Scientists at the MDI Biological Laboratory, in partnership with scientists from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, Calif., and Nanjing University in China, have recognized synergistic mobile pathways for longevity that amplify lifespan fivefold in C. elegans, a nematode worm used as a model in growing old research.
The increase in lifespan can be the equivalent of a person living for 400 or 500 years, in line with one of the scientists.
The analysis attracts on the discovery of two significant pathways governing aging in C. elegans, which is a popular model in getting older research because it shares many of its genes with humans and since its short lifespan of only three to four weeks permits scientists to quickly assess the effects of genetic and environmental interventions to increase healthy lifespan.
Because these pathways are “conserved,” meaning that they’ve been passed right down to people through evolution, they’ve been the subject of intensive analysis.
Various drugs that reach a healthy lifespan by altering these pathways are now under development.
The discovery of the synergistic effect opens the door to much more effective anti-aging therapies.
The new research makes use of a double mutant in which the insulin signaling (IIS) and TOR pathways have been genetically modified.
Because alteration of the IIS pathways yields a 100% increase in lifespan and alteration of the TOR pathway yields a 30% increase, the double mutant would be anticipated to live 130% longer. However, as a substitute, its lifespan was amplified by 500%.