Aging reversibility: from thymus graft to vegetable extract treatment-- application to cure an age-associated pathology

Biogerontology. 2005;6(4):245-53. doi: 10.1007/s10522-005-2620-5.


Neonatal thymus graft and thymus calf extract (TME) in vivo treatment exert similar corrective actions on different mouse age-related alterations. The aim of the present paper is to investigate whether a vegetal extract, wheat sprout extract (WESPRE), could mimic the thymus action on recovering age-related alterations and if this extract can cure an age-associated pathology, the cataract in dogs. Present experiments were carried out by using WESPRE and TME in vivo in old mice to check their ability to recover the altered DNA synthesis in hepatocyte primary cultures. Old mice treated with WESPRE and TME showed a recovery of hepatocyte DNA synthesis levels when compared with the old untreated ones. The increase of DNA and protein contents observed in aged animals is reduced by WESPRE treatments to levels observed in young mice hepatocytes. We measured also WESPRE phosphorylation activity by endogenous kinase: it was from 10 to 40 times higher with respect to wheat seeds. Old dogs were orally treated for a month and the lens opacity analysed before and after the treatment. Results showed a reduction from 25 to 40% of lens opacity. The efficacy of wheat sprouts in the recovery of age-related alterations and in treating age-associated pathologies could be due to the contemporary presence of small regulatory acid peptides, a remarkable level of highly energetic phosphoric radicals and antioxidant molecules, peculiarities that may be, to some extent, related to the aging process regulation.

MeSH terms

  • Aging* / pathology
  • Animals
  • DNA Replication
  • Dogs
  • Hepatocytes / cytology
  • Lens, Crystalline / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Phosphorylation
  • Plant Extracts* / therapeutic use
  • Thymus Extracts* / therapeutic use
  • Thymus Gland* / transplantation
  • Vegetables* / chemistry


  • Plant Extracts
  • Thymus Extracts