Scientists discovered a hormone that extends lifespan by 40% by protecting the immune system against aging.
FGF21 is produced by the thymus gland and extends lifespan by 40%, scientists discovers that it protects the immune system from effects of age.
It is the Holy Grail of health research, discovering the key to help people live longer.
They blocked the gene's function, before studying the impact of decreasing levels of FGF21 on the immune system.
Their results showed that increasing the level of FGF21 in old mice protected the thymus from age-related fatty degeneration and increased the ability of the thymus to produce new T cells.
The FGF21 deficiency accelerated the degeneration of the thymus in old mice.
Higher FGF21 levels in thymic epithelial cells is several fold in the liver, therefore FGF21 acts within the thymus to promote T cell production.
Elevating the levels of FGF21 in the elderly or in cancer patients who undergo bone marrow transplantation may be an additional strategy to increase T cell production, which results in bolster immune function.