Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

More evidence for longevity pathway

Date:
May 1, 2012
Source:
Harvard Medical School
Summary:
New research reinforces the claim that resveratrol -- a compound found in plants and food groups, notably red wine -- prolongs lifespan and health-span by interacting with key genes in mitochondria, the cell's energy supplier.

New research reinforces the claim that resveratrol -- a compound found in plants and food groups, notably red wine -- prolongs lifespan and health-span by boosting the activity of mitochondria, the cell's energy supplier.

Related Articles


"The results were surprisingly clear," said David Sinclair, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and the study's senior author. "Without the mitochondria-boosting gene SIRT1, resveratrol does not work."

The findings are to be published May 1 in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Over the last decade, Sinclair and colleagues including Leonard Guarente at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have published a body of research describing how resveratrol improves energy production and overall health in cells by activating a class of genes called sirtuins that are integral to mitochondrial function. The cell's power supplier, mitochondria are essential not just for longevity but for overall health.

Sinclair and colleagues had studied sirtuins in a variety of model organisms: yeast, worms, flies and mice. For the first three organisms they were able to thoroughly knock out SIRT1 and show that cells lacking the gene don't respond to resveratrol. But no one had been able to demonstrate the effect in mice, which die at birth without the SIRT1 gene.

In order to solve this obstacle, Nathan Price and Ana Gomes, graduate students in the Sinclair lab, spent three years engineering a new mouse model. These mice, seemingly normal in every way, were designed so that SIRT1 would systemically switch off when the mice were given the drug Tamoxifen.

"This is a drug inducible, whole body deletion of a gene," said Sinclair. "This is something that's rarely been done so efficiently. Moving forward, this mouse model will be valuable to many different labs for other areas of research."

The results were plain: when mice were given low doses of resveratrol after SIRT1 was disabled, the researchers found no discernable improvement in mitochondrial function. In contrast, the mice with normal SIRT1 function given resveratrol showed dramatic increases in energy.

While the tantalizing prospect of increasing healthy lifespan has made resveratrol the subject of intense scientific interest, some researchers have questioned the link to SIRT1. A competing theory holds that resveratrol may work by activating a separate energy pathway called AMPK, which, while also related to mitochondria, does not involve sirtuin genes.

In their new paper, Sinclair and colleagues report that when mice lacking SIRT1 were given low doses of resveratrol, AMPK was unaffected. When doses were significantly increased in these mice, AMPK was activated, but still no benefit to mitochondrial function resulted.

"Resveratrol is a dirty molecule, so when you give very, very high doses, many things could be happening," said Sinclair. "It's standard when you study molecules that you use the lowest dose that gives you an effect because of the risk of hitting other things if you use too much. But for the downstream benefits on energy, you still need SIRT1. Our paper shows that SIRT1 is front and center for any dose of resveratrol."

This research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Harvard Medical School. The original article was written by David Cameron. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. NathanL. Price, AnaP. Gomes, AlvinJ.Y. Ling, FilipeV. Duarte, Alejandro Martin-Montalvo, BrianJ. North, Beamon Agarwal, Lan Ye, Giorgio Ramadori, JoaoS. Teodoro, BasilP. Hubbard, AnaT. Varela, JamesG. Davis, Behzad Varamini, Angela Hafner, Ruin Moaddel, AnabelaP. Rolo, Roberto Coppari, CarlosM. Palmeira, Rafael deCabo, JosephA. Baur, DavidA. Sinclair. SIRT1 Is Required for AMPK Activation and the Beneficial Effects of Resveratrol on Mitochondrial Function. Cell Metabolism, 2012; 15 (5): 675 DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2012.04.003

Cite This Page:

Harvard Medical School. "More evidence for longevity pathway." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120501134207.htm>.
Harvard Medical School. (2012, May 1). More evidence for longevity pathway. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120501134207.htm
Harvard Medical School. "More evidence for longevity pathway." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120501134207.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

More Coverage


Resveratrol: Study Resolves Controversy on Life-Extending Red Wine Ingredient, Restores Hope for Anti-Aging Pill

May 1, 2012 A new study appears to offer vindication for an approach to anti-aging drugs that has been at the center of heated scientific debate in recent years. The new findings show for the first time that the ... read more

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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