Nav: Home

Russian scientists slowed down aging

February 17, 2017

A group of Russian and Swedish scientists just published a breakthrough paper, reporting results of a joint study by Lomonosov Moscow State University and Stockholm university. The article was published in the US journal Aging.

The major goal of the study was to investigate the role of intracellular powerstations -- mitochondria -- in the process of ageing of organism. Importantly, scientists made an attempt to slow down ageing using a novel compound: artificial antioxidant SkQ1 precisely targeted into mitochondria. This compound was developed in the Moscow State University by the most cited Russian biologist professor Vladimir Skulachev.

Experiments involved a special strain of genetically-modified mice created and characterized in Sweden. A single mutation was introduced into genome of these mice resulting in the substantially accelerated mutagenesis in mitochondria. This leads to accelerated ageing and early death of the mutant mice. They live less than 1 year (normal mouse lives more than 2 years). The mutation promotes development of many age-related defects and diseases indicating that the major defect of these mice is indeed ageing.

Starting from the age of 100 days one group of mutant mice was treated with small doses of SkQ1 (approx. 12 micrograms) added into their drinking water. Per scientists' hypothesis, the compound must protect animal cells from the toxic byproducts of mitochondria -- free radicals (reactive oxygen species). Another group of animals served as a control group receiving pure water.

Differences between the two groups became obvious starting from the age 200-250 days. Animals in the control group aged rapidly as expected. They were losing weight, their body temperature decreased, severe curvature of the spine (as a result of osteoporosis) and alopecia were developing, their skin became thinner, and in case of females estrus cycle was impaired. Finally their mobility and oxygen consumption were decreased. The development of all these typical traits of ageing was dramatically decelerated in the group treated with SkQ1. Some of the ageing traits did not appear in that group at all.

Professor Vladimir Skulachev, the creator of SkQ1 molecule design and co-author of this study, says: "This work is quite valuable from both theoretical and practical points of view. First, it clearly demonstrates the key role of mitochondrially produced reactive oxygen species in the process of ageing of mammals. At the same time our study opens the way to the treatment of ageing with mitochondrially targeted antioxidants. We are also very honored to cooperate within this project with such prominent Swedish scientists as prof. Barbara Cannon who has such title as the President of Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in her CV and prof. Jan Nedergaard, Head of Wenner-Gren institute".

Prof. Skulachev's project is now developing a set of pharmaceuticals based on SkQ1 molecule. The first drug -- Visomitin eye drops -- is already approved and marketed in Russia, it also passed phase 2 clinical trials in US. The next pharmaceutical product in project's pipeline is an oral form of SkQ1 (similar to the one used in the aforementioned experiments). It is now in the process of clinical trials in Russia. In case of positive results of these trials, such "anti-ageing" drug can be approved for systemic indications in 2-3 years.
-end-


Lomonosov Moscow State University

Related Mitochondria Articles:

Mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SkQ1 helps to treat diabetic wounds
Members of the Faculty of Biology and A.N. Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, a unit of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, have tested on a mouse model a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant, helping to treat diabetic wounds.
Mitochondria targeting anti-tumor compound
Researchers from Kumamoto University in Japan have found that the compound folic acid-conjugated methyl-BETA-cyclodextrin (FA-M-BETA-CyD) has significant antitumor effects on folate receptor-ALPHA-expressing (FR-ALPHA (+)) cancer cells.
Closing the gate to mitochondria
A team of researchers develops a new method that enables the identification of proteins imported into mitochondria.
Elucidated connection between renal failure and 'bad' mitochondria described
Biologists from the A.N. Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, a unit of the Lomonosov Moscow State University suggested the approach to prevent kidney injury after ischemia.
How exercise -- interval training in particular -- helps your mitochondria stave off old age
Researchers have long suspected that the benefits of exercise extend down to the cellular level, but know relatively little about which exercises help cells rebuild key organelles that deteriorate with aging.
Cell disposal faults could contribute to Parkinson's, study finds
A fault with the natural waste disposal system that helps to keep our brain cell 'batteries' healthy may contribute to neurodegenerative disease, a new study has found.
Sex cells evolved to pass on quality mitochondria
Mammals immortalize their genes through eggs and sperm to ensure future generations inherit good quality mitochondria to power the body's cells, according to new UCL research.
Newly identified pathway in mitochondria fuels tumor progression across cancer types
Scientists at The Wistar Institute have identified a novel protein pathway across several types of cancer that controls how tumor cells acquire the energy necessary for movement, invasion and metastasis.
Collapse of mitochondria-associated membrane in ALS
Mitochondria-associated membrane (MAM) is a contacting site of endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria, and plays a key role in cellular homeostasis.
New research on the muscles of elite athletes: When quality is better than quantity
A Danish-Swedish research team working on a project led by University of Southern Denmark has discovered that muscle endurance is not only determined by the number of mitochondria, but also their structure.

Related Mitochondria Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Digital Manipulation
Technology has reshaped our lives in amazing ways. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers reveal how what we see, read, believe — even how we vote — can be manipulated by the technology we use. Guests include journalist Carole Cadwalladr, consumer advocate Finn Myrstad, writer and marketing professor Scott Galloway, behavioral designer Nir Eyal, and computer graphics researcher Doug Roble.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#530 Why Aren't We Dead Yet?
We only notice our immune systems when they aren't working properly, or when they're under attack. How does our immune system understand what bits of us are us, and what bits are invading germs and viruses? How different are human immune systems from the immune systems of other creatures? And is the immune system so often the target of sketchy medical advice? Those questions and more, this week in our conversation with author Idan Ben-Barak about his book "Why Aren't We Dead Yet?: The Survivor’s Guide to the Immune System".