The potentials of methylene blue as an anti-aging drug

Research performed at:

Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, University of Maryland, USA.

The authors:

Huijing Xue, Abhirami Thaivalappil, Kan Cao.

Methylene blue (MB), as the first fully man-made medicine, has a wide range of clinical applications. Apart from its well-known applications in surgical staining, malaria, and methemoglobinemia, the anti-oxidative properties of MB recently brought new attention to this century-old drug.

Mitochondrial dysfunction has been observed in systematic aging that affects many different tissues, including the brain and skin. This leads to increaseding oxidative stress and results in downstream phenotypes under age-related conditions. MB can bypass Complex I/III activity in mitochondria and diminish oxidative stress to some degree.

This review summarizes the recent studies on the applications of MB in treating age-related conditions, including neurodegeneration, memory loss, skin aging, and a premature aging disease, progeria.