Vitamin C alleviates aging defects in a stem cell model for Werner syndrome.
Protein Cell. 2016 Jun 6. Epub 2016 Jun 6. PMID: 27271327
Werner syndrome (WS) is a premature aging disorder that mainly affects tissues derived from mesoderm. We have recently developed a novel human WS model using WRN-deficient human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). This model recapitulates many phenotypic features of WS. Based on a screen of a number of chemicals, here we found that Vitamin C exerts most efficient rescue for many features in premature aging as shown in WRN-deficient MSCs, including cell growth arrest, increased reactive oxygen species levels, telomere attrition, excessive secretion of inflammatory factors, as well as disorganization of nuclear lamina and heterochromatin. Moreover, Vitamin C restores in vivo viability of MSCs in a mouse model. RNA sequencing analysis indicates that Vitamin C alters the expression of a series of genes involved in chromatin condensation, cell cycle regulation, DNA replication, and DNA damage repair pathways in WRN-deficient MSCs. Our results identify Vitamin C as a rejuvenating factor for WS MSCs, which holds the potential of being applied as a novel type of treatment of WS.