Discovery of potent telomerase activators: Unfolding new therapeutic and anti-aging perspectives

Mol Med Rep. 2019 Oct;20(4):3701-3708. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2019.10614. Epub 2019 Aug 23.

Abstract

Telomere length, a marker of cellular aging, decreases with age and it has been associated with aging‑related diseases. Environmental factors, including diet and lifestyle factors, affect the rate of telomere shortening which can be reversed by telomerase. Telomerase activation by natural molecules has been suggested to be an anti‑aging modulator that can play a role in the treatment of aging‑related diseases. This study aimed to investigate the effect of natural compounds on telomerase activity in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). The tested compounds included Centella asiatica extract formulation (08AGTLF), Astragalus extract formulation (Nutrient 4), TA‑65 (containing Astragalus membranaceus extract), oleanolic acid (OA), maslinic acid (MA), and 3 multi‑nutrient formulas (Nutrients 1, 2 and 3) at various concentrations. The mean absorbance values of telomerase activity measured following treatment with some of the above‑mentioned formulations were statistically significantly higher compared to those of the untreated cells. In particular, in order of importance with respect to telomerase activation from highest to lowest, 08AGTLF, OA, Nutrient 4, TA‑65, MA, Nutrient 3 and Nutrient 2, triggered statistically significant increase in telomerase activity compared to the untreated cells. 08AGTLF reached the highest levels of telomerase activity reported to date, at least to our knowledge, increasing telomerase activity by 8.8 folds compared to untreated cells, while Nutrient 4 and OA were also potent activators (4.3‑fold and 5.9‑fold increase, respectively). On the whole, this study indicates that the synergistic effect of nutrients and natural compounds can activate telomerase and produce more potent formulations. Human clinical studies using these formulations are required to evaluate their mode of action. This would reveal the health benefits of telomerase activation through natural molecules and would shed new light onto the treatment of aging‑related diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Astragalus Plant / chemistry
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cellular Senescence / drug effects*
  • Drug Discovery
  • Enzyme Activators / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / cytology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / drug effects*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism
  • Oleanolic Acid / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Telomerase / metabolism*
  • Telomere Shortening / drug effects
  • Triterpenes / pharmacology

Substances

  • Centella asiatica extract
  • Enzyme Activators
  • Plant Extracts
  • Triterpenes
  • Oleanolic Acid
  • maslinic acid
  • Telomerase