Aging does not leave anyone, But humans go through this process differently, based on genetics and lifestyle factors.
By contrast, dolphins used by the US Navy tend to exist in a fairly homogeneous set of circumstances – diet and habitat are almost the same for all individuals. Because these aquatic mammals undergo aging in the same way as humans, the Navy dolphins were recently selected as the subject of a new study of aging in time. long. The goal for the far future: Delaying human aging.
The results of this study were published on Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The team reported that in dolphins, four main traits demonstrate how aging occurs in the blood. The scientists took blood samples from 144 dolphins over the 25 years they got home to look for signs related to human health. The results show a difference between the slow and fast aging between individuals in the same population.
Study lead author Stephanie Venn-Watson is the co-founder and CEO of life science company Epitracker.
“Although it has long been believed that some people age faster than others, it is difficult to prove that people actually age at different rates,” said Venn-Watson. Inverse.
Venn-Watson and colleagues identified four biomarkers in dolphin blood that help measure the rate of aging:
- Hemoglobin An iron-containing protein that transports oxygen in red blood cells; Decreases with age
- Lymph cells – Immune cells; Decreases with age
- Platelet Cell fragments are involved in blood clotting
- Alkaline phosphatase An enzyme used to detect liver and bone disease
“Based on these indicators, we can confirm the presence of both slow and fast aging dolphins,” said Venn-Watson. In other words, they measured how steep and gradual aging looks like.
For example, hemoglobin and lymphocytes decline with age, explains Venn-Watson. Together, that puts older dolphins (and humans) at greater risk of anemia and serious infections. The faster older dolphins are at an even greater risk.
The finding “supports that it is possible to identify the main, non-environmental drivers of the rate of aging, and thus, can be targeted to slow down the aging process. ”
For humans and wild dolphins, aging is influenced by environmental or lifestyle factors. In humans, that includes chronic socioeconomic status and medication. In contrast, the US Navy dolphins, trained for tasks such as retrieval of equipment and underwater mines, also live in similar conditions. That allows the researchers to isolate aging patterns without environmental bias.
Venn-Watson said: “It is important that we can clearly distinguish slow-aging dolphins from fast-aging dolphins despite the fact that all dolphins in the population share the same diet, health care and the ocean environment. This finding “supports that it is possible to identify the main, non-environmental causes of the rate of aging, and thus, can be targeted to slow the aging process.”
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That idea could inform future human medicine, and potentially develop therapies that slow down the human aging process.
Most animal aging studies involve short-lived species such as worms, flies, and mice. By studying dolphins, Venn-Watson says she hopes to learn how long-lived animals, like humans, reach an older age in the first place – and “how we can take advantage of those mechanisms to help humans and dolphins live longer and healthier lives. ”
Dolphins are a particularly useful model for studying human aging as they can be affected by aging-related conditions such as high cholesterol, chronic inflammation and even Alzheimer’s disease.
These similarities support that dolphins and humans share similar aging mechanisms, says Venn-Watson.
Now, with this study, scientists have evidence of slow and accelerated aging in dolphins. That could ultimately help researchers target and delay the aging process in humans.
“We hope our research can help doctors and longevity researchers prioritize clinically relevant indicators in the elderly, including hemoglobin depletion,” Venn-Watson said. and lymphocytes, “to not only prevent and treat anemia and impaired immunity but can also help delay the rate of good aging.”
Abstract: Although it is believed that humans age at varying rates, the lack of robust vertical human studies using consensus biomarkers to capture aging rates has Interferes with the understanding of the different levels of individuals in their aging rate. Since callus dolphins are long-lived mammals that develop comorbid aging diseases similar to humans, we analyzed data from a well-controlled 25-year cohort of 144 fish. The US Navy pigs are raised in the same oceanic environment. Our analysis focused on 44 clinically relevant hematology and chemistry measurements recorded during routine blood draw throughout the dolphin’s life cycle. Using step-by-step regression and general linear models matching the correlation between measurements obtained on individual dolphins, we demonstrated that, in a similar way to humans, dolphins exhibit A linear and independent age-related decline according to four of these measurements: hemoglobin, alkaline phosphatase, platelets, and lymphocytes. Use linear regression and covariance analysis with post-hockey Kramer tests to compare the slope (i.e., age-related linear ratio) of the four markers of aging speed biology In our chemistry of 34 older dolphin from 10 years old to 40 years old, we were able to identify slow and accelerated agers and differentiate subtypes more or less likely to develop anemia and lymphopenia . This study successfully documented the difference in the rate of aging over the lifetime of those who lived for a long time in a controlled environment. Our research shows that no environmental factors influence the biological markers of the rate of aging, including decreased hemoglobin and anemia, can be targeted to delay the effects of aging. in an attractive human biology model.