COVID-19 Research Perspective Volume 12, Issue 11 pp 10035—10040
Microdose lithium reduces cellular senescence in human astrocytes - a potential pharmacotherapy for COVID-19?
- 1 Laboratory of Neuropharmacology of Aging, School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities, Universidade de São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
- 2 Touro University California, Vallejo, CA 94592, USA
- 3 Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Novato, CA 94945, USA
- 4 Department of Physiological Sciences, Santa Casa de Sao Paulo School of Medical Sciences, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Received: April 9, 2020 Accepted: May 25, 2020 Published: June 13, 2020https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.103449
How to Cite
Copyright © 2020 Viel et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Cell senescence is a process that causes growth arrest and the release of a senescence associated secretory phenotype (SASP), characterized by secretion of chemokines, cytokines, cell growth factors and metalloproteases, leading to a tissue condition that may precipitate cancers and neurodegenerative processes. With the recent pandemic of coronavirus, senolytic drugs are being considered as possible therapeutic tools to reduce the virulence of SARS-CoV-2. In the last few years, our research group showed that lithium carbonate at microdose levels was able to stabilize memory and change neuropathological characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In the present work, we present evidence that low-dose lithium can reduce the SASP of human iPSCs-derived astrocytes following acute treatment, suggesting that microdose lithium could protect cells from senescence and development of aging-related conditions. With the present findings, a perspective of the potential use of low-dose lithium in old patients from the “high risk group” for COVID-19 (with hypertension, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is presented.