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Partial reprogramming induces a steady decline in epigenetic age before loss of somatic identity

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Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12877
JournalAging Cell
Issue number1
Early online date18 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


Induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs), with their unlimited regenerative capacity, carry the promise for tissue replacement to counter age-related decline. However, attempts to realize in vivo iPSC have invariably resulted in the formation of teratomas. Partial reprogramming in prematurely aged mice has shown promising results in alleviating age-related symptoms without teratoma formation. Does partial reprogramming lead to rejuvenation (i.e., "younger" cells), rather than dedifferentiation, which bears the risk of cancer? Here, we analyse the dynamics of cellular age during human iPSC reprogramming and find that partial reprogramming leads to a reduction in the epigenetic age of cells. We also find that the loss of somatic gene expression and epigenetic age follows different kinetics, suggesting that they can be uncoupled and there could be a safe window where rejuvenation can be achieved with a minimized risk of cancer.

    Research areas

  • aging, aging clock, epigenetic age, IPSC, partial reprogramming, rejuvenation

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