My 400th curation is a 2018 US/UK paper by coauthors of Using an epigenetic clock to distinguish cellular aging from senescence. They reviewed the current state of epigenetic clock research, and proposed a new theory of aging:
“The proposed epigenetic clock theory of ageing views biological ageing as an unintended consequence of both developmental programmes and maintenance programmes, the molecular footprints of which give rise to DNAm [DNA methylation] age estimators.
It is best to interpret epigenetic age estimates as a higher-order property of a large number of CpGs much in the same way that the temperature of a gas is a higher-order property that reflects the average kinetic energy of the underlying molecules. This interpretation does not imply that DNAm age simply measures entropy across the entire genome.
To date, the most effective in vitro intervention against epigenetic ageing is achieved through expression of Yamanaka factors, which convert somatic cells into pluripotent stem cells, thereby completely resetting the epigenetic clock. In vivo, haematopoietic stem cell therapy resets the epigenetic age of blood of the recipient to that of the donor.
Future epidemiological studies should consider other sources of DNA (for example, buccal cells), because more powerful estimates of organismal age can be obtained by evaluating multiple tissues. Other types of epigenetic modifications such as adenine methylation or histone modifications may lend themselves for developing epigenetic age estimators.”
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41576-018-0004-3 “DNA methylation-based biomarkers and the epigenetic clock theory of ageing” (not freely available)
I curated four other papers cited in this review:
- The cerebellum ages more slowly than other body and brain areas
- Using an epigenetic clock with older adults
- Using an epigenetic clock with children
- The degree of epigenetic DNA methylation may be used as a proxy to measure biological age