No Pain, Big Gain
Eliminating a pain receptor makes mice live longer and keeps their metabolisms young.
It is well-known that advancing age comes with aches and pains, but new research suggests that a pain receptor in turn promotes metabolic problems and aging. Mice lacking the pain receptor TRPV1 live longer than controls and have more youthful metabolisms, according to a study published today (May 22) in Cell. The results indicate that over-activation of TRPV1—which responds to extreme heat, inflammation, and other stressors—may contribute to aging and aging-related glucose-processing problems.
“The most provocative data is just the longevity,” said Gerard Ahern of Georgetown University, noting that the connection between TRPV1 and lifespan is “very novel and perhaps unexpected.” Ahern was not involved in the study.