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High Blood Pressure Medication Shown To Slow Aging and Extend Lifespan

A study recently published in the journal Aging Cell found that administering rilmenidine, a medication used to treat hypertension, to animals at both young and older ages increases lifespan and enhances overall health markers, similar to the effects of caloric restriction.

Researchers have discovered that the hypertension drug rilmenidine can extend lifespan and slow aging.

New research findings, published on January 20 in the journal Aging Cell, show that animals treated with rilmenidine, currently used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), at young and older ages increase lifespan and improve health markers, mimicking the effects of caloric restriction. Rilmenidine, which is a prescription medication, is marketed under the brand names Albarel, Hyperium, Iterium, and Tenaxum. 

They also demonstrate that the healthspan and lifespan benefits of rilmenidine treatment in the roundworm C. elegans are mediated by the I1-imidazoline receptor nish-1, identifying this receptor as a potential longevity target.

Unlike other drugs previously studied for this purpose by the researchers, the widely-prescribed, oral antihypertensive rilmenidine has the potential for future translatability to humans as side effects are rare and non-severe.

To date, a caloric restriction diet has been considered the most robust anti-aging intervention, promoting longevity across speciesA species is a group of living organisms that share a set of common characteristics and are able to breed and produce fertile offspring. The concept of a species is important in biology as it is used to classify and organize the diversity of life. There are different ways to define a species, but the most widely accepted one is the biological species concept, which defines a species as a group of organisms that can interbreed and produce viable offspring in nature. This definition is widely used in evolutionary biology and ecology to identify and classify living organisms.” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]”>species. However, studies of caloric restriction in humans have had mixed results and side effects, meaning finding medications like rilmenidine that can mimic the benefits of caloric restriction is the most reasonable anti-aging strategy.

Professor João Pedro Magalhães, who led the research whilst at the University of Liverpool and is now based at the University of BirminghamFounded in 1825 as the Birmingham School of Medicine and Surgery, the University of Birmingham (informally Birmingham University) is a public research university located in Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom. It is a founding member of both the Russell Group, an association of public research universities in the United Kingdom, and Universitas 21, an international network of research-intensive universities. ” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]”>University of Birmingham, said: “With a global aging population, the benefits of delaying aging, even if slightly, are immense. Repurposing drugs capable of extending lifespan and healthspan has a huge untapped potential in translational geroscience. For the first time, we have been able to show in animals that rilmenidine can increase lifespan. We are now keen to explore if rilmenidine may have other clinical applications.”

Reference: “Rilmenidine extends lifespan and healthspan in Caenorhabditis elegans via a nischarin I1-imidazoline receptor” by Dominic F. Bennett, Anita Goyala, Cyril Statzer, Charles W. Beckett, Alexander Tyshkovskiy, Vadim N. Gladyshev, Collin Y. Ewald and João Pedro de Magalhães, 20 January 2023, Aging Cell.
DOI: 10.1111/acel.13774

This study was undertaken by researchers from the University of Liverpool, ETH Zürich, and Harvard Medical School, and funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, LongeCity, and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Source: SciTechDaily