Cellular reprogramming and epigenetic rejuvenation

Clin Epigenetics. 2021 Sep 6;13(1):170. doi: 10.1186/s13148-021-01158-7.


Ageing is an inevitable condition that afflicts all humans. Recent achievements, such as the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells, have delivered preliminary evidence that slowing down and reversing the ageing process might be possible. However, these techniques usually involve complete dedifferentiation, i.e. somatic cell identity is lost as cells are converted to a pluripotent state. Separating the rejuvenative properties of reprogramming from dedifferentiation is a promising prospect, termed epigenetic rejuvenation. Reprogramming-induced rejuvenation strategies currently involve using Yamanaka factors (typically transiently expressed to prevent full dedifferentiation) and are promising candidates to safely reduce biological age. Here, we review the development and potential of reprogramming-induced rejuvenation as an anti-ageing strategy.

Keywords: Ageing; Cellular reprogramming; Epigenetic age; Epigenetic clocks; Rejuvenation; Reprogramming-induced rejuvenation; Transient reprogramming.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / genetics*
  • Cellular Reprogramming / genetics*
  • Cellular Senescence / genetics*
  • DNA Methylation / genetics*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Epigenomics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Rejuvenation / physiology*