New clues on how gender, age, nutrition may impact lifespan

Different factors, including gender, ethnicity, genetics, and lifestyle, can impact how long a person will live. In a large mouse study, researchers from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne have identified specific gender- and age-dependent genes linked to longevity.Scientists also found that early-life nutrition significantly impacted longevity in the mouse model.

Although no one can predict how long they will live, factors like genetics, lifestyle, gender, and ethnicity can impact a person’s longevity.

Now researchers from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland have discovered specific gender- and age-dependent genes linked to longevity through a large-scale mouse model.

This study appears in the journal Science.

This study used a large-scale model featuring more than 3,000 genetically-diverse mice. The research team identified specific genetic loci — the physical location of a specific gene on a chromosome — correlated to longevity.

Additionally, researchers found some of these specific genes were different depending on if the mouse was male or female. Additionally, some genes did not affect lifespan until a mouse reached a certain age. This was specifically observed in male mice.

According to Dr. Maroun Bou Sleiman, Ph.D., a scientist at the Laboratory of Integrative Systems Physiology at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and the lead author of this study, he was not surprised to find distinct genetic loci determined that male and female longevity.

“First, this has been shown in other species, notably Drosophila melanogaster,” he told Medical News Today. “Second, male and female mortalities are different — females live longer than males, (and) males have a wave of early deaths due to stresses associated with (a) dominance hierarchy.”

“Third, the life history of males and females is different as well as their immunity, endocrinology, and metabolism,” Dr. Bou Sleiman continued. “Finally, many of the interventions that extend lifespan in mice do that in a sex-specific manner. There is, therefore, a necessity to systematically assess traits such as longevity in each sex separately.”

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