Lung cells entering an aged, non-proliferating state (senescence) can trigger disease, which researchers can prevent with nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) in mice.
When age gets the best of our lungs and induces pulmonary disease, lung cells responsible for oxygen exchange to the blood called alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) lose their function and drop in numbers. How the function and quantity of these cells diminish with aging is not fully understood, but scientists think it has something to do with their entry into a non-proliferating state called senescence.
Wei and colleagues from the National Clinical Research Center for Geriatrics in China published a study in MedComm showing for the first time that the molecule nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) reduces cell senescence to promote lung health in aged mice. By giving mice 500 mg/kg/day of NMN through drinking water, they found that NMN reduces levels of age-related proteins in mouse lungs and alleviates chemically-induced and senescence-associated lung damage.