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Chemical Used to Detect Amyloid Plaques in Alzheimer’s Patients Extends Lifespan of Roundworms

Summary: A compound used to trace amyloid plaque build up in people with Alzheimer’s is not only able to extend lifespan of round worms, it also can increase quality of life, a new study reports.

Source: Rutgers.

Rutgers and U.S. researchers say compound may prevent damaged proteins from accumulating

In a study involving more than 44,000 animals published in Nature Communications, researchers from Rutgers, The University of Oregon, and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in California tested 10 different compounds from multiple species of roundworms that featured more genetic diversity than can be found between mice and humans. Scientists found that Thioflavin T was the most effective of all drugs tested because it increased the lifespan in all species and doubled it in one.

“These worms may have been the same basic animal but, like humans, their genes had a lot of variation which means that they could have responded to interventions differently,” said Monica Driscoll, co-principal investigator and distinguished professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, School of Arts and Sciences.

Up until now, chemical compounds that have been found to extend life in worms and mice have been most often studied in animals with specific – and somewhat uniform – genetic backgrounds. But Thioflavin T worked in all the genetically diverse species, possibly by preventing damaged and misfolded proteins which in humans contributes to age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s.

“We found this one compound did have a positive effect on all the strains, which is important if you want to find the best candidate intervention for healthy aging across a large swath of the population.’’

The scientific community often has been criticized for spending money and conducting research that cannot be reproduced by other laboratories. In a study published in PLOS Biology in 2015, it was estimated that $28 billion was spent on preclinical studies in which the findings made in one research study could not be reproduced in another.

Image shows a brain.

Research indicates that a chemical used to detect plaque buildup in the brain of those with Alzheimer’s disease extends the lifespan of roundworms. NeuroscienceNews.com image is adapted from the Rutgers press release.

“By documenting in unprecedented detail everything we do in the lab, we were able to get close to seeing identical results across three labs,” said Driscoll. Detailing how this work is done is just as important as our results.”

This is particularly important for aging research, Driscoll said, because the targeted outcome is not to just extend life but to increase the quality.

“In my opinion, the real goal of aging research should not be longevity at all but rather a person’s health span — how long they can maintain an active, disease free, high quality of life,” Driscoll said. “The greatest risk factor for diseases like diabetes, cancer and neurodegenerative disease is age, so that is why research looking at delaying the onset of age-associated decline is so important.”

About this neurology research article

Source: Robin Lally – Rutgers
Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is adapted from the Rugers press release.
Original Research: Full open access research for “Impact of genetic background and experimental reproducibility on identifying chemical compounds with robust longevity effects” by Mark Lucanic, W. Todd Plummer, Esteban Chen, Jailynn Harke, Anna C. Foulger, Brian Onken, Anna L. Coleman-Hulbert, Kathleen J. Dumas, Suzhen Guo, Erik Johnson, Dipa Bhaumik, Jian Xue, Anna B. Crist, Michael P. Presley, Girish Harinath, Christine A. Sedore, Manish Chamoli, Shaunak Kamat, Michelle K. Chen, Suzanne Angeli, Christina Chang, John H. Willis, Daniel Edgar, Mary Anne Royal, Elizabeth A. Chao, Shobhna Patel, Theo Garrett, Carolina Ibanez-Ventoso, June Hope, Jason L Kish, Max Guo, Gordon J. Lithgow, Monica Driscoll & Patrick C. Phillips in Nature Communications. Published online February 21 2017 doi:10.1038/ncomms14256

Cite This NeuroscienceNews.com Article
Rutgers “Chemical Used to Detect Amyloid Plaques in Alzheimer’s Patients Extends Lifespan of Roundworms.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 11 March 2017.
<http://neurosciencenews.com/alzheiemrs-compound-longevity-6232/>.
Rutgers (2017, March 11). Chemical Used to Detect Amyloid Plaques in Alzheimer’s Patients Extends Lifespan of Roundworms. NeuroscienceNew. Retrieved March 11, 2017 from http://neurosciencenews.com/alzheiemrs-compound-longevity-6232/
Rutgers “Chemical Used to Detect Amyloid Plaques in Alzheimer’s Patients Extends Lifespan of Roundworms.” http://neurosciencenews.com/alzheiemrs-compound-longevity-6232/ (accessed March 11, 2017).

Abstract

Impact of genetic background and experimental reproducibility on identifying chemical compounds with robust longevity effects

Limiting the debilitating consequences of ageing is a major medical challenge of our time. Robust pharmacological interventions that promote healthy ageing across diverse genetic backgrounds may engage conserved longevity pathways. Here we report results from the Caenorhabditis Intervention Testing Program in assessing longevity variation across 22 Caenorhabditis strains spanning 3 species, using multiple replicates collected across three independent laboratories. Reproducibility between test sites is high, whereas individual trial reproducibility is relatively low. Of ten pro-longevity chemicals tested, six significantly extend lifespan in at least one strain. Three reported dietary restriction mimetics are mainly effective across C. elegans strains, indicating species and strain-specific responses. In contrast, the amyloid dye ThioflavinT is both potent and robust across the strains. Our results highlight promising pharmacological leads and demonstrate the importance of assessing lifespans of discrete cohorts across repeat studies to capture biological variation in the search for reproducible ageing interventions.

“Impact of genetic background and experimental reproducibility on identifying chemical compounds with robust longevity effects” by Mark Lucanic, W. Todd Plummer, Esteban Chen, Jailynn Harke, Anna C. Foulger, Brian Onken, Anna L. Coleman-Hulbert, Kathleen J. Dumas, Suzhen Guo, Erik Johnson, Dipa Bhaumik, Jian Xue, Anna B. Crist, Michael P. Presley, Girish Harinath, Christine A. Sedore, Manish Chamoli, Shaunak Kamat, Michelle K. Chen, Suzanne Angeli, Christina Chang, John H. Willis, Daniel Edgar, Mary Anne Royal, Elizabeth A. Chao, Shobhna Patel, Theo Garrett, Carolina Ibanez-Ventoso, June Hope, Jason L Kish, Max Guo, Gordon J. Lithgow, Monica Driscoll & Patrick C. Phillips in Nature Communications. Published online February 21 2017 doi:10.1038/ncomms14256

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