(Press-News.org) Irvine, Calif., Jan. 3, 2013 — A variant of a gene associated with active personality traits in humans seems to also be involved with living a longer life, UC Irvine and other researchers have found.
This derivative of a dopamine-receptor gene – called the DRD4 7R allele – appears in significantly higher rates in people more than 90 years old and is linked to lifespan increases in mouse studies.
Robert Moyzis, professor of biological chemistry at UC Irvine, and Dr. Nora Volkow, a psychiatrist who conducts research at the Brookhaven National Laboratory and also directs the National Institute on Drug Abuse, led a research effort that included data from the UC Irvine-led 90+ Study in Laguna Woods, Calif. Results appear online in The Journal of Neuroscience.
The variant gene is part of the dopamine system, which facilitates the transmission of signals among neurons and plays a major role in the brain network responsible for attention and reward-driven learning. The DRD4 7R allele blunts dopamine signaling, which enhances individuals' reactivity to their environment.
People who carry this variant gene, Moyzis said, seem to be more motivated to pursue social, intellectual and physical activities. The variant is also linked to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and addictive and risky behaviors.
"While the genetic variant may not directly influence longevity," Moyzis said, "it is associated with personality traits that have been shown to be important for living a longer, healthier life. It's been well documented that the more you're involved with social and physical activities, the more likely you'll live longer. It could be as simple as that."
Numerous studies – including a number from the 90+ Study – have confirmed that being active is important for successful aging, and it may deter the advancement of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's.
Prior molecular evolutionary research led by Moyzis and Chuansheng Chen, UC Irvine professor of psychology & social behavior, indicated that this "longevity allele" was selected for during the nomadic out-of-Africa human exodus more than 30,000 years ago.
In the new study, the UC Irvine team analyzed genetic samples from 310 participants in the 90+ Study. This "oldest-old" population had a 66 percent increase in individuals carrying the variant relative to a control group of 2,902 people between the ages of 7 and 45. The presence of the variant also was strongly correlated with higher levels of physical activity.
Next, Volkow, neuroscientist Panayotis Thanos and their colleagues at the Brookhaven National Laboratory found that mice without the variant had a 7 percent to 9.7 percent decrease in lifespan compared with those possessing the gene, even when raised in an enriched environment.
While it's evident that the variant can contribute to longevity, Moyzis said further studies must take place to identify any immediate clinical benefits from the research. "However, it is clear that individuals with this gene variant are already more likely to be responding to the well-known medical adage to get more physical activity," he added.INFORMATION:
First author Deborah Grady, Maria Corrada, Valentina Ciobanu, Alexandra Moyzis, Chuansheng Chen and Dr. Claudia Kawas of UC Irvine; Diana Shustarovich and Gene-Jack Wang of Brookhaven; David Grandy of Oregon Health & Science University; Marcelo Rubinstein of Argentina's National Scientific & Technical Research Council; and Qi Dong of Beijing Normal University also contributed to the study, which was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Institute on Aging, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism intramural program.
About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UC Irvine is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UC Irvine is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,400 staff. Orange County's second-largest employer, UC Irvine contributes an annual economic impact of $4.3 billion. For more UC Irvine news, visit news.uci.edu.
News Radio: UC Irvine maintains on campus an ISDN line for conducting interviews with its faculty and experts. Use of this line is available for a fee to radio news programs/stations that wish to interview UC Irvine faculty and experts. Use of the ISDN line is subject to availability and approval by the university.
UCI maintains an online directory of faculty available as experts to the media. To access, visit www.today.uci.edu/experts.
For UCI breaking news, visit news.uci.edu.
NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites captured visible and infrared data on Tropical Cyclone Dumile as it slammed into the islands of La Reunion and Mauritius in the Southern Indian Ocean.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image of Cyclone Dumile on Jan. 3, 2013 at 0650 UTC (1:50 a.m. EST/U.S.) The image showed Dumile's center was about 85 nautical miles (97.8 miles/157.4 km) northwest of Reunion Island and Mauritius, and the strongest thunderstorms appeared to be southwest of the ...
The first Tropical Depression of 2013 formed the western North Pacific Ocean today, and NASA's Terra satellite captured an infrared image of the "birth."
Tropical Depression Sonamu, otherwise known as Tropical Depression 01W developed near 8.6 north latitude and 118.6 east longitude, about 185 nautical miles (213 miles/342.6 km) northwest of Zamboanga, Philippines. Sonamu's center is located in the Sulu Sea and is expected to cross the southern end of Palawan before moving into the open waters of the South China Sea.
Sonamu developed from low pressure System 92W. At ...
New Rochelle, NY, January 3, 2013—Penetrating soft tissue injuries that may be caused by bullet wounds or motor vehicle accidents, or exposure to explosive devices in military settings, can cause muscle loss resulting in functional disability and cosmetic deformity. Efforts underway to develop tissue engineering solutions to repair and replace damaged and lost muscle will benefit greatly from the availability of robust animal models to test these innovative therapeutic strategies. A new rat model that simulates traumatic or surgical muscle tissue loss in humans is described ...
(Edmonton) A University of Alberta researcher's examination of fossilized dinosaur tail bones has led to a breakthrough finding: some feathered dinosaurs used tail plumage to attract mates, much like modern-day peacocks and turkeys.
U of A Paleontology researcher Scott Persons followed a chain of fossil evidence that started with a peculiar fusing together of vertebrae at the tip of the tail of four different species of dinosaurs, some separated in time and evolution by 45 million years.
Persons says the final vertebrae in the tails of a group of dinosaurs called oviraptors ...
The Riviera Comedy Club in Las Vegas Presents Comedian Don Barnhart
Beginning Jan 7th - 13th, Comedian Don Barnhart brings his award-winning stand up comedy show to The Riviera Comedy Club in Las Vegas.
Barnhart combines clever, well-written material with an improvisational flair that keeps audiences of all demographics howling with laughter and coming back for more. In 2012, Barnhart's show was named "Best Bet" by the Las Vegas Review/Journal. Appearing alongside Barnhart is comedian Kathleen Dunbar.
Show times are 8:30pm Mon-Sun and tickets are $19.99 ...
A company that finds jobs is ironically the best company to work for. Every Year, Atlanta highlights the best companies in the metro area, and this time, Every Woman Works is one of them.
Among the 45 companies chosen locally, Every Woman Works Inc., has been voted as one of the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in 2012. Each year, the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For competition identifies and honors organizations that display a commitment to excellence in their human resource practices and employee enrichment. Organizations are assessed based on categories ...
Preferred Healthcare Funding, LLC announces its launch today to offer healthcare providers a solution for the immediate and ongoing resolution of their current and future self-pay and self-pay after insurance patient accounts receivable.
Preferred Healthcare Funding, LLC (the "Company") will serve healthcare providers nationwide with a full complement of self-pay revenue cycle acquisition services. The Company has solutions in place for the purchase of self-pay and self-pay after insurance accounts at any stage in the revenue cycle from early out, primary to ...
Calloway's and Cornelius Nursery has just the solution for that empty space where the Christmas tree once stood — add a little nature and some fresh air with a new house plant. On Saturday, Jan. 19 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Texas-based garden center will host a free repotting event for gardeners who need new plants or to revive existing plants with new potting soil.
Gardeners can bring a plant and pot or purchase new ones while learning important tips from Texas Certified Nursery Professionals on how to care for house plants. Calloway's and Cornelius Nursery will provide ...
Bolt Public Relations, an award-winning public relations agency with offices in Irvine, Calif. and Raleigh, N.C., is pleased to announce the expansion of its operations with the addition of account executive, Lauren Miller, and account coordinators, Danielle Solich and Chelsea Thompson.
Known for her savvy media skills, Miller comes to Bolt PR with an extensive background in public relations. She previously served as a senior account executive for Berkman PR in San Diego, Calif. During her time there, she developed and implemented campaigns for the agency's largest ...
Xchange Technology Group today announced the appointment of Chappell Phillips as the Vice President of Administration & General Counsel. In his new role, Chappell will report directly to the CEO of XTG, Jeff McFarlane and will be in charge of national and international legal transactions, M&A, contract negotiations and other legal matters.
Chappell is a proven and effective consensus-builder and manager of international business initiatives with over 19 years of extensive experience in corporate governance, commercial contract negotiating, M&A, intellectual ...