Resveratrol: Life extension effects
When an item makes the New York Times, it becomes part of the historical record. In biological sciences, the journal Nature serves a similar purpose. The definitive article on resveratrol’s life extending effects appeared in Nature this month.
Resveratrol improves health and survival of mice on a high-calorie diet
Nature 444, 337-342 (16 November 2006) doi:10.1038/nature05354; Received 10 August 2006; Accepted 19 October 2006; Published online 1 November 2006
Joseph A. Baur, Kevin J. Pearson, Nathan L. Price, Hamish A. Jamieson, Carles Lerin, Avash Kalra, Vinayakumar V. Prabhu, Joanne S. Allard, Guillermo Lopez-Lluch, Kaitlyn Lewis, Paul J. Pistell, Suresh Poosala, Kevin G. Becker, Olivier Boss, Dana Gwinn, Mingyi Wang, Sharan Ramaswamy, Kenneth W. Fishbein, Richard G. Spencer, Edward G. Lakatta, David Le Couteur, Reuben J. Shaw, Placido Navas, Pere Puigserver, Donald K. Ingram, Rafael de Cabo and David A. Sinclair
Resveratrol (3,5,4′-trihydroxystilbene) extends the lifespan of diverse species including Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster. In these organisms, lifespan extension is dependent on Sir2, a conserved deacetylase proposed to underlie the beneficial effects of caloric restriction. Here we show that resveratrol shifts the physiology of middle-aged mice on a high-calorie diet towards that of mice on a standard diet and significantly increases their survival. Resveratrol produces changes associated with longer lifespan, including increased insulin sensitivity, reduced insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-I) levels, increased AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor- coactivator 1 (PGC-1) activity, increased mitochondrial number, and improved motor function. Parametric analysis of gene set enrichment revealed that resveratrol opposed the effects of the high-calorie diet in 144 out of 153 significantly altered pathways. These data show that improving general health in mammals using small molecules is an attainable goal, and point to new approaches for treating obesity-related disorders and diseases of ageing.