A study with centenarians reveals clues about healthy ageing

Un estudio con personas centenarias revela claves sobre el envejecimiento saludable - Investigación, Ciencia

A study carried out by the research group on ageing and physical exercise of the Health Research Institute of the Hospital Clínico de Valencia (Incliva) has concluded that centenarians maintain more effectively the generation of molecules that regulate gene expression and, in addition, they perform this regeneration much better than the octogenarian people.

The data of this research support the theory that people with extreme longevity, that is, those who overcome the 100-year barrier, not only live longer but also experience a healthier ageing, since the appearance of diseases associated with Fragility and disability due to age are manifested later.

The results of this study and the knowledge of how centenarians regulate gene expression could be used to generate tools and perform interventions to improve the quality of life of octogenarian people, taking as a "model" the synthesis of microRNA (small RNA molecules that they are responsible for regulating the expression of the genes) of the centenarians.

Centenarians vs Octogenarians

To carry out this study, we compared the synthesis of different microRNAs (specifically RNA POL II, Drosha, Exportin 5 and Dicer) of centenarians and octogenarian people through an analysis that allows studying the transcription of genes in a massive way (functional transcriptomics). Afterwards, the expression of these genes has been validated by the polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).

In total, the study has been conducted comparing the generation of microRNA of 60 individuals (20 centenarians, 20 octogenarians, and 20 younger people) and has revealed that, in centenarians, this synthesis is more similar to that of young people than to that of the people of 80 years.

Genetically predisposed

According to the researcher Consuelo Borrás, one of the most positive and remarkable aspects is that the centenarians not only live longer, but are free of disease for more years. "Normally, centenarians die of diseases directly related to ageing, but suffer for less time, which guarantees their quality of life for more years," she says.

Borrás also ensures that according to the evidence found so far, extreme longevity has an important genetic component: "Everything points to centenarians being so because they are genetically predisposed to it, regardless of the environmental or other factors that accompany them throughout their life".

That is why the next step in this research is the study of the children of centenarians and their comparison with individuals who are not centenarians to check how their microRNA synthesis is.

"If the descendants of centenarians at 75 or 80 years have a genetic profile similar to these, despite being younger, we can establish a genetic fingerprint around the longevity. It is believed that there are families of centenarians, so there are indications of heritability of that profile. At the moment, the data of this second part of the study is in the phase of analysis of results", concludes this researcher.

Source: www.sendasenior.com