Gene Engineering a Longer Lasting Heart

Manipulating the insulin/IGF-1 signaling system is known to promote longevity in lower animals, and here is a demonstration of specific benefits to heart tissue: researchers "studied elderly mice genetically engineered to suppress the activity of one form of the PI3K gene, which is a part of the insulin/IGF-1signaling system that helps regulate the lifespan of cells. A variation of PI3K, known as the p110alpha isoform, plays an important role in tissue aging. Suppressing the isoform's activity in the roundworm C. elegans extends its life. And in fruit flies, suppression prevents the age-dependent decline of heart function. ... researchers compared aged mice with a functional p110alpha to aged mice with suppressed p110alpha and found that mice with the suppressed gene had: improved cardiac function; less fibrosis (fibrosis causes the heart to lose flexibility); fewer biological markers of aging; and a pattern of cardiac gene expression like that of younger mice. ... This study showed that aging of the heart can be prevented by modifying the function of insulin and paves the way to preventing age-associated susceptibility to heart failure."



A study published in 2013 reinforces the findings stated here, and shows that long term suppression of p110alpha does cause a statistically significant increase in longevity in male mice, possibly through the insulin/IGF1 signalling system. See:

Posted by: Christina at July 3rd, 2014 8:31 PM
Comment Submission

Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. New comments can be edited for a few minutes following submission. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.