Posted on Jul 02, 2020, 12 p.m.
Integrated Health System is bringing cell and gene therapy to cats, dogs, and horses. Recently IHS Pets has helped a paralyzed dog with a spinal cord injury to walk again after it was treated with experimental PRP and prolotherapy. Click here to see the video.
Aging is the root of virtually every complex noncommunicable disease in humans and animals. Telomeres are the protective end caps on the ends of our chromosomes, they are as important for the health of both humans and our pets, and they play roles in longevity.
One of the contributing factors in the lifespan in dog breeds is telomere length. As in humans researchers have found that “telomere length is a strong predictor of average life span among 15 different breeds… consistent with telomeres playing a role in life span determination. Dogs lose telomeric DNA ~10-fold faster than humans, which is similar to the ratio of average life spans between these species.” As such telomerase therapy may be beneficial to pets as well as their human caretakers.
Telomerase gene therapy has been shown to extend lifespan in animals, this therapy may help to increase bone mineral density, improve motor performance, improve metabolism, and improve brain function.
The loss of muscle mass with age is just as problematic for animals as it is to humans; in cats for instance a study showed that for “each 100g loss of lean body mass increased the risk of death by 20%.” This is typically accompanied by frailty, and it is a contributing factor to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, and overall mortality.
Diet and exercise have been shown to pay key roles in keeping pets healthy, but the loss of muscle mass is unavoidable without an effective intervention. Enter follistatin: myostatin blocks muscle growth, when it is inhibited then follistatin is able to let muscles grow freely to stop them from wasting away.
Follistatin gene therapy has been shown to be safe and effective in animals, this therapy may help to protect against frailty, increase muscle density, increase strength, and increase endurance.
Klotho: The Queen of Anti-Aging Proteins
1 in 3 cats will suffer from renal disease, but these numbers are under scrutiny with some suggesting that estimate may be too conservative. Chronic kidney failure can occur gradually over months or years, and it is one of the most common conditions affecting older cats with most cases progressing over time worsening the disease.
Klotho is known to play a significant role in the development of chronic kidney disease, and researchers are now turning to its broader role in the anging process as a whole; such as induces expression with gene therapy in mice has been shown to extend lifespan by targeting many of the same pathways as caloric restriction. Blocking Klotho has been shown to cause premature aging.
Klotho also helps to protect the brain, and contributes to more differences in intelligence than any one single gene. Research from the University of California has shown it to protect the brains of mice and improve brain function within 4 hours; and this result included young mice, old mice, and those that were models of Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition Klotho also plays a critical role in the inflammaging process. Inflammaging is the long term result of the chronic physiological stimulation of the innate immune system which can become damaging during the aging process.
Circulating levels of Kloto decreases with age, this decrease is associated with an increased risk of age related disease. Gene therapy with Klotho has been shown to increase lifespan in animal models, and it may improve kidney function, brain function, clear damage caused by oxidative stress, and protect against cardiovascular disease.
With the remarkable progress being made in genetics, gene therapy may play increasingly prominent and transformative roles in medicine for both humans and animals due to the potential to treat diseases and congenital disorders.
Pets can be an important part of life, they calm us, make us laugh, and create a bond of unconditional love. The company does note that all therapies are experimental, they are not approved by any regulatory body, and they make no claims that outcomes will be positive or beneficial.
IHS Pets is the veterinary wing of Integrated Health Systems, BioViva Science’s exclusive partner. IHS connects with doctors and patients who are interested in the power of gene therapy to pave the way to healthy aging and longevity.
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