Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



Gene Tweak Boosts Lifespan by 20 Percent in Mice

Gene Tweak Boosts Lifespan by 20 Percent in Mice

08/29/13

THURSDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- By suppressing a gene involved in metabolism and energy balance, researchers extended the average lifespan of a group of mice by about 20 percent -- thought to be one of the longest lifespan increases ever observed in mice.

This is the equivalent of extending the average human lifespan by 16 years, from 79 to 95 years old, the U.S. National Institutes of Health researchers said.

Although the study also revealed that this gene, known as mTOR, does not affect every tissue and organ the same way, the researchers said their findings could help scientists develop new therapies for aging-related diseases -- such as Alzheimer's -- that target specific organs.

Scientists note, however, that research conducted in animals often fails to provide similar results in humans.

"While the high extension in lifespan is noteworthy, this study reinforces an important facet of aging: It is not uniform," lead researcher Dr. Toren Finkel, of the NIH's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, said in an institute news release. "Rather, similar to circadian rhythms, an animal might have several organ-specific aging clocks that generally work together to govern the aging of the whole organism."

In conducting the study, the researchers engineered mice that produce only the minimum amount of mTOR needed for survival. With about 25 percent of the normal amount of this protein, the engineered mice were smaller than average but otherwise normal.

The study, published Aug. 29 in the journal Cell Reports, found that the average lifespan was 28 months for engineered male mice and 31.5 months for female mice. In contrast, the normal male mice had an average lifespan of 22.9 months, and the normal female mice had an average lifespan of 26.5 months.

Seven of the eight mice that lived the longest lives were engineered mice, the researchers found. Although the engineered mice aged better overall, the researchers pointed out that improvement was seen only in specific organs.

For example, the engineered mice retained better memory and coordination as they aged, but their bones deteriorated more quickly than normal. In addition to more bone loss, the engineered mice also were more vulnerable to infection. The researchers said this could signal a compromised immune system.

They added that more research is needed to determine how aging in different tissues is linked on the molecular level.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about longevity.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse Employee Lois Wille Walks the Simply Well Lifestyle Talk
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

CrouseSports Express After-Hours Ortho Care

Immediate care of orthopedic injuries in kids and adults.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >