Have Scientists Found the Fountain of Youth for Dogs?
What if there was a drug that could extend your lifespan by many years? Would you take it? And what if that same drug could be given to your dog to do the same thing? Would you give it to your dog? A drug made called rapamycin, made from a bacterium found on Easter Island, has been researched since the late 90's for its immunosuppressive qualities and the possibility that it may be able to extend the lifespan of both humans and animals.
A study called the Dog Aging Project, headed by Dr. Matt Kaeberlein and Dr. Daniel Promislow, looks at two separate processes: the dog's aging process and how rapamycin's immunosuppressive properties affect the aging process. Rapamycin's mechanism of action is still largely a mystery however Kaeberlein and Promislow have found that a protein mTOR aides in improving certain cell's mitochondrial function.
Kaeberlein explains that the goal of the simultaneous studies is to determine how rapamycin can help elderly people and dogs live a better quality of life rather than necessarily living longer lives. So although a fountain of youth drug it may not be, rapamycin may hopefully bring both humans and dogs happier golden years! Learn more about these studies at DVM 360.