Caloric restriction extends the life span of stem cells

Researchers of the Werner Zwerschke group at the IBA showed that long-term caloric restriction (CR) protects adipose-derived stem cells and prolongs their life span in formerly obese humans. The physiological functions of adipose tissues are fulfilled by adipocytes arising out of adipose-derived stromal/progenitor cells (ASCs), which are crucial for adipose tissue homeostasis. ASCs from age-matched long-term calorically restricted formerly obese (CRD), obese (OD) and normal weight donors (NWDs) were analysed. It was found that ASCs derived from CRD had a significant longer replicative lifespan than ASC isolated from OD and NWD. This correlated with strongly reduced DNA-damage and improved survival of the CRD ASCs. Moreover, the adipogenic capacity was significantly lower in ASC derived from CRD than that from OD. The adipogenic capacity of ASCs from CRD and NWD differed slightly. In conclusion, the study provides evidence that long-term CR substantially reprograms adipose progenitor cells in formerly obese humans, comprising reduced DNA-damage, improved viability, extended replicative lifespan and reduced adipogenic differentiation potential.

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Mitterberger MC, Mattesich and Zwerschke W. Bariatric surgery and diet-induced long-term caloric restriction protect subcutaneous adipose-derived stromal/progenitor cells and prolong their life span in formerly obese humans. Exp Gerontol. 2014 Aug;56:106-13.