Synthetic Compound Developed at Moscow State University Slows Down Aging of Mice with Mutated Mitochondria

A group of Russian and Swedish scientists has recently published a breakthrough paper, reporting results of a joint study by Lomonosov Moscow State University and Stockholm university. The article was published in the U.S. journal Aging. The major goal of the study was to investigate the role of intracellular powerstations -- mitochondria -- in the process of aging of organisms. Importantly, scientists made an attempt to slow down aging using a novel compound: artificial antioxidant SkQ1 precisely targeted into mitochondria. This compound was developed at the Moscow State University by the most cited Russian biologist Professor Vladimir Skulachev. Experiments involved a special strain of genetically-modified mice created and characterized in Sweden. A single mutation was introduced into the genome of these mice resulting in the substantially accelerated mutagenesis in mitochondria. This leads to accelerated agiing and early death of the mutant mice. They live less than 1 year (normal mouse lives more than 2 years). The mutation promotes development of many age-related defects and diseases indicating that the major defect of these mice is indeed aging. Starting from the age of 100 days one group of mutant mice was treated with small doses of SkQ1 (approxamtely 12 micrograms) added into their drinking water. Per scientists' hypothesis, the compound must protect animal cells from the toxic byproducts of mitochondria -- free radicals (reactive oxygen species). Another group of animals served as a control group receiving pure water. Differences between the two groups became obvious starting from the age 200-250 days. Animals in the control group aged rapidly as expected.
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