Cynthia's Interests

The world as it unfolds - told from an African American woman's perspective...

Thursday, August 25, 2005

"Anti-Aging Hormone" Found in Mice; May Help Humans

Researchers have dramatically increased the life spans of mice by genetically engineering them to overproduce a protein called klotho. Not surprisingly, the discovery has spurred speculation that klotho could help humans live longer.

The gene regulates production of klotho protein, which the study team says works like an anti-aging hormone. Klotho is involved in the suppression of insulin-signaling pathways—a process that has been shown to increase the life spans of worms and flies. I wonder how the suppression of the insulin-signaling pathways would work out in a society that eats too much of all the wrong foods.

Humans have a klotho gene almost identical to that in mice. Studies have shown that natural alterations of the klotho gene in both humans and mice can cause increased aging-related problems, such as muscular atrophy and hardening of the arteries.

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