JABSOM Researchers Make Exciting Discovery About Mice Lifespan

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JABSOM faculty, Drs. Bradley Willcox and Richard Allsopp, and collaborators have found a way to make mice live longer! In a special study with mice, two substances made the male mice live longer. One is called Astaxanthin (Asta), and it made male mice live 12% longer. The other one is called Meclizine (Mec), and it makes male mice live 8% longer. These results are significant.

Asta, known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties is highlighted as a promising candidate for promoting longevity.  It is found in Pacific salmon.  Mec is an anti-histamine/anti-vertigo/anti-nausea medicine.

"Interventions with life extension benefits of more than 10 percent in mice are rare. Those that do, have side effects limiting chronic use for longevity. Asta is the only test agent in the twenty-years [of study] to combine this level of life extension and exceptional safety for chronic use," Dr. Willcox said. 

The scientists also tested five other substances - Fisetin, SG1002 (hydrogen sulfide giver), Dimethyl Fumarate, Mycophenolic acid, and 4-Phenylbutyrate. None of these made the mice live longer at the amounts and ways they were given.

The study noticed that the weight of male mice wasn't changed by any of the substances they tested. The female mice were a bit lighter when they were older, but it did not affect how long they lived.

The research with Asta in mice will continue. Dr. Allsopp says future studies will examine the effects Asta has on other health span measures like muscle strength and heart fitness.

This discovery tells scientists more about how things can make male mice live longer, and it might help us understand aging better. The substances called Astaxanthin and Meclizine could be important for making us live longer too!

This study was published in Geroscience on December 2, 2023 (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38041783/).

The research was also profiled on Honolulu's ABC affiliate, KITV.