Source of Youth explored? Prolonged life expectancy by injecting this protein



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How an infusion can increase life expectancy

Can a protein carried by the blood be used in the future to increase our life expectancy? Researchers have now found that injecting a protein from the blood of younger mice appears to be a kind of source of youth for older mice. The infusion meant that the life expectancy of the animals increased by almost 20%.

A recent study by the University of Washington School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, found that a protein in the blood of younger mice injected into older mice improves the life expectancy of older animals. The results of the study were published in the English journal "Cell Metabolism".

Can an infusion of a certain protein contribute to a longer life or a longer youth in the future? (Image: master1305 / fotolia.com)

What is eNAMPT?

A protein called eNAMPT, which is found in the blood of younger mice, can keep older rodents healthy and longer. Older mice injected with protein improved cognitive function and sleep quality, and the animals had a life time of almost 20% longer. In humans, this corresponds to a massive extension of life expectancy from 79 to 91 years, report the authors of the study. The results suggest that this method may be the secret to the prevention of age-related diseases and an anti-aging method for humans. The eNAMPT protein usually plays a role in energy production. However, as the body ages, the cells lose efficiency in producing this energy, called NAD, the researchers explain. As it is known that NAD inevitably decreases with age, many researchers are interested in finding antiaging measures that can maintain NAD levels in old age.

ENAMPT clearly increases life expectancy

In the present study, one group of older mice received concentrated eNAMPT from younger mice and another group received saline. All mice in the saline receptor group died in about 2.4 years, whereas animals receiving eNAMPT lived about 2.8 years. This means that the life of the rats in the protein group was about 16% higher than in the control group animals. Older rats with higher concentrations of this blood component also had better sleep quality, improved cognitive function in memory tests and ran more on wheels in their cages, the authors report. It is noteworthy that eNAMPT can be withdrawn from the blood of young mice and given to older mice, resulting in a significant improvement in the health of older mice, including increased physical activity and better sleep, the researchers add.

What is the role of the hypothalamus?

The reason we age faster when the protein is degraded is probably related to the hypothalamus, the authors speculate. The hypothalamus is the region of the brain known to be important for social behavior and the production of hormones. It is regulated largely by the protein under study. It has recently been discovered that stem cells in the hypothalamus control the aging process of the body. As the key protein level studied decreases during aging, the hypothalamus no longer works, which is why life expectancy is shortened, researchers suspect. For future research, the team wants to investigate whether low levels of the eNAMPT protein are associated with illness in the elderly and whether it can be used as an antiaging intervention. (THE)

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