Here is the news of the second anti-ageing discovery.
Plant hormone KINETIN delays the onset of many cellular and biochemical
characteristics associated with cellular ageing of cultured human cells.
Although kinetin and other cytokinins are well known to have anti-ageing
effects in plants, in human cells it is the first time any such effects
have been observed. Some of the main effects by using the Hayflick system
of human fibroblast ageing are:
- maintaining the youthful morphology for much longer period (up to 95%
- reversing senescent morphology.
- maintaining youthful cytoskeletal organization.
- maintaining youthful pattern of DNA, RNA and protein synthesis.
- slowing down the rate of accumulation of age-pigment like things.
These effects can be best seen as "preventive" effects instead of reversion
of ageing. Cells grown continuously stay younger.
Most importantly, these effects are achieved without interfering with the
maximum proliferative capacity. No additonal cell divisions are induced.
This is unlike all other anti-ageing things reported for cell cultures
for example, FGF, PDGF, ginseng, or the latest I reported last week,
carnosine. All those things induce additional cell divisions which can
be potentially harmful in terms of making cells move on a path to
immortalization (here meaning cancer.)
Kinetin is N6-furfunyadenine, a modified base that can get incorporated
in tRNA. It is a synthetic cytokinin. Its nearest natural relative is
zeatin, but in our experiments Kinetin is the most effective. All future
research and development is now in the hands of Procter&Gamble who got
all rights from the company SENETEK who had financed my research originally.
Dont worry I have not made any money from it. I am still struggling for
long-term secure job.
Now come all those important mechanistic questions. How does it work?
Where does it go in a cell? What other applications and why? I have no
answers yet. We have been struggling to do these experiments but no one
has given us money for that. Commercial motto is: If it sells, it works or
if it works it sells. Not very interesting to know how?
Still we have some information on the kinetics of uptake, accumulation
and release of kinetin by human cells. Your suggestions on its mechanistic
search will be welcome.
A small free-base, modified a little, having such dramatic effects!!!!
Various other modifications do not have similar effects, or may be
very small effects. Also, it has to be free-base and not the nucleoside
or neucleotide. Apparantly, in plants it does not matter, but in human
cells it can be a difference of life and death.
Natural sources of kinetin related cytokinins are: very high levels
in coconut water/milk; all germinating seeds and growing tips etc.
Potential usages as nutrional supplement, anti-oxidative compounds,
The paper: Kinetin delays the onset of ageing characteristics in human
fibroblasts, by SIS Rattan & BFC Clark is in Biochemical Biophysical
Research Communications, vol 201, pages not sure, 1994.
So much for the good week end news.
Suresh Rattan /aarhus/denmark rattan at kemi.aau.dk