Russian scientists slows down aging in mice
Russian scientists, in conjunction with Swedish experts, published a study online in the U.S. journal Aging, regarding the slowing down of aging in mice.
The objective of this study is the exploration of mitochondria in the senescence process.
Mitochondria are the powerhouses that supply energy between cells. A long shot was made regarding the retardation of aging in mice via a new synthetic compound. This is termed SkQ1. It is an artificial antioxidant and it specifically targets the mitochondria.
The Russian scientist Vladimir Skulachev played an important role in this experiment on mice. A group of special genetically-modified mice were bred in Sweden for this express purpose.
Mutation was induced in these mice via the introduction of a genome in their cells. This causes speeded aging and early death in the mice. They live for upto 365 days only whereas normal mice live for twice this time span.
Many maladies and ailments also afflict these mice as they tread the quick road to annihilation. From 100 days into their life’s journey, a group of these mice were treated with SkQ1. This compound was added to their water supply.
This compound was supposed to work like a shield to protect the mice from the deleterious effects of the mitochondria and their toxic effluents. A control group of mice received just plain distilled water.
The differences between the mice were obvious starting from the 200th or 250th day. The condition of the mice in the control group grew worse and worse with each passing day.
They lost weight, grew colder, suffered bending of the spine and contracted alopecia. Their skin also became thinner. Yet the group receiving SkQ1 showed a lessening of these signs of old age.
Thus research effort is very crucial since it may be applied to human beings one day. The role of the mitochondria is also clearly delineated in this experiment. ■