Enzyme that could slow aging process in astronauts and elderly identified

   May 1, 5:45 pm

Washington, May 1 (ANI): Scientists believe that a specific enzyme, called 5-lipoxygenase, plays a key role in cell death induced by microgravity environments, and suggested that inhibiting this enzyme will likely help prevent or lessen the severity of immune problems in astronauts caused by spaceflight.

Additionally, since space conditions initiate health problems that mimic the aging process on Earth, this discovery may also lead to therapeutics that extend lives by bolstering the immune systems of the elderly.

"The outcomes of this space research might be helpful to improve health in the elderly on Earth," said Mauro Maccarrone, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Teramo in Teramo, Italy.

"In fact, space conditions [cause problems that] resemble the physiological process of aging and drugs able to reduce microgravity-induced immunodepression might be effective therapeutics against loss of immune performance in aging people. 5-lipoxygenase inhibitors, already used to curb human inflammatory diseases, may be such a group of compounds," Maccarrone explained.

Maccarone and colleagues made this discovery by conducting experiments involving two groups of human lymphocytes that were isolated from the blood of two healthy donors.

The first group of lymphocytes was exposed to microgravity onboard the International Space Station (ISS). The second group was put in a centrifuge onboard the ISS, to have the same "Space environment" as the other group, but a normal Earth-like force of gravity.

When programmed cell death (apoptosis) was measured in both groups, the lymphocytes exposed to microgravity showed an increase above what is considered "normal."

The group exposed to the simulated Earth gravity showed no unusual differences. Specifically, the researchers believe that this difference is caused by different levels of the 5-lipoxygenase enzyme.

The study was published online in the FASEB Journal. (ANI)

Meet the top 10 new species for 2016 May 24, 9:50 am
Washington D.C, May 24 (ANI): A species on humans' family tree, hominin, and an ape nicknamed "Laia" that might provide clues to the origin of humans are among the top 10 new species of 2016.
Full Story
Soon, `tricorder-like` wearable device to monitor body signals May 24, 8:19 am
Washington D.C, May 24 (ANI): A team of researchers has brought a very distinct section pertaining to Iron Man's Jarvis closer to reality by developing the first wearable flexible monitoring system that could completely scan the biochemical reactions and electrical signals running inside one's body.
Full Story
Soon, an app that whets kids' appetites for eco-friendly meals May 23, 1:16 pm
Washington D.C, May 23 (ANI): What if there was an application that could show your kids how their dietary choices affect the planet? A new educational software application under development at the University of Illinois hopes to do so by introducing them to climate change.
Full Story
Ocean's 'canaries' highlight threat to world's ecosystems May 22, 3:01 pm
Washington D.C, May 22 (ANI): A new study has shown that fifty-nine finfish species have 'disappeared' from fishermen's catches in the world's most species rich and vulnerable marine region, new research has shown.
Full Story
Comments