Science and Technology
publicado em 21/05/2012 às 16h52:00
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Gene therapy increases longevity and health of older mice

Transfer of telomeres to different cells in the body improved health, fitness and longevity of guinea pigs

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Gene therapy allows old mice live longer and healthier. This is shown by a study conducted by researchers at the National Center for Oncologic Research (CNIO), Spain, and published in EMBO Molecular Medicine.

With just a treatment for different telomeres to transfer cells in the body, the rodents showed significant improvements in health, fitness and longevity. The telomeres is an enzyme that allows help maintain the physical integrity of the tips of chromosomes.

Gene therapy is generally regarded as a way to deliver genes into cells to correct genetic defects or diseases. However, "If we consider that the aging is at least partly the result of a problem of gene function, this type of therapy is also a valid strategy to retard the aging process or to increase the lifetime of said one of the authors of Study Maria Blasco. Our results show that gene therapy with telomeres is not only an anti-aging intervention feasible but also has remarkably beneficial health effects because it does not increase the incidence of cancer, he adds.

Telomeres are a kind of protective cover for repeated nucleotide sequences in the DNA at the tip of chromosomes, which will gradually spending each time a cell divides. And this sort of progressive corrosion will eventually cause the cells stop dividing and die a day.

According to information posted on the website Science Today, the team used an array of adeno-associated virus to stimulate telomerase activity in cells of adult rats - which allows you to restore the tips of chromosomes with DNA. In these mice have a longer life, have stronger bones, better metabolic functions, motor coordination and balance, as well as exemplary performance on tests of object recognition, says co-author Bruno Bernardes Jesùs.

The rats used in the experiments during about 150 weeks lived. One of the animals with one year of age treated with gene therapy experienced an average 24% higher than normal, the average life of two years old rats increased by 13%. Using the older rodents, scientists were able to take advantage of the rejuvenating effects of the enzyme without increasing the risk of cancer.

   Palavras-chave:   Therapy    Gene therapy    Telomerase    Mice    Rats    Old    Health    Cancer    Longevity      
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