An antibiotic prolonged life and protection from neurodegenerative diseases

For the development of new therapies, it is logical to develop new drugs. However, sometimes it happens that even well-known drugs can surprise and help in the treatment of diseases and not only. So this time, as reports the press service of the research Institute of SCRIPPS, long-known antibiotic through a series of laboratory tests helped to cope with a number neurodegenerative diseases and increase life expectancy. However, while people do not.

According to new research, the antibiotic minocycline could increase the lifespan of “old” round worms and prevent the accumulation of proteins in nervous tissue that could potentially help in the fight with diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other prion diseases.

Under normal conditions the amount of protein inside the cells and outside of them regulates a process called “protests”. But with age, this process can be broken.

“It would be great if there was a way to improve protests and prolong life through treatment of the elderly when the first signs of neurodegenerative symptoms or identify markers of diseases.” said lead author, Gregory Solis, graduate student of Scientific research Institute of SCRIPPS. “In our work, we investigated whether minocycline to reduce protein aggregation and increase lifespan of animals already oneusing violations of proteostasis.”

In order to verify this claim, the scientists tested 21 molecule, which increase the life span in young and old worms of Caenorhabditis elegans. In the end, it was found that all these molecules prolonged the lives of young worms, however, the only drug that worked also on the old worms, was minocycline.

To clarify the mechanisms of drug researchers treated young and old worms with an aqueous solution of minocycline and then measured the protein content of alpha-synuclein and beta-amyloid, which are known to accumulate in the nervous tissue in diseases Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Regardless of the age of worms, all animals that received minocycline, protein aggregation was reduced. The mechanism of action was quite “unusual”. Antibiotics does not speed up the breakdown of proteins, and blocked the work of the ribosomes, thereby reducing the production of proteins.

“We identified that minocycline improves protein balance and prevents protein aggregation. This lays the basis for the development of drugs aimed at the treatment of a number of neurodegenerative diseases.”