FEB 09, 2023 9:00 AM PST

Hypertension Drug May Slow Aging

WRITTEN BY: Savannah Logan

New research published in the journal Aging Cell has demonstrated that rilmenidine, a drug used to treat hypertension, slows aging and extends lifespan in the model organism C. elegans.

In the study, the researchers searched for compounds that induced a gene expression signature similar to caloric restriction. Caloric restriction is a well-known intervention that promotes increased lifespan in a wide range of species, but it has had mixed results with some negative side effects in humans. By finding a compound that mimics the effects of caloric restriction, it may be possible to induce the benefits associated with caloric restriction without the negative side effects or difficulty of implementation.

In their search for compounds, the study authors identified rilmenidine as a potential candidate. By treating C. elegans with rilmenidine both early and later in the aging process, they were able to extend its lifespan and improve its stress resilience and healthspan (period in which a subject is in good health and free from chronic diseases or disabilities). The researchers were also able to show that these benefits were mediated by a particular receptor that may be a good target for future anti-aging and longevity treatments. C. elegans, also known as the roundworm, is a common model organism that is often used for studying aging and longevity.

The leader of the study noted that longevity and anti-aging treatments have the potential to have immense benefits for the globally aging population. Aging is associated with many chronic diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and the fastest-growing demographic in the world is now people over 65 years of age. Rilmenidine lowers blood pressure with relatively rare, non-severe side effects, so it is a good candidate for potential transferability to humans as a longevity treatment.  

Sources: Aging Cell, Science Daily

About the Author
Doctorate (PhD)
Savannah (she/her) is a scientific writer specializing in cardiology at Labroots. Her background is in medical writing with significant experience in obesity, oncology, and infectious diseases. She has conducted research in microbial biophysics, optics, and education. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.
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