes we see are changes to the human genome. This means both genetic therapies and alterations, potentially in vitro as well as pre-birth, but also the benefits of machine - pharma interfaces and sensoring or nanotechnology "upgrades".

A recent research paper published in elife sciences points to epigenome reprogramming with a potential rejuvenation of skin cells up to 30 years.

The article abstract notes that:

Recent work has demonstrated that the epigenome is already rejuvenated by the maturation phase of reprogramming, which suggests full iPSC reprogramming is not required to reverse ageing of somatic cells. Here we have developed the first 'maturation phase transient reprogramming' (MPTR) method, where reprogramming factors are expressed until this rejuvenation point followed by withdrawal of their induction.

Using dermal fibroblasts from middle age donors, we found that cells temporarily lose and then reacquire their fibroblast identity during MPTR, possibly as a result of epigenetic memory at enhancers and/or persistent expression of some fibroblast genes.

Excitingly, our method substantially rejuvenated multiple cellular attributes including the transcriptome, which was rejuvenated by around 30 years as measured by a novel transcriptome clock. The epigenome, including H3K9me3 histone methylation levels and the DNA methylation ageing clock, was rejuvenated to a similar extent. The magnitude of rejuvenation instigated by MTPR appears substantially greater than that achieved in previous transient reprogramming protocols.

It's obviously too early to rely on a single laboratory-based study, but taken together with other efforts, the trendline appears clear.


Diljeet Gill, Aled Parry, Fátima Santos, Hanneke Okkenhaug, Christopher D Todd, Irene Hernando-Herraez, Thomas M. Stubbs, Inês Milagre, and Wolf Reik. 8 April 2022.

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