Adult stem cells replenish dying cells and regenerate damaged tissues throughout our lifetime. We lose many of those stem cells, along with their regenerative capacity, as we age. Working in flies and mice, researchers at the Buck Institute and elsewhere discovered that TOR, a nutrient-sensing pathway which is central to the aging process, drives the loss of adult stem cells.
Treating mice with the TOR-inhibitor rapamycin prevented this loss and could reverse age-related loss of stem cells in mouse trachea. The research is published in Cell Stem Cell.