Navigation Links
'Easter Island' Drug Adds Years to Mice
Date:7/8/2009

Prospects for extending human life remain unclear, researchers say,,

WEDNESDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- Though researchers aren't ready to recommend that people start popping pills to live longer, they hope a drug used to prevent rejection of transplanted organs may turn out to extend lives, too.

Middle-age mice that were given the drug rapamycin (Sirolimus) lived as much as 38 percent longer than mice that didn't get the drug.

The findings, disclosed in a study released online Wednesday in the journal Nature, provides "a foundation for future research on retarding aging," said the study's lead author, David Harrison, a professor at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine.

The mice appeared to do well while taking the drug, but it is unclear if rapamycin would have a similar effect in humans. Also, the drug suppresses the immune system in people, leaving them open to the risk of infection.

"We don't know that the benefits in people at this point will be greater than the deleterious consequences," Harrison said.

Still, the findings appear to represent a step forward in efforts to develop a "longevity pill" that would allow people to live longer.

"It's a really big deal," said pathologist Matt Kaeberlein, who wrote a commentary accompanying the study. "This is the first demonstration of a compound that, when administered late in life, can increase life span in a mammal."

Previously, researchers have shown that greatly limiting food intake in rodents helps them live longer, but that's not a feasible option for many humans who like to eat.

Rapamycin is a compound discovered in the soil on Easter Island, a South Pacific island known for three giant monoliths that have survived for centuries. The name rapamycin is derived from the island's Polynesian name, Rapa Nui.

Today, rapamycin is used to prevent rejection of transplanted organs and to treat some kinds of cancer, said Kaeberlein, an assistant professor of pathology at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The study authors administered the drug to mice at the age of 600 days -- the equivalent of 60 years in humans -- and found that it boosted their life span by 28 to 38 percent.

The drug appears to work by preventing immune cells from reproducing, Kaeberlein said. This helps organ-transplant patients by preventing the immune system from thinking the body is being attacked by something foreign.

The researchers also noted an anti-cancer effect, saying cancer cells seem especially vulnerable to the drug. It "could be retarding a whole bunch of cancers," Harrison said.

Still, it would be premature to tout the compound as a cure-all for aging. Kaeberlein said the findings are "very exciting, but there's a lot that needs to be done so we know what the implications are for human aging."

Exactly how the drug extends life span in mice remains unclear. One possibility, Kaeberlein said, is that it delays the progress of diseases associated with age.

What it might cost if it were taken by humans for longevity is also unknown because researchers don't know what dose might work best.

More information

The Stanford Center on Longevity has more on the myths and challenges of aging.



SOURCES: David Harrison, Ph.D., professor, Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine; Matt Kaeberlein, Ph.D., assistant professor, pathology, University of Washington, Seattle; July 8, 2009, Nature


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Portola Pharmaceuticals to Host Conference Call at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time Tomorrow to Discuss Betrixaban Partnership and Provide Corporate Update
2. Easter Seals Applauds Agreement to Cut Costs of Prescription Medications
3. Moores UCSD Cancer Center Luau and Longboard Invitational Announce Dr. David Easter to Receive the 2009 Rell Sunn Queen of Makaha Award
4. American Investors Highlight Successes in Eastern Germany
5. Air Methods Expands Community-Based Operations Into Eastern Oklahoma
6. Over 300 Pennsylvania Nursing Homes in Eastern Pennsylvania Begin Reporting Healthcare-Associated Infections
7. Safeway Earns Easter Seals All-Time Top Corporate Partner Designation
8. Safeway Earns Easter Seals' All-Time Top Corporate Partner Designation
9. SCOLR Pharma, Inc. Schedules First Quarter 2009 Financial Results Conference Call for May 1, 2009 at 11:30 A.M. Eastern
10. Americas Egg Farmers to Participate in Annual White House Easter Egg Roll Today
11. Safeway Slated to Top $100 Million Contribution Mark to Easter Seals and Families Living with Autism and Other Disabilities with Launch of Fundraising Campaign
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
'Easter Island' Drug Adds Years to Mice 
(Date:4/29/2017)... ... April 29, 2017 , ... More than half of Americans suffering from ... in their leisure time that causes hearing loss? May 1 marks the beginning of ... to hearing loss, as well as schedule a hearing evaluation for anyone with concerns ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Accreditation Commission for Health Care ... of America (HCAOA). This agreement allows HCAOA members to receive special pricing on ... on Accreditation University (AU) educational resources that help prepare HCAOA members for ACHC ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey ... “A” and its outlook as “stable.” At the same time, the ratings agency cautioned ... recent years, dip below “capital adequacy” thresholds required for its strong rating. , “Horizon ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... ... tubes . These lamps offer an instant energy-saving solution for F32T8 fluorescent lamps ... fixtures or disconnect ballasts. These 50,000 hour rated lamps utilize the existing electronic ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2017 , ... The ... plaque in recently to the labor and delivery team at Women’s Hospital at Renaissance ... mothers who give birth at the hospital and decide to donate. , “Women’s ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/18/2017)... April 18, 2017 Viverae ® , a ... the integration of IBM ® Watson Campaign Automation, ... targeted communications for a personalized experience. Through digital engagement, ... their health in real time. The enhanced experience drives ... to members, wherever they are in their journey to ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... , April 18, 2017  Astute Medical, Inc., ... case series to be presented at the 2017 National ... begins today and continues through April 22. Physicians will ... , used to assess risk for acute kidney injury ... heart failure (ADHF). Elevated levels of ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... 2017  Socionext Inc. and SOINN Inc. today ... in which Socionext extracts and delivers biometrics data ... initial results in reading ultrasound images from Socionext,s ... The results will be introduced at Medtec Japan, ... booths 4505 & 4507. In this ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: