Alpha-ketoglutarate lifespan extension

Health Hacker Australia > The Science > Ageing, Longevity and disease. > Alpha-ketoglutarate lifespan extension

” The decline in early life mortality since the 1950s has resulted in dramatic demographic shift towards aged population. Aging manifests as a decline in health, multiple organ dysfunction and increased vulnerability to diseases, which degrades quality of life. A verity of genetic and pharmacological interventions, mostly from non-vertebrate models, have been identified that can enhance lifespan. Whether these interventions extend healthspan, the disease free and functional period of life, has only sometimes been tested and is often a matter of debate. Human aging indices have been developed to assess elements of functional decline with aging (e.g. sarcopenia, cognitive function). However, corresponding comprehensive indices in mice are seldom applied to aging studies. To probe the relationship between healthspan and lifespan extension in mammals, we performed a series of longitudinal, clinically-relevant healthspan measurements. Metabolism and aging are tightly connected and specific perturbations of nutrient-sensing pathways can enhance longevity in laboratory animals. Here we show that alpha-ketoglutarate (delivered in the form of a Calcium salt, CaAKG), a key metabolite in tricarboxylic (TCA) cycle that is reported to extend lifespan in worms, can significantly extend lifespan and healthspan in mice. AKG is involved in various fundamental processes including collagen synthesis and epigenetic changes. Due to its broad roles in multiple biological processes, AKG has been a subject of interest for researchers in various fields. AKG also influences several age-related processes, including stem cell proliferation and osteoporosis. To determine its role in mammalian aging, we administered CaAKG in 18 months old mice and determined its effect on the onset of frailty and survival, discovering that the metabolite promotes longer, healthier life associated with a decrease in levels of inflammatory factors. Interestingly the reduction in frailty was more dramatic than the increase in lifespan, leading us to propose that CaAKG compresses morbidity. “

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