Navigation Links
Scientists discover enzyme that could slow part of the aging process in astronauts -- and the elderly
Date:4/30/2012

New research published online in the FASEB Journal suggests that a specific enzyme, called 5-lipoxygenase, plays a key role in cell death induced by microgravity environments, and that inhibiting this enzyme will likely help prevent or lessen the severity of immune problems in astronauts caused by spaceflight. Additionally, since space conditions initiate health problems that mimic the aging process on Earth, this discovery may also lead to therapeutics that extend lives by bolstering the immune systems of the elderly.

"The outcomes of this space research might be helpful to improve health in the elderly on Earth," said Mauro Maccarrone, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Teramo in Teramo, Italy. "In fact, space conditions [cause problems that] resemble the physiological process of aging and drugs able to reduce microgravity-induced immunodepression might be effective therapeutics against loss of immune performance in aging people. 5-lipoxygenase inhibitors, already used to curb human inflammatory diseases, may be such a group of compounds."

Maccarone and colleagues made this discovery by conducting experiments involving two groups of human lymphocytes that were isolated from the blood of two healthy donors. The first group of lymphocytes was exposed to microgravity onboard the International Space Station (ISS). The second group was put in a centrifuge onboard the ISS, to have the same "Space environment" as the other group, but a normal Earth-like force of gravity. When programmed cell death (apoptosis) was measured in both groups, the lymphocytes exposed to microgravity showed an increase above what is considered "normal." The group exposed to the simulated Earth gravity showed no unusual differences. Specifically, the researchers believe that this difference is caused by different levels of the 5-lipoxygenase enzyme.

"It's no surprise that bodies need Earth's gravity to function properly," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal, "because we evolved to survive on this planet. As humanity moves into space and potentially to other planets or asteroids, it's clear that we need know how not only to secure habitable conditions, but also how to secure our health. Fortunately, as we learn how to cope with low gravity environments, we also unlock secrets to longevity back home on Earth."


'/>"/>

Contact: Cody Mooneyhan
cmooneyhan@faseb.org
301-634-7104
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scientists uncover exciting lead into premature aging and heart disease
2. March of Dimes awards $250,000 prize to 2 scientists who pioneered advances in skin disorders
3. Scientists provide first large-scale estimate of reef shark losses in the Pacific Ocean
4. Stanford and MIT scientists win Perl-UNC Neuroscience prize
5. Queens is UK leader for female scientists and engineers
6. Scientists uncover strong support for once-marginalized theory on Parkinsons disease
7. Scientists develop new technique that could improve heart attack prediction
8. Scientists advance field of research with publication of newly validated method for analyzing flavanols in cocoa
9. Scripps research scientists find anticonvulsant drug helps marijuana smokers kick the habit
10. Scientists have discovered genes that increase the risk of osteoporosis and fractures
11. Marine scientists urge government to reassess oil spill response
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/11/2017)... , Jan. 11, 2017 Intoxalock, a leading ... the release of its patent-pending calibration device. With this ... perform calibrations, securely upload data logs and process repairs ... customer. "Fighting drunk driving through the application ... public at large, but also for the customer who ...
(Date:1/6/2017)... Jan. 6, 2017  Privately-held CalciMedica, Inc., announced ... healthy volunteers of a novel calcium release-activated calcium ... pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis, sudden painful ... disorder, but can be very serious.  In severe cases ... where extended hospital stays, time in the ICU ...
(Date:1/6/2017)... 5, 2017  Delta ID Inc., a leader in ... for automotive at CES® 2017. Delta ID has collaborated ... demonstrate the use of iris scanning as a secure, ... driver in a car, and as a way to ... Delta ID and Gentex will demonstrate (booth ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... Calif. , Jan. 19, 2017  ArmaGen, ... Mathias Schmidt , Ph.D., as chief executive officer, ... of directors. Dr. Schmidt brings to ArmaGen more than ... the research and development of biotherapeutics and pharmaceuticals. ... executive with the diverse experience and skillset necessary ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... The ... (NIH) to update its Data Sharing Policy. Specifically, the nation’s leading informatics experts, ... subject to the existing policy. AMIA recommended that NIH earmark funding for researchers ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... , ... FireflySci Inc. is a go-getter type of company that continues to ... two main factors. The first is the amazing customer service that the FireflySci ... all around the world. , 2016 was a tremendous sales year for FFS and ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... NEW YORK , Jan. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... expected to reach USD 92.9 billion by 2025, ... Research, Inc. Pharmaceutical industry has been adaptive of ... functions as early as 2002. Among the services ... the forerunners. For instance, Johnson & Johnson was ...
Breaking Biology Technology: