Researchers from the University of southern California, seem to have discovered a way to ensure that good health is maintained, and a longer lifespan than usual is sustained by affecting the release of certain hormones. The results of the studies that were carried out in this research were published in the Journal of Biological Sciences. These results showed that the drug called mifeprestone, had certain properties that enabled it to extend the lifespan of living organisms. The living organisms used during the experiments that were done in the research were of distinct species. These studies suggest that the impact of this drug in extending the lifespan of the lower species of animals used in the experiments, may also apply to higher species such as humans.
Mifepristone, which is also referred to as RU-486, is a used by medical personnel in the termination of pregnancies that are still in their early stages. It was discovered to be helpful in the treatment of patients with cushing disease and cancer. The fruit fly, which is commonly referred to as Drosophila, is the animal model that is generally used for study in experiments that are carried out in laboratories by both scientists and researchers. These scientists found out that the females of these lives seemed to live longer after they were mated with the males, and were given mifepristone.
A scientist who took part in the research gave more details about their new findings. He stated that the data that they had gotten, it showed that the drug had either directly or indirectly affected the juvenile hormone signaling process in the flies. The scientist continued by saying that the puzzle in their findings that they could not crack was knowing the exact target of the mifepristone. Reports from the scientists stated that when a female drosophila mates with the male, the latter gives it a molecule which is called a sex peptide.
Researches that were carried out in the last years, showed that this sex peptide seem to have negative effects on the female drosophila, such as causing inflammation, and the reduction in the lifespan, and health of the fly. The research showed that the drug that was given to female drosophilas , had made them appear to live longer, and stay healthier than their other counterparts who were not given. This was because mifepristone caused a reduction in the effects that the sex peptide had on the flies.
These effects that was observed in the flies, is identical to those that are normally seen when women take the drug. One of the researchers, known as John Tower, outlined these effects that were noticed in both humans and the drosophilas. The first was that there was a distortion in the reproductive abililty in the body, and an alteration in the natural immune response of the body. Tower continued by saying that this could lead to an extended lifespan in both humans and the flies. It is hoped that this new discovery is one that can be sustained, and works as it would greatly affect the life span of mankind in general.