An impressive record was achieved by researchers from the University of Oviedo, since they found the operation of the jellyfish Turritopsis dohrnii, also called “immortal”, which has the power to regenerate its cells to extend its longevity and even prevent its death.
The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), has revealed the capacity of rejuvenation after sexual reproduction of the jellyfish Turritopsis dohrniia species that can be found in the Pacific Ocean and in the Caribbeanalthough it can also be found in the Mediterranean Sea.
One of the main characteristics of this jellyfish is the ability to reverse its life cycle until it reaches an earlier asexual stage called a polyp. The vast majority of living beings, after the reproductive stage, advance in a characteristic process of cellular and tissue aging that culminates in the death of the organism. Nevertheless, T. dohrnii has the power to choose another path: reverse its life cycle and rejuvenate.
In short, the key to rejuvenation is associated with the mechanisms that allow specialized cells to carry out their reprogramming function, and become stem cells that may have the ability to become new cells of the new organism, as explained by María Pascual, biologist at the University Institute of Oncology of the University of Oviedo and one of the main authors of the study.
“What makes this animal special is the synergy of all these changes, which make this jellyfish rejuvenate. If there was a genetic change during the reversal, it should be for something important”, added Pascual.