Drug Revitalizing Old Blood May Slow Aging (Anakinra / Kineret)

Press Release From Columbia University.

Young blood has a rejuvenating effect when infused into older bodies, according to recent research: Aging hearts beat stronger, muscles become stronger, and thinking becomes sharper.

Many scientists are looking for the elements of young blood that can be captured or replicated and put into a pill.

But what if the best way to get the benefits of young blood is to simply rejuvenate the system that makes blood?

“An aging blood system, because it’s a vector for a lot of proteins, cytokines, and cells, has a lot of bad consequences for the organism,” says Emmanuelle Passegué, PhD, director of the Columbia Stem Cell Initiative, who’s been studying how blood changes with age. “A 70-year-old with a 40-year-old blood system could have a longer healthspan, if not a longer lifespan.”

Rejuvenating an older person’s blood may now be within reach, based on recent findings from Passegué’s lab published in Nature Cell Biology(link is external and opens in a new window).

Passegué, with her graduate student Carl Mitchell, found that an anti-inflammatory drug, already approved for use in rheumatoid arthritis, can turn back time in mice and reverse some of the effects of age on the hematopoietic system.

“These results indicate that such strategies hold promise for maintaining healthier blood production in the elderly,” Mitchell says.

Returning blood stem cells to a younger state

The researchers only identified the drug after a comprehensive investigation of the stem cells that create all blood cells and the niches where they reside in the center of the bones.

All blood cells in the body are created by a small number of stem cells that reside in bone marrow. Over time, these hematopoietic stem cells start to change: They produce fewer red blood cells (leading to anemia) and fewer immune cells (which raises the risk of infection and impedes vaccination efforts), and they have trouble maintaining the integrity of their genomes (which can lead to blood cancers).

In a paper published in 2021 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine(link is external and opens in a new window), Passegué and her team first tried to rejuvenate old hematopoietic stem cells, in mice, with exercise or calorie-restricting diet, both generally thought to slow the aging process. Neither worked. Transplanting old stem cells into young bone marrow also failed. Even young blood had no effect on rejuvenating old blood stem cells.

Mitchell and Passegué then took a closer look at the stem cells’ environment, the bone marrow. “Blood stem cells live in a niche; we thought what happens in this specialized local environment could be a big part of the problem,” Mitchell says.

Rejuvenating the home of blood stem cells. The researchers found that an inflammatory signal released from old bone marrow, IL-1B, was critical in driving aging in blood stem cells. And the drug, anakinra, returned the blood stem cells to a younger, healthier state. Images of young (top) and old bone marrow courtesy of Emmanuelle Passegué.

With techniques developed in the Passegué lab that enable detailed investigation of the bone marrow milieu, the researchers found that the aging niche is deteriorating and overwhelmed with inflammation, leading to dysfunction in the blood stem cells.

One inflammatory signal released from the damaged bone marrow niche, IL-1B, was critical in driving these aging features, and blocking it with the drug, anakinra, remarkably returned the blood stem cells to a younger, healthier state.

Even more youthful effects on both the niche and the blood system occurred when IL-1B was prevented from exerting its inflammatory effects throughout the animal’s life.

The researchers are now trying to learn if the same processes are active in humans and if rejuvenating the stem cell niche earlier in life, in middle age, would be a more effective strategy.

Meanwhile, “treating elderly patients with anti-inflammatory drugs blocking IL-1B function should help with maintaining healthier blood production,” Passegué says, and she hopes the finding will lead to clinical testing.

“We know that bone tissue begins to degrade when people are in their 50s. What happens in middle age? Why does the niche fail first?” Passegué says. “Only by having a deep molecular understanding will it be possible to identify approaches that can truly delay aging.”

Many societies have added more than 30 years to life expectancy in the past century. “Now it is imperative to conduct the science to determine how to create health and well-being across the full length of those lives,” says Linda Fried, MD, MPH, dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and director of the Butler Columbia Aging Center. “This must include research to understand the mechanisms of normal aging and how to fully develop the huge opportunities to create healthy longevity for all.”

References, More information

The paper, “Stromal niche inflammation mediated by IL-1 signalling is a targetable driver of haematopoietic ageing(link is external and opens in a new window),” was published online Jan. 17 in Nature Cell Biology.

Related: Rapamycin Prevents Blood Stem Cell Aging, New MIT Study

Below: Anakinra / Kineret Drug Safety Information from European Regulatory Agency

kineret-epar-product-information_en1.pdf (355.4 KB)


The drug is Anakinra. It’s an IL-1 receptor blocker. Has to be given by injection I believe.




Source: Kineret Prices, Coupons, Copay & Patient Assistance - Drugs.com





Just under $200.00 per .67ml syringe, cash payment with coupon.

$280 cash payment without discount card/coupon.


Me thinking…

As over 90% of rapamycin is carried by red blood cells, will younger/newer red blood cells carry rapamycin more efficiently?

1 Like

I’d suggest this paper (open access) as a primer in understanding the currently known associated inflammasome complexes. Inflammation, infections, and the immune system are all highly complex topics.

Inflammasome activation and regulation: toward a better understanding of complex mechanisms


There is an increased risk of severe infections and potentially cancer risks in those who take anakinra. The weird part is there is safety of anakinra with specifically bacterial sepsis so generally for those indicated, it is not stopped in that setting despite being an immunosuppressant. For those who are indicated, I generally would take baseline routine labs due to all the potential effects of this immunosuppressant.

I’ll also mention are case reports of highly atypical infections with anakinra - which makes it hard to diagnose if one does come down with it. Also, neutralizing antibody complexes can commonly form, so it could end up throwing a lot of money down the drain.


This line of research is obviously just starting, so definitely wouldn’t recommend it for anyone.

But I always find it interesting to check on the prices of these potential longevity therapeutics just see how it might fit in people’s budgets, and what the different acquisition avenues are for possible future use.


Yeah. I’d also mention viral infections like say coronavirus and flu can increase the patterns associated with aging. COVID might even increase the risk of cancer like some other viruses.

Not something I’d take lightly when it comes to immunosuppressive functions.


1 Like

The recommended dose of Kineret is 100 mg administered once a day by subcutaneous injection.

So, only $187.99 X 30 days in a month = $5,640 per month…

The good news, it looks like the patents are, or are soon to be, expired (though legal wrangling for patent extensions can always delay the dates…and the arrival of the generics)

Source: Drug Patent Watch Kineret

More info on this general area of research:


That is the recommended/published dose for RA.

In the process {an not paying for a copy] of getting a copy of the published paper.

100mg a day is what was used in the study?

No - I just got that dosing information from one of the overview pages on the drug:

I have no idea if this study was an invitro or invivo study… hard to tell from the descriptions provided and abstract.

And some interesting observations:


and more:


1 Like


Attached is a PDF copy of the paper.

Accepted Mitchell et al. NCB (no figures).pdf (614.3 KB)

1 Like

Top of the line among natural substances is andrographis paniculata.

Andrographis also helps rejuvenate another part of the anatomy.


Attached is a PDF copy of the published Nature Cell paper with the chart’s/figures.

Download PDF copy at;


The published paper is around 40 pages

Is anyone interested in trying this?

As I am.


Great stuff getting the papers Joseph! Very helpful. Thanks for posting!

Before you do it, if you do decide to do it, it would be really good to see if you can identify some blood test measures, or other metrics that could tell you if its working at all.

Perhaps people knowledgeable about this topic can add suggestions for what might be some good measures, if any, that might be available from Labcorp, Quest, in terms of bloodtests that would help determine this…

Plus - there is the issue of cost. This drug is still about $5K per month as it is. It should be going generic (with luck) very soon. so perhaps hold off and it should be down to about 10% of that price, or lower in a year or so, and we’ll have more data.

1 Like

In the below article, Anakinra is considered a senomorphic, along with rapamycin, Loperamide (anti-diarrheal), simvastatin, apigenin, kaempferol, and metformin, among others.


This is very interesting. I am considering starting this (subcutaneously seems to be the only option). To know what effect (if any) it is having I would like to take pre and post bloods. What markers or test do you think would tell me how old my blood is?

1 Like