Researchers aim to use ‘middle aged’ pet dogs to test rapamycin, folowing the drug’s lifespan extension in experiments with mice. Developed as an anti-rejection drug for patients who have just undergone kidney transplants, rapamycin has recently been shown to extend the lives of mice by more than 10%.
Rapamycin acts on a protein that is involved in cell growth and has an anti-inflammatory impact on the body. It was also the first drug shown to extend lifespan in a mammalian species.
“As organisms age, inflammation can increase and that is related to many disorders,” added [University of Washington in Seattle Dr. Matt] Kaeberlein. “But that is not the only thing that rapamycin does. It also turns on a process called autophagy which is in effect the process by which cells dispose of the garbage that builds up inside them.”
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