In the March 23 online edition of the prestigious journal Aging Cell, scientists from the University of Montreal explain how they found that the antidiabetic drug metformin reduces the production of inflammatory cytokines that normally activate the immune system, but if overproduced can lead to pathological inflammation, a condition that both damages tissues in aging and favors tumor growth.
"Cells normally secrete these inflammatory cytokines when they need to mount an immune response to infection, but chronic production of these same cytokines can also cause cells to age. Such chronic inflammation can be induced, for example by smoking" and old cells are particular proficient at making and releasing cytokines says Dr. Gerardo Ferbeyre, senior author and a University of Montreal biochemistry professor. He adds that, "We were surprised by our finding that metformin could prevent the production of inflammatory cytokines by old cells ".
In collaboration with Michael Pollack of the Segal Cancer Centre of the Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, Dr. Ferbeyre and his team discovered that metformin prevented the synthesis of cytokines directly at the level of the regulation of their genes. "The genes that code for cytokines are normal, but a protein that normally triggers their activation called NF-B can't reach them in the cell nucleus in metformin treated cells", Dr. Ferbeyre explained. "We also found that metformin does not exert its effects through a pathway commonly thought to mediate its antidiabetic effects", he added.
"We have suspected that metformin acts in different ways on different pathways to cause effects on aging and cancer. Our studies now point to one mechanism", noted lead authors of the study Olga Moiseeva and Xavier Deschênes-Simard. Dr. Ferbeyre emphasized that, "this is an important finding with implications for our understanding on how the normal organism defends itself from the threat of cancer and how a very common and safe drug may aid in treatment of some cancers and perhaps slow down the aging process. He adds, "It remains that determining the specific targets of metformin would give us an even better opportunity of profit from its beneficial effects. That's what we want to figure out next".
The University of Montreal is known officially as Université de Montréal. The research involved in the study "Metformin inhibits the senescence-associated secretory phenotype by interfering with IKK/NF-B activation" was financed by Prostate Cancer Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (MOP-82887).
To read the Aging Cell article onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/acel.12075/
About the University of Montreal: http://www.umontreal.ca/english
About the Department of Biochemistry http://www.bcm.umontreal.ca
About Dr. Ferbeyre's research: http://www.mapageweb.umontreal.ca/ferbeyre/index-en.htm
More genes are active in high-performance maize
19.01.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
How plants see light
19.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine
19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy