Breaking News
January 21, 2019 - FDA Advisory Committee Votes on Zynquista (sotagliflozin) as Treatment for Adults with Type 1 Diabetes
January 21, 2019 - The causes and complications of snoring
January 21, 2019 - Placenta adapts and compensates when pregnant mothers have poor diets or low oxygen
January 21, 2019 - New implant could restore the transmission of electrical signals in injured central nervous system
January 21, 2019 - Rapid-acting fentanyl test strips found to be effective at reducing overdose risk
January 21, 2019 - Coronary Artery Calcium May Help Predict CVD in South Asians
January 21, 2019 - The mystery of the super-ager
January 21, 2019 - Scientists develop smart microrobots that can change shape depending on their surroundings
January 21, 2019 - Keep Moving to Keep Brain Sharp in Old Age
January 21, 2019 - Despite progress, gay fathers and their children still structurally stigmatized
January 21, 2019 - Merck recognized with 2018 Life Science Industry Award for best use of social media
January 21, 2019 - Coeur Wallis equips the canton of Valais with 260 SCHILLER defibrillators
January 21, 2019 - Scientists propose quick and pain-free method for diagnosing kidney cancer
January 21, 2019 - Signs of memory loss could point to hearing issues
January 21, 2019 - HeartFlow Analysis shows highest diagnostic performance for detecting coronary artery disease
January 21, 2019 - How Much Caffeine is Too Much?
January 21, 2019 - Take a timeout before you force your child to apologize
January 21, 2019 - Scientists design two AI algorithms to improve early detection of cognitive impairment
January 21, 2019 - Novel therapy for children with chronic hormone deficiency provides lifeline for parents
January 21, 2019 - Bioethicists call for oversight of poorly regulated, consumer-grade neurotechnology products
January 21, 2019 - Study shows hereditary hemochromatosis behind many cancers and joint diseases
January 21, 2019 - Short bouts of stairclimbing throughout the day can improve cardiovascular health
January 20, 2019 - Liver Transplant Survival May Improve With Race Matching
January 20, 2019 - Study implicates hyperactive immune system in aging brain disorders
January 20, 2019 - Cancer Diagnosis May Quadruple Suicide Risk
January 20, 2019 - Parkinson’s disease experts devise a roadmap
January 20, 2019 - Research brings new hope to treating degenerative brain diseases
January 20, 2019 - Scientists pinpoint a set of molecules that wire the body weight center of the brain
January 20, 2019 - Researchers get close to developing elusive blood test for Alzheimer’s disease
January 20, 2019 - UCLA researchers demonstrate new technique to develop cancer-fighting T cells
January 20, 2019 - Researchers discover how cancer cells avoid genetic meltdown
January 20, 2019 - Exercise makes even the ‘still overweight’ healthier: study
January 20, 2019 - University of Utah to establish first-of-its-kind dark sky studies minor in the US
January 20, 2019 - School-based nutritional programs reduce student obesity
January 20, 2019 - Improved maternity care practices in the southern U.S. reduce racial inequities in breastfeeding
January 20, 2019 - New enzyme biomarker test indicates diseases and bacterial contamination
January 20, 2019 - Republican and Democratic governors have different visions to transform health care, say researchers
January 20, 2019 - Researchers discover that spin flips happen in only half a picosecond in the course of a chemical reaction
January 20, 2019 - Suicide Risk Up More Than Fourfold for Cancer Patients
January 20, 2019 - Doctors find 122 nails in Ethiopian’s stomach
January 20, 2019 - UV disinfection technology eliminates up to 97.7% of pathogens in operating rooms
January 20, 2019 - Researchers discover mechanism which drives leukemia cell growth
January 20, 2019 - AHA: Infection as a Baby Led to Heart Valve Surgery for Teen
January 20, 2019 - Injection improves vision in a form of childhood blindness
January 20, 2019 - Multiple sclerosis therapies delay progression of disability
January 20, 2019 - New study finds infrequent helmet use among bike share riders
January 20, 2019 - Clearing up information about corneal dystrophies
January 20, 2019 - Researchers describe new behavior in energy metabolism that refutes existing evidence
January 20, 2019 - New study takes first step toward treating endometriosis
January 20, 2019 - Researchers find how GREB1 gene promotes resistance to prostate cancer treatments
January 20, 2019 - Replacing Sitting Time With Activity Lowers Mortality Risk
January 20, 2019 - A simple, inexpensive intervention makes birth safer for moms and babies in parts of Africa
January 19, 2019 - New anti-inflammatory compound acts as ‘surge protector’ to reduce cancer growth
January 19, 2019 - Significant flaws found in recently released forensic software
January 19, 2019 - New Leash on Life? Staying Slim Keeps Pooches Happy, Healthy
January 19, 2019 - Men and women remember pain differently
January 19, 2019 - Rising air pollution linked with increased ER visits for breathing problems
January 19, 2019 - Study uses local data to model food consumption patterns among Seattle residents
January 19, 2019 - The brain’s cerebellum plays role in controlling reward and social behaviors, study shows
January 19, 2019 - Relationship between nurse work environment and patient safety
January 19, 2019 - Pioneering surgery restores movement to children paralyzed by acute flaccid myelitis
January 19, 2019 - Genetic variants linked with risk tolerance and risky behaviors
January 19, 2019 - New research provides better understanding of our early human ancestors
January 19, 2019 - First-ever tailored reporting guidance to improve patient care and outcomes
January 19, 2019 - 4.6 percent of Massachusetts residents have opioid use disorder
January 19, 2019 - New study suggests vital exhaustion as risk factor for dementia
January 19, 2019 - New antibiotic discovery heralds breakthrough in the fight against drug-resistant bacteria
January 19, 2019 - Ural Federal University scientists synthesize a group of multi-purpose fluorophores
January 19, 2019 - Researchers identify new therapeutic target in the fight against chronic liver diseases
January 19, 2019 - Preparation, characterization of Soyasapogenol B loaded onto functionalized MWCNTs
January 19, 2019 - FDA Approves Ontruzant (trastuzumab-dttb), a Biosimilar to Herceptin
January 19, 2019 - Tobacco use linked with higher use of opioids and sedatives
January 19, 2019 - Study delves deeper into developmental dyslexia
January 19, 2019 - Anti-vaccination movement one of the top health threats in 2019 says WHO
January 19, 2019 - Newly developed risk score more effective at identifying type 1 diabetes
January 19, 2019 - Highly effective protocol to prepare cannabis samples for THC/CBD analysis
January 19, 2019 - Prinston Pharmaceutical Inc. Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Irbesartan and Irbesartan HCTZ Tablets Due to Detection of a Trace Amount of Unexpected Impurity, N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) in the Products
January 19, 2019 - How does solid stress from brain tumors cause neuronal loss, neurologic dysfunction?
January 19, 2019 - $14.7 million partnership to supercharge vaccine development
January 19, 2019 - Ian Fotheringham receives Charles Tennant Memorial Lecture award
Researchers discover drug cocktail that increases lifespan

Researchers discover drug cocktail that increases lifespan

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
A microscope image of the Caenorhabditis elegans worms used in the study. Credit: Dr Jan Gruber.

A team of researchers led by Principal Investigator Dr. Jan Gruber from Yale-NUS College has discovered a combination of pharmaceutical drugs that not only increases healthy lifespan in the microscopic worm Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), but also delays the rate of ageing in them, a finding that could someday mean longer, healthier lives for humans.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed international journal Developmental Cell on 8 October 2018, lays crucial groundwork for further research into designing drug combinations that produce the same effect in mammals.

“Many countries in the world, including Singapore, are facing problems related to ageing populations,” said Dr. Gruber, whose lab and research team made the discovery. “If we can find a way to extend healthy lifespan and delay ageing in people, we can counteract the detrimental effects of an ageing population, providing countries not only medical and economic benefits, but also a better quality of life for their people.”

Dr. Gruber is an Assistant Professor of Science (Biochemistry) at Yale-NUS College and Assistant Professor at the Department of Biochemistry of the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore (NUS). The study was carried out by Dr. Gruber’s research team in collaboration with researchers from the Singapore Lipidomics Incubator (SLING) at the Life Sciences Institute of NUS.

Dr. Gruber’s team wanted to find out to what extent healthy lifespan could be extended by combining drugs targeting several pathways (underlying biological mechanisms) known to affect lifespan. For instance, the drug rapamycin is currently administered following organ transplants to prevent the body’s immune system from rejecting the transplanted organs, but previous experiments by other research groups showed that it extends the lifespan of many organisms, including the C. elegans worms, fruit flies and mice.

Dr. Gruber’s team administered combinations of two or three compounds targeting different ageing pathways to C. elegans. Results showed that two drug pairs in particular extended the mean lifespan of the worms more than each of the drugs individually, and in combination with a third compound almost doubled mean lifespans. This effect is larger than any lifespan extension that has previously been reported for any drug intervention in adult animals.

The drug treatments had no adverse effect on the worm’s health. The researchers also discovered that across all ages, the treated worms were healthier and spend a larger percentage of their already extended lifespans in good health.

This is an important point for potential future human ageing interventions as increased health span, not just increased lifespan, would have significant medical and economic benefits. “We would benefit not only from having longer lives, but also spend more of those years free from age-related diseases like arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, or Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr. Gruber said. “These diseases currently require very expensive treatments, so the economic benefits of being healthier for longer would be enormous.” He cited a 2017 study that determined that if US citizens’ ageing rate was decreased by 20 percent, the US government would save US$7.1 trillion in public health costs over the next 50 years.

Dr. Gruber’s lab also collaborated with Yale-NUS Associate Professor of Science (Life Science) Nicholas Tolwinski, who is also an Assistant Professor with the Department of Biological Sciences at the NUS Faculty of Science, and found that a species of fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) treated with a similar drug cocktail also experienced significant lifespan extension. That two such evolutionarily-distinct organisms experience similar lifespan extensions suggests that the biological mechanisms that regulate these drug interactions on ageing are ancient, making it more likely that similar interactions between ageing pathways could be targeted in humans.

According to Dr. Gruber, this study is a proof-of-principle, showing that pharmacological intervention targeting multiple ageing pathways is a promising strategy to slow ageing and dramatically extend healthy lifespan in adult animals.

The next steps for this research will focus on three large areas. The first will be to extend this approach with the aim of designing interventions even more effective than the ones developed in this study. The second area will involve determining the molecular and biological mechanisms of how the drugs interact to delay ageing and increase lifespan in order to develop computer models to simulate these interactions, allowing researchers to test thousands more combinations through computer modelling. The ultimate goal of this line of research would be to develop drug interventions safe enough slow ageing in humans, a goal that is also pursued by many other research teams around the world.


Explore further:
How does dietary restriction extend lifespan in flies?

More information:
Tesfahun Dessale Admasu et al, Drug Synergy Slows Aging and Improves Healthspan through IGF and SREBP Lipid Signaling, Developmental Cell (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2018.09.001

Journal reference:
Developmental Cell

Provided by:
Yale-NUS College

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles