Gene Tweak May Keep Hearts Younger
Turning Off the P13K Gene Helped Maintain Heart Function in Aging Mice
Oct. 12, 2009 -- A certain form of the P13K gene could be a key to keeping
the heart young and preventing
age-related heart failure, Japanese
Those scientists, who included Yasutaka Inuzaka, MD, of Kyoto University,
studied mice in which one form of the P13K gene was suppressed.
Compared to normal mice, the mice with the suppressed form of the P13K gene
had worse heart function when they were young, but better cardiac function when
they were old.
That form of the P13K gene could play a role in the aging of the heart,
Inuzaka and colleagues report.
Inuzaka's team only studied the mice until they were 20 months old, because
after that point, tumors (especially in the lungs) became more common in the
strain of mice the researchers had chosen to use for this experiment.
But if scientists can find a way to affect the P13K gene safely and keep the
aging heart young, that could help prevent age-related heart failure, notes
Tetsuo Shioi, MD, PhD, of Kyoto University.
Shioi, Inuzaka and colleagues haven't studied the P13K gene in people yet.
Details of their lab tests on mice appear online in the journal