A major challenge in current research into aging using model organisms is to establish whether different treatments resulting in slowed aging involve common or distinct mechanisms. Such treatments include gene mutation, dietary restriction (DR), and manipulation of reproduction, gonadal signals and temperature. The principal method used to determine whether these treatments act through common mechanisms is to compare the magnitude of the effect on aging of each treatment separately with that when two are applied simultaneously.
It is widely held that caloric restriction (CR) extends lifespan by preventing or reducing the age-related accumulation of irreversible molecular damage. In contrast, our results suggest that CR can act rapidly to begin life and health span extension, and that its rapid genomic effects are closely linked to its health effects. We found that CR begins to extend lifespan and reduce cancer as a cause of death within 8 weeks in older mice, apparently by reducing the rate of tumor growth.
An association between aging/longevity and cancer has long been suggested, yet the evolutionary and molecular links between these complicated traits remain elusive. Here, we analyze the relationship between longevity- and cancer-associated genes/proteins (LAGs/LAPs and CAGs/CAPs, respectively). Specifically, we address the following questions: (1) to what extent the CAGs and LAGs are evolutionary conserved and how they (or their orthologs) are related to each other in diverse species?
Major advances in aging research have been made by studying the effect of genetic modifications on the lifespan of organisms, such as yeast, invertebrates (worms and flies) and mice. Data from yeast and invertebrates have been the most plentiful because of the ease in which genetic manipulations can be made and the rapidity by which lifespan experiments can be performed. With the ultimate focus on advancing human health, testing genetic interventions in mammals is crucial, and the mouse has proven to be the mammal most amenable to this task.
Dry bean consumption has been reported to be associated with reduced risk for a number of chronic diseases including cancer. The extent to which these benefits are associated with primary versus secondary plant metabolites is not known. The work reported herein focuses on low molecular weight secondary metabolites and uses longevity extension of wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes as a surrogate marker for human health benefits.
Understanding the causes of aging is a complex problem due to the multiple factors that influence aging, which include genetics, environment, metabolism and reproduction, among others. These multiple factors create logistical difficulties in the evaluation of anti-aging agents. There is a need for good model systems to evaluate potential anti-aging compounds.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Biogerontology is sometimes viewed as similar to other forms of biomedical research in that it seeks to understand and treat a pathological process. Yet the prospect of treating ageing is extraordinary in terms of the profound changes to the human condition that would result. Recent advances in biogerontology allow a clearer view of the ethical issues and dilemmas that confront humanity with respect to treating ageing.
A recent report of virtually complete protection from diabetes and cancer in a population of people with hereditary dwarfism revived interest in elucidating the relationships between growth, adult body size, age-related disease and longevity. In many species, smaller individuals outlive those that are larger and a similar relationship was shown in studies of various human populations. Adult body size is strongly dependent on the actions of growth hormone (GH) and the absence of GH or GH receptor in mice leads to a remarkable extension of longevity.
BACKGROUND: Studies comparing similar-sized species with disparate longevity may elucidate novel mechanisms that abrogate aging and prolong good health. We focus on the longest living rodent, the naked mole-rat. This mouse-sized mammal lives ~8 times longer than do mice and, despite high levels of oxidative damage evident at a young age, it is not only very resistant to spontaneous neoplasia but also shows minimal decline in age-associated physiological traits.
BACKGROUND: Extracts of Sasa senanensis Rehder are used in traditional Japanese medicine; however, little is known about the underlying mechanisms of their potential health benefits. METHODS: S. senanensis leaves were extracted with subcritical water. An active small-molecule was isolated using reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and identified as 3,4-dihydroxybenzaldehyde (protocatechuic aldehyde or PA). The effects of PA on the activity of histone demethylase, the Drosophila melanogaster lifespan and gene expression in Drosophila S2 cells were investigated.