Extension of Life-Span with Superoxide Dismutase/Catalase Mimetics

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Science  01 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5484, pp. 1567-1569
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5484.1567

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We tested the theory that reactive oxygen species cause aging. We augmented the natural antioxidant systems ofCaenorhabditis elegans with small synthetic superoxide dismutase/catalase mimetics. Treatment of wild-type worms increased their mean life-span by a mean of 44 percent, and treatment of prematurely aging worms resulted in normalization of their life-span (a 67 percent increase). It appears that oxidative stress is a major determinant of life-span and that it can be counteracted by pharmacological intervention.

  • * Present address: Aventis Pharma, London Road, Holmes Chapel, Crewe, Cheshire, CW4 8BE, UK.

  • Present address: Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: Gordon.Lithgow{at}

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