Chloroquine Defeats Aging?
Keywords:chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, aging, healthspan, autophagy
Autophagy, the turnover of cellular components including organelles, declines with age. Thus, enhancement of this characteristic process is hypothesized to improve health and extend lifespan. Two recent papers present data indicating that contrary to expectation, chloroquine (CQ), a nominal inhibitor of autophagy, extended the lifespan of middle-aged mice and rats by ~10%. Details of these studies provide a cautionary tale regarding traditional reagents or “tool compounds” of “established” mechanisms often used in cellular biological research. However, these and earlier studies support a deeper investigation of CQ or its more commonly used clinical analog, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), as potential drugs to increase health span and slow the aging process.
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