Novel pro-longevity compounds for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases

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  • Published date: May 15, 2016
  • Modified date: August 29, 2016
    • Liverpool , United Kingdom

Ageing is arguably the major biomedical challenge of the 21st century with the incidence of age-related diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases in particular, expected to increase dramatically in the coming decades. In model organisms, caloric restriction (CR), a reduction in calorie intake without malnutrition, extends longevity and retards age-related diseases, including neurodegeneration. Developing CR mimetics, compounds that reproduce the health and longevity benefits of CR without its side-effects, is therefore of widespread medical and commercial interest.

In this project, we aim to identify and characterize new compounds with pro-longevity, health-promoting and neuroprotective effects that may be suitable for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. To achieve this, we have recently identified 11 novel candidate CR mimetic drugs using a network pharmacology approach. Five of these have already been tested in the roundworm C. elegans, an established model of ageing and of CR, with four significantly extending lifespan via CR-related processes (see: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/acel.12432/abstract ). To assess the potential of these new candidate CR mimetics for the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions, we now aim to study them for lifespan and healthspan effects in worm models of neurodegenerative diseases. Mechanisms of action will be studied, and mammalian cells will also be used to assay for potential effects relevant to humans. The exact direction of this project, however, will be adapted to fit the research interests and background of the student.

There is considerable current interest in repurposing drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions. We expect to identify new compounds which can ultimately culminate in the development of new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.

Further details about our work on the biology and genetics of aging are available at:
http://pcwww.liv.ac.uk/~aging/

Interested applicants are welcome to contact us for an informal discussion:
http://pcwww.liv.ac.uk/~aging/contact.html

This project is open to applicants who are able to obtain their own funding for tuition fee, consumable laboratory costs and living expenses.

Joao Pedro de Magalhaes
2 votes

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