Popular blood pressure drug increases lifespan and slows aging in animals: ScienceAlert

Popular blood pressure drug increases lifespan and slows aging in animals: ScienceAlert

The high blood pressure drug rilmedinine has been shown to slow aging in worms, an effect that could theoretically help us live longer and keep us healthier in our later years.

Previous research has shown that rilminidine mimics the effects of calorie restriction at the cellular level. Reducing available energy while maintaining nutrition within the body has been shown to extend lifespan in several animal models.

Whether this translates to human biology, or poses a potential risk to our health, is the subject of ongoing debate. Finding ways to achieve the same benefits without the costs of extreme calorie restriction could lead to new ways to improve health in old age.

In a study published last January, children and adults Certain types are elegant Worms treated with the drug — which is commonly used to treat high blood pressure — lived longer and provided higher measurements in a variety of health markers in the same way as calorie restriction, the scientists had hoped.

“For the first time, we have been able to show in animals that riminidine can increase lifespan,” said João Pedro Magalhaes, a molecular biogerontologist from the University of Birmingham in the UK.

“We are now keen to explore whether rilminidine has other clinical applications.”

the C. elegans The worm is a favorite for studies, because many of its genes have similarities to their counterparts in our genome. However, despite these similarities, they are still somewhat distant from humans.

Further tests showed that gene activity associated with calorie restriction could be seen in the kidney and liver tissue of mice treated with rilminidine. In other words, some of the changes that calorie restriction causes in animals, and is thought to confer some health benefits, are also seen with the high blood pressure medications that many people already take.

Another discovery was that a biological signaling receptor called nish-1 was crucial to the effectiveness of riminidine. This chemical structure could be targeted in future attempts to improve lifespan and slow aging.

“We found that the life-extending effects of rilminidine were abolished when NISH-1 was deleted,” the researchers explained in their paper. “Importantly, rescuing the NISH-1 receptor restored the increase in lifespan after treatment with rilminidine.”

Low-calorie diets are difficult to follow and come with a variety of side effects, such as hair thinning, dizziness, and osteoporosis. It’s still early days, but the belief is that this high blood pressure medication could give the same benefits as a low-calorie diet while being easier on the body.

What makes rilmenidine a promising candidate as an anti-aging drug is that it can be taken orally, is already widely prescribed, and its side effects are rare and relatively mild (including palpitations, insomnia, and drowsiness in a few cases).

There’s a long way to go yet to know whether rilminidine will work as an anti-aging drug in humans, but early signs in tests on worms and mice are promising. We now know more about what rilminidine can do, and how it works.

“With an aging global population, the benefits of delaying aging, even if minor, are enormous,” Magalhaes said.

The research was published in senescent cell.

A previous version of this article was published in January 2023.

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