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Matt Kaeberlein: Rapomycin as an anti-aging drug in tests on dogs (and maybe humans)


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Dear colleagues,

This Spring, as always, there was the annual Conference on Aging at UR.  The keynote speaker was Matt Kaeberlein, of the University of Washington.

I was particularly interested in attending his talk -- Prof. Kaeberlein spoke at one of the previous CR Society Conferences that I had attended.

Matt's talk both surprised and interested me.  Matt did not discuss Calorie Restriction -- but he did discuss studies involving the use of rapomycin as an anti-aging  drug.  He made the point that the side-effects of rapomycin that have been identified are minor (rapomycin is often used as a drug with transplant patients to reduce the likelihood of organ rejection, due to a lowering of the immune response).  Dr. Kaeberlein pointed out that studies had not been done on healthy humans; he clearly would support that, but of course the FDA would not approve of such a study without extensive animal studies first.

As we know, studies on fruit flies and rodents have shown both (average) lifespan and (possibly more important) healthspan increases.

Dr. Kaeberlein has received approval for a study on large pet dogs.  (Small dogs live on average much longer than large dogs, which have comparatively short lifespans.)  Owners of large pet dogs can voluntarily enter the study -- some dogs will receive rapomycin, some a placebo.  Since pet dogs are cared for by their owners, the cost of the study is greatly reduced from what a comparable study might cost if the dogs were in cages on site.

After the talk, I asked Dr. Kaeberlein if he believed that CRON and taking rapomycin might work together synergystically.  He told me that there were overlaps in the effects of both anti-aging procedures, but they were not identical.  As to whether they would work well together, he answered truthfully that he had no idea -- he said that it would be impossible to get grant money to support such a study. 

I asked Dr. Kaeberlein if he still was on CR.  He isn't; he said that he never had been.  He "likes his food".


  --  Saul


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