They are using this knowledge to establish a novel screening technique to find drugs which mimic this longevity effect. “Right now, there are no authentic “anti-ageing drugs?capable of extending the lifespan of healthy people. The technique we have developed allows us to screen a relatively large number of drugs in months rather than years. The hope is that these drugs will be able to extend the lifespan of healthy animals, and possibly, after further testing, healthy humans? says Professor Spindler who will present his results at the Society for Experimental Biology’s Main Meeting in Glasgow on Monday 2nd April.
Previous research has show that mice can live up to 40% longer if they simply consume fewer calories, but a highly nutritious diet. Because people are not very good at dieting, Dr. Spindler and his colleagues would like to identify drugs which can produce the same beneficial health and longevity effects without the low calorie diet. The problem is to find a way to rapidly identify these drugs. Professor Spindler and his colleagues are examining the gene expression patterns which are induced by low calorie diets, and looking for drugs which mimic these changes. They are searching for drugs which will have these beneficial effects and slow ageing, even when they are given late in life. One drug, normally used to treat diabetic patients, seems to produce many of the beneficial effects of a low calorie diet. However, it is important to be sure that healthy people will benefit from the drug. A very low level of toxicity could interfere with the beneficial effects of such a drug
Source:Society for Experimental Biology