As mice age, those treated with J147 (right) showed improved physiology, memory
and appearance that more closely resembled younger mice.
Image: Courtesy of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies
(November 13, 2015) Salk team finds molecule that slows the clock on key aspects of aging in animals
Salk Institute researchers have found that an experimental drug candidate aimed at combating Alzheimer’s disease has a host of unexpected anti-aging effects in animals.
The Salk team expanded upon their previous development of a drug candidate, called J147, which takes a different tack by targeting Alzheimer’s major risk factor–old age. In the new work, the team showed that the drug candidate worked well in a mouse model of aging not typically used in Alzheimer’s research. When these mice were treated with J147, they had better memory and cognition, healthier blood vessels in the brain and other improved physiological features, as detailed November 12, 2015 in the journal Aging.
“Initially, the impetus was to test this drug in a novel animal model that was more similar to 99 percent of Alzheimer's cases,” says Antonio Currais, the lead author and a member of Professor David Schubert’s Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory at Salk. “We did not predict we’d see this sort of anti-aging effect, but J147 made old mice look like they were young, based upon a number of physiological parameters.”