Androgen and Aging
Do you want to defy aging? Yes, you can easily if you're a man. Telomerase, an enzyme naturally found in the human organism, is the closest of all identified substances to a “cellular elixir of adolescence.” In a recent study, Brazilian and US researchers exhibit that sex hormones can stimulate production of this enzyme.
The approach was demonstrated in patients with genetic ailments associated with mutations within the gene that codes for telomerase, such as aplastic anemia and pulmonary fibrosis. The authors say that the results recommend that the technique can fight damage triggered to the organism by telomerase deficiency.
This research was performed by Brazilian researchers in collaboration with colleagues on the National Institute of Health (NIH) in the United States. One of the scientists was Rodrigo Calado, a professor at the University of SÃ£o Paulo’s RibeirÃ£o Preto Medical School (FMRP-USP) and a member of the Center for Cell-Based Therapy (CTC), probably one of the Research, Innovation and Dissemination Centers (RIDCs) supported by FAPESP.
According to him, One of the processes associated with aging is progressive shortening of telomeres, DNA-protecting structures at the ends of chromosomes, like the plastic tips on shoelaces. Each time a cell divides, its telomeres get shorter. Eventually, the cell can’t replicate anymore and dies or becomes senescent. However, telomerase can keep the length of telomeres intact, even after cell division.
He further added that telomere length is a laboratory measure of a cell’s “age.” Some cells avoid getting older by making use of telomerase to extend their telomeres through the addition of DNA sequences, thereby keeping their potential to multiply and “stay young.”
In an embryo, tissue is still in the formative stage and telomerase is expressed by using each cell. After this period, cells that are regularly dividing, such as hematopoietic (blood-forming) stem cells, which will differentiate into specialised cells, proceed to provide telomerase.
According to Calado, Aplastic anemia is one of the diseases that can be caused by telomerase deficiency. Bone marrow stem cells age prematurely and fail to produce enough red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, making the patient dependent on blood transfusions and more susceptible to infections.
In 2009, Calado and collaborators published a piece of writing within the journal Blood displaying that androgens, which can be transformed into estrogens in humans, bind to feminine hormone receptors in the telomerase gene promoter region and thereby stimulate the expression of the enzyme in cells.
Calado further added, The study we’ve just published was designed to find out whether the effect we’d observed in the lab also occurred in humans, and the results indicate that it does.
Instead of estrogen, the researchers treated subjects with androgen, he defined, since it has been used as a drug for a long time in cases of congenital anemia and presents the advantage of stimulating an increase in the mass of hemoglobin (red blood cells), which estrogen was not able to do.
Remedy with the steroid danazol, a synthetic male hormone, was proven for 2 years in 27 sufferers with aplastic anemia as a result of telomerase gene mutations. According to Calado, In a healthy adult, telomere length varies from 7,000 to 9,000 base pairs on average. A normal person’s telomeres lose 50 to 60 base pairs per year, but a patient with telomerase deficiency can lose between 100 and 300 base pairs per year. On patients who received danazol, telomere length was increased by 386 base pairs on average for over two years.”
Furthermore, hemoglobin mass increased from 9 grams per decilitre (g/dL) to 11 g/dL on the average. A man or woman without anemia customarily has between 12 and 16 g/dL, but the growth observed in these topics was adequate to rid them of transfusion dependency.
Calado stated, “On completion of the protocol, the medication was interrupted, and we observed a fall in all counts. Several patients resumed the medication with smaller doses, individually adjusted to minimize side effects.
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Reference: Science Daily
Written By: Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna Bedia