Injected plasma from young pigs dramatically reversed the age of old rats in a recent experiment heralded as a scientific breakthrough. The results were published October 24 in Geoscience under the title, Reversal of Biological Age in Multiple Rat Organs by Young Porcine Plasma Fraction.A therapeutic called E5, developed by University of Maryland professor Harold Katcher and his colleagues, was injected into old rats, making them significantly younger within days. E5 consists of nanoparticles of complex structure, including exosomes, from young pig plasma.Steve Horvath, formerly a professor of genetics and biostatistics at UCLA, contributed to this study through his invention of epigenetic clocks, which determine biological age using DNA samples."Initially, I could hardly believe the profound epigenetic rejuvenation effects of E5. However, our findings are robustly supported by parallel rodent studies from different labs," Horvath said in a press release.Horvath and his team found a remarkable 67.4% average reversal in the epigenetic age of treated elderly rats. A human equivalent would see an 80-year-old revert to the age of 26.Katcher and Akshay Sanghavi embarked on a quest to 'cure' aging five years ago. Sanghavi, having lost his mother to diabetes, had a keen interest in aging research since he turned 12.Sanghavi came across Katcher's 2013 paper on heterochronic plasma exchange and reached out to him to join his small team. The result was the venture Yuvan Research, based in Mountain View, CA, under whose auspices the experiment was conducted.Another aging clock based on epigenetic testing largely confirmed Horvath's results. GlycanAge, developed by Professor Gordan Lauc, also showed age reversal of around 50%."Human studies clearly demonstrated that glycans are very responsive to different interventions, but changes are usually relatively slow and not too extensive. Dramatic reduction in glycan age of rats treated with E5 is fascinating," said Lauc, who has affiliations with the University of Zagreb, King's College London and the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars.Michael Snyder, a Stanford University genetics professor who sits on the Scientific Advisory Board of Yuvan Research, said, "The results are stunning and have enormous potential, not just for humans, but also for animals, including pets."While it was known that young blood plasma could confer beneficial effects on various organs in mice and rats, the paper showed plasma from young adult pigs could rejuvenate old rat tissues at the epigenetic level where biological aging was best reflected.The plasma fractions from six-month-old young adult pigs were injected into two-year-old male rats. Rats were injected four times on alternate days for 8 days. A second identical series of injections were administered 95 days later. In its entirety, the experiment lasted 155 days.For the duration of the experiment, blood was drawn at regular intervals for hematological and biochemical analyses to monitor the impact of the treatment on blood, and solid vital organs. Cognitive functions of the rats were assessed four times during this period. At the end of the experiment, the animals were killed and the epigenetic age of their organs was assessed."The treatment more than halved the epigenetic ages of blood, heart and liver tissue. A less pronounced, but statistically significant, rejuvenation effect could be observed in the hypothalamus," the paper reported."The treatment was accompanied by progressive improvement in the function of these organs as ascertained through numerous biochemical/physiological biomarkers, behavioral responses encompassing cognitive functions."