A potential longevity-enhancing drug has passed its final animal testing challenge, pushing closer to reality the dream of all-purpose drugs against diseases of aging.
Mice given the new drug, called SRT1720, gorged on high-fat food for four months without gaining weight or developing diabetes, and ran twice as far on a treadmill as their control-group counterparts. Similar drugs are expected to follow down the pipeline.
SRT1720 targets the gene SIRT1 also targeted by resveratrol while being far more potent.
The drug's side effects aren't yet apparent, but resveratrol has proven safe in animals and — anecdotally, at least — in humans. Since SRT1720 works at doses 1000 times lower than resveratrol, said Lambert, it should prove even safer if effective.
The synthetic drug, called SRT1720, shifted the animals' metabolism into a mode normally seen only when they are calorie-deprived, reported Johan Auwerx, M.D., of the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, and colleagues.
The agent directly activates the so-called SIRT1 pathway, which is believed to account for at least some of the beneficial effects of resveratrol, the health-giving component of red wine.
It would be hard to get a drug such as this approved to slow general aging. But fortunately the benefits against weight gain and insulin resistance mean the drug has very specific clinical benefits that make approval for disease treatment easier.
The drug called SRT1720, which acts through the protein SIRT1, enhances running endurance in exercised mice and protects the animals against weight gain and insulin resistance even when they eat a high-fat diet, the researchers report. The drug works by shifting the metabolism to a fat-burning mode that normally takes over only when energy levels are low.
The findings bolster the notion that SIRT1 may be a useful target in the fight again metabolic disorders, including obesity and type 2 diabetes. It also helps lay to rest a long-standing controversy in the scientific world over the metabolic benefits of the red wine ingredient known as resveratrol. Resveratrol also acts on SIRT1, but its influence on other metabolic actors had left room to question exactly how it works.
Once one of these SIRT1 activators get approved expect to see many people asking for a prescription even if they do not have one of the diseases it treats.
Resveratrol is available now. Whether SRT1720 or another drug which mimics resveratrol will it make it to market remains to be seen. If you want to buy something that might deliver this sort of benefit now resveratrol is the only game in town.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2008 November 04 09:53 PM Aging Diet Resveratrol|