Senolytic CAR T Cells Rescue Intestinal Aging in Mice

To maintain gut function, intestinal stem cells (ISCs) actively proliferate, churning out a lot of short-lived epithelial cells that do the hard work of absorbing nutrients. Aging affects ISCs, probably more than many other types of stem cells, diminishing their regenerative capacity and harming gut performance.

The authors of this new study, currently published as a preprint, wanted to see what will happen to ISCs in response to a treatment that eliminates senescent cells (a senolytic). Previously, this group developed an unusual weapon against senescent cells: CAR T cells [4]. CAR stands for “chimeric antigen receptor” and basically means that cytotoxic T cells were genetically modified to express receptors that recognize a specific cell type. When injected into the body, the modified T cells go after the target cells.