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Mutations Inherited From The Mother May Contribute to Aging

Scientists show that mitochondrial DNA mutations, which is transmitted maternally, accelerate senescence.

German scientists have found evidence that mutations inherited from their mother through mitochondrial DNA could exacerbate aging, according to a study published today in the British journal ‘Nature’.

The research, conducted in mice, is the work of a team from the Max Planck Institute in Cologne (Germany) and represents “a great sign that more aging not only generates over our lives, but we can gain some predisposition also at birth, “he told Efe project leader, Nils-Göran Larsson. Although deterioration in old age is due to accumulation of harmful agents, this scientific team points to dysfunctions in mitochondrial DNA as a major aggravating the process.

Mitochondrial DNA, located outside the cell nucleus, is inherited maternally provided and is responsible for the transmission of incurable genetic diseases that particularly affect organs and tissues with increased energy needs such as the brain, heart, pancreas or kidneys. In this sense, the researchers say that dysfunctions in mitochondrial DNA that a person could inherit from their mother, if she is a carrier of a mutation in its genome, could “increase the aging of tissues if they are combined with other dysfunctions developed by other causes. “

To reach these conclusions, the German team experimented with different groups of mice carriers and non-carriers of mitochondrial dysfunction and mice with mutations in their mitochondrial DNA caused during its life span. After five years of research, the results showed that mice with mitochondrial dysfunction in their genome maternally acquired had more symptoms of aging and reduced fertility, as their progeny were less numerous. Among these symptoms, the main ones were those related to the respiratory system.

The conclusion reached by the researchers was that inherited dysfunction acted as a basis on which other possible mutations by physical, chemical and biological intervened later. “What is most striking is that even the lowest levels of inherited mitochondrial mutations could cause significant consequences that manifest in human pathologies that develop in old age,” said Larsson.

One finding was that the combination of legacy and non dysfunction can cause inherited malformations in the brain, particularly in the hippocampus. According to Larsson, the results of the research could be useful in other areas of genetics, for “other agents are also transmitted through the mother, that contribute to aging,” said the scientist

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