Maybe you CAN teach an old dog new tricks?


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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