Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
PURITAN MEDICAL
Demo Company
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC

Prolonged Fasting Promotes Immune System Regeneration

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 17 Jun 2014
Image: Schematic flow chart of the effects of prolonged fasting on the immune system (Photo courtesy of USC).
Image: Schematic flow chart of the effects of prolonged fasting on the immune system (Photo courtesy of USC).
A new study suggest that prolonged cycles of fasting trigger stem-cell based regeneration of immune cells and the clearing out of old, damaged cells.

Researchers at the University of Southern California (USC; Los Angeles, USA), the University of Palermo (Italy), and other institutions have succeeded in demonstrating in a mouse model that fasting for 2–4 days at a time reduces circulating insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels and protein kinase A (PKA) activity in various cell populations, leading to signal transduction changes in long-term hematopoietic stem cells (LT-HSCs) and niche cells that promote stress resistance, self-renewal, and lineage-balanced regeneration.

The researchers also found that multiple cycles of fasting abated the immunosuppression and mortality caused by chemotherapy and reversed age-dependent myeloid-bias, supporting previous data on the protection of lymphocytes from chemotoxicity in fasting. The pro-regenerative effects of fasting on stem cells were reinforced by deficiency in either IGF-1 or PKA, and blunted by exogenous IGF-1. Prolonged fasting also protected against toxicity in a pilot clinical trial in which a small group of human patients fasted for a 72-hour period prior to chemotherapy. The study was published on June 5, 2014, in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

“Switching off the gene for PKA is the key step that triggers the stem cells to shift to regeneration; it gives the OK for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system,” said corresponding author Prof. Valter Longo, PhD, director of the USC Longevity Institute. “The good news is that the body also rids itself of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting. If you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or aging, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system.”

According to the authors, the study has major implications for healthier aging, in which immune system decline contributes to increased susceptibility to disease as we age. By outlining how prolonged fasting cycles kill older and damaged immune cells and generate new ones, the research also has implications for chemotherapy tolerance and for those with a wide range of immune system deficiencies, including autoimmunity disorders.

Related Links:

University of Southern California
University of Palermo



Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: An activated PTEN dimer that contains two non-mutant proteins (A) can transform the functional lipid (D) on the cellular membrane (E) into a chemical form that tunes down cancer predilection. Dimers that contain a mutated protein (B) or PTEN monomers cannot transform the functional lipid (Photo courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University).

PTEN Requires a Stable Dimer Configuration to Effectively Suppress Tumor Growth

Molecular structural analysis has shown that the PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog) tumor suppressor can function effectively only when two wild-type alleles are present to form a stable dimer that... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: The ChilliBlock modular system for precise, controlled cooling and heatingof biological samples (Photo courtesy of Asynt).

Modular Cooling/Heating System Safeguards Temperature-Sensitive Biological Samples

A new modular system designed for precise, controlled cooling and heating of biological samples in microplates, vials and Eppendorf tubes is now available for biotech, clinical, and life science laboratories.... Read more

Business

view channel

MS Drug Deal to Net More Than USD 1 Billion

A pharmaceutical company based in Switzerland has purchased the remaining rights to the multiple sclerosis drug Ofatumumab, which will allow it to continue development of the compound for treating relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and similar autoimmune diseases. Novartis (Basel, Switzerland) recently announced... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2015 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.