Scientists have found how genes can affect lifespan.
Physical activity combined with genes — longevity experts from the University of Buffalo have discovered an important function of a gene of the dopamine system in the human brain in influencing lifespan. It turned out that for longevity it is necessary that the action of the dopamine D-2 receptor combined with healthy living conditions and physical activity.
The study was conducted on mice by a team of scientists, led by Panayotis (Peter) K. Thanos (Panayotis (Peter) K. Thanos), senior researcher at RIA.
Thanos and his team studied the genes of dopamine to assess their impact on lifespan and behavior in mice. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the pleasure centers of the brain and helps regulate physical movement and emotional reaction.
The researchers found that the dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) significantly affect the life expectancy, body weight and locomotor activity, but only in combination with the external environment, which included social interaction, sensory and cognitive stimulation, and, most importantly, exercise. Such an environment Dr. Thanos called enriched.
“Physical activity is an important component of the environment and its benefits, has been shown to be a potent mediator of brain function and behavior,” says Thanos.
Mice in the enriched environment lived an average of 16 to 22% longer than those who lived in the environment from which the possibility of physical activity.
“These findings provide the first evidence of interaction between genes and environment. D2R play a significant role in longevity and aging,” says Thanos.
Genetic studies of this interaction should lead to better understanding and forecasting the potential benefits of specific conditions and their impact on life expectancy and health in the aging process.