OCT 30, 2018 12:47 PM PDT

Combination of Drugs Extends Lifespan of C. elegans

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

In a study published in the journal Developmental Cell, a cocktail of pharmaceutical drugs were recently found to extend the life of the microscopic worm, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). The research was performed by a team of investigators and led by Dr. Jan Gruber at Yale-NUS College. The results of the study also found that the drug combination decreased the rate of ageing in these worms prompting its potential use a “life-extending drug” and opening the doors for further research on to drug design and aging.

Image Credit: Queensland Brain Institute

"Many countries in the world, including Singapore, are facing problems related to ageing populations," explains Dr. Gruber, an Assistant Professor of Science (Biochemistry) at Yale-NUS College and Assistant Professor at the Department of Biochemistry of the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore (NUS). "If we can find a way to extend healthy lifespan and delay ageing in people, we can counteract the detrimental effects of an ageing population, providing countries not only medical and economic benefits, but also a better quality of life for their people."

The research team, in collaboration with Singapore Lipidomics Incubator (SLING) at the Life Sciences Institute of NUS, were seeking to understand at what extent can a healthy lifespan be extended by combining drugs targeting several pathways that are known to be implicated in lifespan determination. They administered combinations of two or three compounds that would target different ageing pathways to C. elegans. The results appeared to show that two specific drug pairs extended the mean lifespan of the worms more than drugs that were used individually.

When these two drugs were placed with a third compound, the lifespan almost doubled. The study published the first ever large lifespan extension than any other previously reported drug intervention for an adult animal. The treatments held no adverse effect on the worm's health.

The worms were able to lead healthy extended lifespans in good health.

Watch this brief introduction about about C. elegans:

The study served crucial for potential human ageing interventions. "We would benefit not only from having longer lives, but also spend more of those years free from age-related diseases like arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, or Alzheimer's disease," Dr Gruber said. "These diseases currently require very expensive treatments, so the economic benefits of being healthier for longer would be enormous."

Source: Developmental Cell, ScienceDaily

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
MAY 06, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
MAY 06, 2020
Why Doctors are Repurposing Drugs to Treat COVID-19
Creating a drug from scratch is a lengthy process. Often taking years, given the rate of infection and deadliness of COV ...
MAY 16, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
MAY 16, 2020
Body's Own Cannabis Helps Us Forget Traumatic Events
Researchers have found that anandamide, often referred to as the body’s own cannabis, may help us forget traumatic ...
MAY 17, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
MAY 17, 2020
Potential Treatment for Brain and Spinal Cord Injury is IDed
Treatment options are limited for people that have suffered swelling-inducing injuries to their brain and spinal cord. N ...
MAY 23, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
MAY 23, 2020
Improving the understanding of GPCRs functioning
New research reported in Current Opinion in Structural Biology combines structural and spectroscopic approaches to garne ...
JUN 11, 2020
Cancer
JUN 11, 2020
Fighting Cancer Stem Cells with Combination Therapy
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most fatal cancers in the United States and is rapidly advancing up the ranks. The best ...
JUN 03, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
JUN 03, 2020
Metformin Understood
Metformin is a popular diabetic drug that’s been in use for 60+ years. Researchers have long been baffled on the m ...
Loading Comments...