Cologne Researchers discover important ageing mechanism


Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing and the CECAD Cluster of Excellence in Ageing Research at the University of Cologne now came across folate metabolism in their research for basic mechanisms which determine human ageing. Regulation of folate metabolism may provide a new possibility to improve human health while ageing.

Over the last few decades, several cellular signalling pathways which regulate the life span of organisms have been discovered. These pathways are particularly important for the research of ageing. Researchers from the Max-Planck-Institute for the Biology of Ageing and the University of Cologne found out that changing these signalling pathways could extend the lifespan of a wide variety of organisms.

Common mechanism for longevity

Dr. Andrea Annibal, postdoc at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biology of Ageing and lead author of the study, explains that different, long-lived worm lines were examined in the study. The researchers regulated the folate metabolism in these roundworms and were in consequence able to observe an increase in the worms’ life span of up to 30 percent. The same happened when repeating the experiment with mice, suggesting that “regulation of folate metabolism may underlie not only the various longevity signalling pathways in worms, but also in mammals,” Annibal states. This knowledge offers a completely new possibility of improving human health while ageing. More information about the project you can find here.

Clusters of Excellence at the University of Cologne

Including the CECAD, the University of Cologne has four clusters of excellence, which formed the basis for the application as a University of Excellence in 2019. These are supported financially by the federal and state governments, and are aimed to sustainably strengthen Germany as a science location and further improve its international competitiveness.