Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drug Therapy Significantly Extends Lifespan Of Worms

Date:
September 1, 2000
Source:
Emory University Health Sciences Center
Summary:
Using drugs that help eliminate oxygen radicals -- the toxic byproducts of metabolism -- scientists have extended the normal lifespan of the nematode worm C. elegans by approximately 50 percent.

Using drugs that help eliminate oxygen radicals -- the toxic byproducts of metabolism -- scientists have extended the normal lifespan of the nematode worm C. elegans by approximately 50 percent. In addition, the scientists restored a normal lifespan to mutant worms that had a mitochondrial defect causing increased oxygen radical production and rapid aging. The findings were reported in the September 1, 2000 issue of Science.

The collaborative research was conducted by Simon Melov, Ph.D., of the Buck Center for Research in Aging and formerly of the Center for Molecular Medicine at Emory University; Gordon Lithgow, Ph.D., University of Manchester, UK; Douglas Wallace, Ph.D., director of the Center for Molecular Medicine at Emory University; and Susan Doctrow, Ph.D. and Bernard Malfroy, Ph.D. of Eukarion, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company.

The drugs used in the experiments are synthetic forms of superoxide dismutase and catalase -- enzymes that naturally help control oxidative stress. Although they have an anti-oxidant effect, the compounds are much more powerful than simple anti-oxidants such as vitamin E, which eliminate individual oxygen radical molecules one-on-one and quickly lose their effectiveness. The new synthetic compounds are catalytic drugs that convert oxygen radicals to water, then reconstitute themselves in a cogwheel-like process that continues to destroy additional oxygen radicals as long as the drugs remain in the body.

Since the early 1970s, Dr. Wallace and his colleagues in Emory's Center for Molecular Medicine have been studying mitochondria -- the tiny power plants located in the cytoplasm of cells. Dr. Wallace believes that by demonstrating the effectiveness of these drugs in slowing the aging process, this work supports his long-held hypothesis that oxygen radicals generated in the mitochondria during metabolism are a major cause of degenerative diseases and aging.

As byproducts of energy generation, says Dr. Wallace, oxygen radicals generated inside the mitochondria inhibit mitochondrial function and gradually destroy the mitochondrial DNA, which are the blueprints necessary to keep these power plants of the body functioning.

"If you have a power plant that burns coal, you will get energy but also toxic smoke. You can decrease the toxicity of the smoke by putting a scrubber into the smokestack. In this case, we are putting in a catalytic drug which acts like a scrubber to eliminate the oxygen radicals," he explains. "We believe this protects the mitochondria and the cell from being damaged by the mitochondrial toxic byproducts and allows them to function efficiently for much longer."

Advancing age is a common component of many diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. By affecting the aging process overall, scientists hope they will be able to defer the onset of many age-related disorders.

Dr. Wallace believes this research opens the door to a wide range of additional drugs that could be developed with similar or even better effects, which will be a major goal of Emory's Center for Molecular Medicine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Emory University Health Sciences Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Emory University Health Sciences Center. "Drug Therapy Significantly Extends Lifespan Of Worms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 September 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000901080141.htm>.
Emory University Health Sciences Center. (2000, September 1). Drug Therapy Significantly Extends Lifespan Of Worms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000901080141.htm
Emory University Health Sciences Center. "Drug Therapy Significantly Extends Lifespan Of Worms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000901080141.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) — Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins