NIH intramural study also shows that individual organs are affected differently
By lowering the expression of a single gene, researchers at the National Institutes of Health have extended the average lifespan of a group of mice by about 20 percent — the equivalent of raising the average human lifespan by 16 years, from 79 to 95. The research team targeted a gene called mTOR, which is involved in metabolism and energy balance, and may be connected with the increased lifespan associated with caloric restriction.
A detailed study of these mice revealed that gene-influenced lifespan extension did not affect every tissue and organ the same way. For example, the mice retained better memory and balance as they aged, but their bones deteriorated more quickly than normal.
This study appears in the Aug. 29 edition of Cell Reports.
“While the high extension in lifespan is noteworthy, this study reinforces an important facet of aging; it is not uniform,” said lead researcher Toren Finkel, M.D., Ph.D., at NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). “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.”
Finkel, who heads the NHLBI’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology in the Division of Intramural Research, noted that these results may help guide therapies for aging-related diseases that target specific organs, like Alzheimer’s. However, further studies in these mice as well as human cells are needed to identify exactly how aging in these different tissues is connected at the molecular level.
The researchers engineered mice that produce about 25 percent of the normal amount of the mTOR protein, or about the minimum needed for survival. The engineered mTOR mice were a bit smaller than average, but they otherwise appeared normal.
The median lifespan for the mTOR mice was 28.0 months for males and 31.5 months for females, compared to 22.9 months and 26.5 months for normal males and females, respectively. The mTOR mice also had a longer maximal lifespan; seven of the eight longest-lived mice in this study were mTOR mice. This lifespan increase is one of the largest observed in mice so far.
While the genetically modified mTOR mice aged better overall, they showed only selective improvement in specific organs. They generally outperformed normal mice of equivalent age in maze and balance tests, indicating better retention of memory and coordination. Older mTOR mice also retained more muscle strength and posture. However, mTOR mice had a greater loss in bone volume as they aged, and they were more susceptible to infections at old age, suggesting a loss of immune function.
The Latest on: Single gene change
- Stanford to investigate faculty members’ ties with Chinese scientist amid gene-editing controversy on February 7, 2019 at 4:54 pm
their work focuses on diseases caused by a single defective gene and consists of altering only somatic cells that are not involved in reproduction. He’s work is a foray into human germline engineering ... […]
- Trial dents confidence in Sangamo’s gene-editing tech on February 7, 2019 at 3:47 pm
Sangamo said that interim results from the phase 1/2 CHAMPIONS study showed that a single injection ... evidence that the gene-editing was working, but that was outweighed by the finding that there wa... […]
- How one gene in a tiny fish may alter an aquatic ecosystem on February 7, 2019 at 6:41 am
Variations in a single gene in a tiny fish alter how they interact with their environment. The study represents a strategy for uncovering, and perhaps even predicting, the ecological implications of e... […]
- Fish Chemical Cocktail Reveals How A Single Gene May Alter An Aquatic Ecosystem on February 7, 2019 at 5:45 am
Variations in a single gene in tiny stickleback fish alter how they interact with their environment and potentially trigger changes across an ecosystem, a new study from the University of British Colu... […]
- Controversial “Gene Drives” Just Worked in Mammals for the First Time on February 6, 2019 at 7:00 am
That’s about to change. In a paper published last week in Nature ... The team is now working to springboard their single-gene modification to simultaneously changing multiple traits. “Now we want to s... […]
- Dallas' Voices of Change serves up a particularly appealing modern music concert on February 5, 2019 at 7:28 am
I can't think when I've enjoyed a concert so unrelievedly as Monday night's Voices of Change ... composer's Gene Koshinski's 2-year-old Swerve. Never could you imagine the range of timbres and even pi... […]
- The Gene That Turns Bees Mean on February 5, 2019 at 5:11 am
Looking closer at the gene, the researchers determined that it codes for ... when their queens are blown off course and lost during mating flights. That single genetic change and the hormonal storm it ... […]
- Warmer water and chemical exposure influence gene expression in North American fish on January 31, 2019 at 10:41 pm
In the PeerJ study, exposure to the insecticide bifenthrin didn't cause adverse effects and changes in gene expression in the fish until ... chemicals may not be fully realized by short-term or single ... […]
- The massive NHS plan to record every single person’s DNA on January 30, 2019 at 11:53 pm
Although rare single-gene effects are devastating for those people affected ... because inherited DNA differences do not change from the moment of conception. Although these first polygenic scores exp... […]
- Book Review: Change Your Genes, Change Your Life on January 30, 2019 at 1:31 pm
Pelletier writes, “Today we know that surrounding every gene ... beliefs can change the way the epigenome functions. And stress — biological or psychological — affects every single one ... […]
via Google News and Bing News