For those who believe that telomeres are a biological clock that cause aging by shortening, there has been the hope that human aging can be stopped by somehow adding active telomerase to all somatic cells. An experiment transfected human somatic cells with a reverse transcriptase subunit of telomerase thereby forcing the cells to express telomerase. The cells exhibited 20 population doublings beyond their Hayflick Limit and continued to exhibit normal, healthy and youthful cellular appearance & activity. This experiment was done not only for fibroblasts, but for retinal epithelial cells and vascular endothelial cells [SCIENCE 279:334&349 (1998)]. This result creates hope that it may someday be possible to preserve youth in some tissues by a form of gene therapy that either induces the expression of telomerase in somatic cells or adds additional genetic material to cells consisting of an engineered telomerase superior to the natural form. A person undergoing such therapy might first take a dose of telomerase destroyers to prevent any incipient cancers from being nourished by the treatment that would follow.
Такие дела. Для многих других возрастных нарушений генная терапия тоже может оказаться выходом/заплаткой.