The model organism Drosophila melanogaster is used to map the tissue-specific responses to insulin signalling.
Quelle: @Tain/Groenke/Link/Max-Planck-Institut für Biologie des Alterns

Biology of Ageing

Road map to a longer life

In old age a variety of cellular processes decline and the risk to develop age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or Diabetes increases dramatically. But does ageing affect all organs and tissues in the body in the same way?

And should drugs that are developed to improve health in old age have the same effect on every organ? Now scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne have shown in flies that tissues respond very differently to reduced insulin signalling, which is known to extend lifespan in many organisms, from flies to mice, and possibly people. Importantly, those different responses can lead to extensions in lifespan themselves.

Scientists have known for many years that lowered activity of the insulin signalling network can extend lifespan and improve health during ageing, but it is still not understood how. The insulin signalling network responds to nutrient availability and stress levels and regulates development, growth, reproduction and lifespan. To understand how different tissues and organs respond, researchers in the team of Linda Partridge, director at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing and the UCL Institute of Healthy Ageing in London, analysed which proteins are produced in the brain, muscle, gut and fat body of fruit flies when insulin signalling is reduced. With this they generated a proteomic map of insulin signalling.

Each tissue responds differently

“We mapped out which proteins changed in which tissues when insulin signalling is reduced and could see that each tissue in the fly responds differently. There were only two proteins out of 6000 we analysed, which were regulated in all tissues - all others were to some degree tissue-specific”, explains Luke Tain, lead author of the study. “For example, if we reduce systemic insulin signalling, the gut responds by producing proteins for ensuring protein quality control.” This response of the gut can lead to an extension in lifespan itself: even without lowered activity of the insulin network, an increasing protein quality control only in the gut was sufficient to prolong lifespan in flies. However, the same treatment in the fat of the fly had no effect on its lifespan.

Tissue-targeted pharmacological agents

Our study opens up new possibilities for development of preventive medicine for diseases associated with ageing

Luke Tain

These results show how complex the response of different organs to interventions that improve health during ageing can be. “Our study opens up new possibilities for development of preventive medicine for diseases associated with ageing. In the future we could target a specific tissue with a drug, to the benefit of the whole organism. This would reduce the risk of unwanted side effects and alleviate a lot of the suffering in patients and the aged”, says Tain.


Source: Max-Planck-Institut für Biologie des Alterns

09.10.2017

Read all latest stories

Related articles

Photo

Hope for new skin grafts

3D printed living skin complete with blood vessels

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a way to 3D print living skin, complete with blood vessels. The advancement, published in Tissue Engineering Part A, is a significant…

Photo

Iron dependent cell death

Ferroptosis could be key for new anticancer approach

A team of researchers lead by Helmholtz Zentrum München and the University of Würzburg identified an enzyme as a novel and strong inhibitor of ferroptosis, the iron dependent form of cell death:…

Photo

Metabolic mystery solved

Why fatty livers are more susceptible to cancer

Fatty liver disease is contributing to an increase in liver cancer and basic scientists at The University of Texas Health Science at Houston (UTHealth) have new insight as to why. In the journal…

Related products

Eppendorf – Mastercycler nexus X2

Research Use Only (RUO)

Eppendorf – Mastercycler nexus X2

Eppendorf AG
Sarstedt – Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes

Research Use Only (RUO)

Sarstedt – Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes

SARSTEDT AG & CO. KG
Shimadzu – CLAM-2030

Research Use Only (RUO)

Shimadzu – CLAM-2030

Shimadzu Europa GmbH