Russian Metabolic Manipulation Research in a Nutshell

The community of Russian researchers interested in engineered longevity bears many resemblances to the English-speaking longevity research community more familiar to you or I. You'll find ties to transhumanist pro-longevity advocacy groups and cryonics organizations, for example. Both communities have been largely working on metabolic manipulation to slow aging for the past ten years, and the older scientists have been involved in the field of aging research for decades - well back into the depths of the cold war, in fact.

These days - days in which a great deal of investment is flowing into metabolic manipulation research and development in the US - I am seeing more English language publications from the Russian longevity science community. Here, for example, is a review that aptly summarizes their efforts of the past decade:

The review comprises the results of author's long-term investigation in the mechanisms of aging and a role of peptide bioregulators in prevention of age-related pathology. A number of small peptides have been isolated from different organs and tissues and their analogues (di-, tri-, tetrapeptides) were synthesized from the amino acids. It was shown that long-term treatment with some peptide preparations increased mean life span by 20-40%, slow down the age-related changes in the biomarkers of aging and suppressed development of spontaneous and induced by chemical or radiation carcinogens tumorigenesis in rodents.

Its worth noting that one of the authors here, Vladimir Anisimov, shares space on the scientific advisory council of the Science Against Aging initiative with Vladimir Skulachev, whose work on extending life in mice I've discussed in the past, and with Aubrey de Grey, a figure you should all recognize by now.

Metabolism and longevity are easily changed though wide variety of methods, researchers have found - up to a point. It is interesting that diverse research communities chasing entirely different methods on different continents are extending the lives of mice by about the same amount. Why do so many metabolic manipulations discovered to date result in something near to a 30% life extension in mice? The outliers above this level are few - a couple of 50% methods and one 60-70% method, the latter of which produces mice unlikely to survive in the wild.

ResearchBlogging.orgAnisimov VN, & Khavinson VK (2009). Peptide bioregulation of aging: results and prospects. Biogerontology PMID: 19830585


The prospects are very limited, bordering on zero, if they continue like that. The time and money that they wasted to test metformin and other biguanides in multiple, fu-cked up, short-lived strains would have been better spend to test them in one strain of C57BL/6.
They *could* be a major driver of anti-aging research if they pull themselves together...

Posted by: Kismet at October 17th, 2009 5:10 AM

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.