Examination of heart muscle in flies can help keep your heart young, Researchers might have found a way to restore the watch to the aging heart muscle in fruit flies. This development can lead to new therapies for the elderly with heart disease.
The researchers’ approach began with autophagy, the cellular “cleaning process” that removes and recycles damaged proteins and organelles. The autophagy process slows down with age, which can cause weakening of the heart muscles. The research team investigated important genetic pathways, which are maintained in almost all organisms on earth and are associated with autophagy and reconciling body growth with nutrient absorption.
This time, called the mechanistic target of rapamycin (or mTOR), has long been linked to tissue aging, researchers say. One of the two complexes underlying the mTOR signaling pathway (mTORC2) decreases with increasing autophagy with increasing age. However, the researchers found that the transgenic mTORC2 strengthens the heart muscle of older fruit flies.
Findings that increasing mTORC2 slow the decline in critical autophagy can have a significant impact on the treatment of patients with heart disease, one of the leading causes of death in the United States.
While flies and humans appear to be an evolutionary world, researchers say the hearts of the two species have aged the same way. Until middle age, heart muscles in both types tend to contract with less strength and regularity.
The researchers came to their conclusions after recording thousands of videos of heart muscle in fruit flies of various ages. High speed camera with high resolution measures the activity of the heart muscle of the fly. Experiments show that increasing mTORC2 can restore flies’ heart function from five to six weeks compared to flies aged between one and two weeks.
It’s like restoring the heart in middle age, how it works in young adulthood, the researchers said. Because flies only live between two and three months, it is much easier for scientists to study aging and longevity in flies than older species, the researchers said.
And the ability to manipulate the fly’s genome also makes it ideal for genetic testing and general model organisms, according to researchers.