The Secret of Longevity: A Painkiller?

  • Author: Melania Tesio
  • Published: 27 June 2014
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Source / Publisher: Cell/Elsevier
thumbnail image: The Secret of Longevity: A Painkiller?

Certain nervous cells (sensory neurons) possess on their surface proteins able to detect and transmit painful stimuli. Andrew Dillin, University of California, Berkeley, USA, and co-workers discovered that one of these molecules, namely TRPV1 or transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1, regulates longevity and metabolism.

The researchers demonstrated that mice lacking TRPV1 have a youthful metabolism and live about 14 % longer than normal mice. Similar results, moreover, were obtained when the scientists treated mice with CGRP78-37, an anti-migraine drug that antagonizes the biochemical events controlled by TRPV1.

Compounds inhibiting TRPV1 activity could, therefore, not only relieve pain but also extend lifespan and improve the metabolism.

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