MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Hamid Mirzaei, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry
University of Texas Southwestern
Department of Biochemistry
Dallas, TX 75390
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Aging is a complex process at the cellular level with distinct organismal phenotypes. Despite millennia-old obsession with aging and relentless pursuits for ways to stop and reverse it, such elixir has not been found due to the complexity of the involved mechanisms and our limited understanding of the processes that lead to aging. Although progress has been made in recent years in slowing down the aging process in model organisms and human cells.
In this study, we report that and FDA approved antihypertensive drug, hydralazine, decelerates aging in C. elegans by mechanisms that seem to resemble dietary restriction. We show that hydralazine increases the median lifespan of the C. elegans by 25% which is comparable to or better than other known antiaging compounds.
We demonstrate that not only hydralazine-treated worms live longer, they appear to be healthier in general. Because aging is directly linked to neurodegenerative diseases, we tested our drug on both in vitro and in vivo models of neurodegenerative diseases using chemical and biological stressors (rotenone and tau fibrils) and show that hydralazine has neuroprotective properties as well.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: While there is still a long way to go, our data suggest that hydralazine might offer protection against devastating neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s by activating cell’s own stress response pathway, NRF2. A direct link between aging and age-related diseases is elevated oxidative stress and hence it is not surprising that an antiaging compound would also have neuroprotective properties.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Because hydralazine is a FDA approved drug, it might be a good candidate for clinical trials for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases (i.e. tauopathies). Considering the astronomical cost of human trials, higher model organisms are prime candidates for further studies to validate our findings before a human clinical trial can be launched.
Disclosures: I am the founder of Neurodaroo LLC and a member of its scientific advisory board. Considering the significant cost of additional basic research and clinical trials required to evaluate the efficacy of hydralazine as a treatment strategy for neurodegenerative diseases, we hope we will be able to attract the attention of investors who are keen on defeating devastating neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
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Esmaeil Dehghan, Yiqiang Zhang, Bahar Saremi, Sivaramakrishna Yadavali, Amirmansoor Hakimi, Maryam Dehghani, Mohammad Goodarzi, Xiaoqin Tu, Scott Robertson, Rueyling Lin, Asish Chudhuri, Hamid Mirzaei. Hydralazine induces stress resistance and extends C. elegans lifespan by activating the NRF2/SKN-1 signalling pathway. Nature Communications, 2017; 8 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-02394-3
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