WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO
Life is precious. Health too. This is why communities of researchers and citizens dedicate our lives to discover new ways to gain additional years of healthy life.
As research progresses, more and more compounds are believed to be good to maintain health over long periods of time. But wouldn't that take decades of clinical trials to verify it? A key step is to do such a clinical trial... in mice : that is what we call a mouse lifespan test. Mouse lifespan tests are infrequent because of their length, their costs and the required environments; but it is crucially needed to continue adding years of healthy life.
Here, we step on the shoulders of giants : by contributing you can help us test a combination of drugs shown to extend healthy lifespan in mice. The largest life extension in mice so far resulted from a similar effort, where one mouse lived very close to 5 years (mice usually live 2-3 years)! The result should be key to to optimally search for additional years of healthy life.
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT
This experiment has something unique. It is the first time in the world that crowdfunding is used to test a combination of the most potent nongenetic-interventions known to extend the lifespan.
The results will help in the search for life prolonging treatments for both animals and humans. Analogous experiments have hardly been done in mammals and have usually been done only for the immediate short-term effects, without checking the effects on the animal’s entire lifespan. For these reasons in many cases you never know for sure whether the drugs you take shorten your lifespan or make you live longer and healthier.
Whether the treated animals will live healthier and longer is not obvious. In drug testing experiments, combinations of treatments sometimes work together in synergy, but sometimes are detrimental. So, in spite of our carefully chosen choice of drugs to combine, there is a risk that the combination may be detrimental to the lifespan. But that will be worth knowing too, as that will give a warning sign for people. In either case, the results will be valuable for the development of health science.
The results will be published in a peer-reviewed open access journal (gold and green route).
There are *right now* in the lab a sufficient number of aged mice (~20 months old) – male and female - which belong to the C57Bl6 strain to start a lifespan test. The mice will be divided into 2 test groups (females and males) and 2 control groups (24 animals per each group). The test will be blind.
The food of the treated mice will contain:
* An α-adrenergetic receptor blocker (metoprolol). Potential action: Prevents too fast heart beats.
* An mTOR inhibitor (everolimus, similar action as rapamycin). Potential action: Puts cells in an active and resistant mode.
* Metformin. Potential action: Normalizes blood and IGF-1 values at low levels. It also has potential similarities with everolimus.
* Simvastatin. Action: Decreases the amount of LDL cholesterol (considered as 'bad' by some) in the blood.
* Ramipril: an ACE inhibitor. Action: Prevents hypertension.
* Aspirin. When small doses are used, it is believed to have reduced side effects while improving blood flow and therefore reducing cardiovascular risks, and potentially also preventing incidence of some cancers.
Of note, the fact that those drugs extend the lifespan of mice (in good health!) does not necessarily mean that those explanations are the right explanatory factors. Just like aspirin, that has been sufficiently used to notice various effects other than improving blood flow, medicines can have various effects over time, and assessing overall beneficial effects is of high importance for health.
IMPORTANT: OUR PRIMARY GOAL has been reached and all extra money are used for ADDITIONAL TESTING GROUPS to test other combinations of drugs.
HOW THE DONATIONS WILL BE USED
Crowdfunding is needed to buy these drugs and food for animals and to uphold the conditions of the experiments (that will make the results even more reliable).
If we wait any longer, the mice will be in the "strong dying phase" of their life and it will make the experiment useless. So we cannot wait for academic grant money, we have used our own money to start the experiment and count on the help of the Crowd to continue.
Also, additional money will help prepare for other experiments of this type.
This project will be the first step toward the creation of a research facility for automated testing of healthy lifespan extending interventions.
We are longevity researchers and citizens, who dedicate our lifes to discover new ways to live longer and healthier.
Edouard Debonneuil, France, aging researcher affiliated with the European Healthy Life Extension Society (Heales) and International Longevity Alliance (ILA) working on applying molecular biology of aging to extend the healthy lifespan.
Prof. Steven Spindler is chief scientific adviser, affiliated with University of California, Riverside. Steven is current winner of M-Prize on Rejuvenation.
Prof. Iryna N. Pishel is the principal investigator, affiliated with the Institute of Gerontology of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences, Kiev
Dmitri W. Shytikov, PhD student and other researchers of Immunology & Pathophysiology Laboratory of Kiev Institute of Gerontology
Other activists and researchers of International Longevity Alliance ( http://longevityalliance.org/ ) who helped to make it happen: Anton Kulaga, Daniel Wuttke, Ilia Stambler, Oleg Serdyuk, Shanee Nishry
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: How much are those 100 mice worth?
A: We use mice of B6 strain, Mouse of B6 strain cost about $10 each. Keeping them to 20 months at $0.20/day = $120 each, so $130 each x 100 = $13,000 in mouse value. The mice are 20-21 month old. The lifespan of B6 is typically 25-26 months The lifespan of our B6 subline is typically 30-36 months
We already have mice. That comes for free, once the crowdfunding succeeds. So $5000 in funding activates $13,000 in mice, plus the ongoing care for the remainder of the experiment, etc.
Q: How much food is consumed by mice?
A: We calculated the actual food consumption in mice. Food consumption was 0.1 g / g body weight / day. The average mouse body weight = 25 g. Consequently = 2.5 g / mouse / day, or = 75 g / mouse / month.
Approximately 30-40% of food is lost - mice gnawing it. Therefore, the above calculated amount of food intake should be increased by at least 30%, and is 100 g / mouse / month. If all 24 mice in Exp 1 survive 16 months (which is impossible), we need 38 kg of food. Therefore, 30 kg of diet for experiment 1 is enough.
Q: Why some mice are white and some are black on the video?
A: There are mice from several experiments done in different strains in the mouse facility. In current experiment mice of B6 strain (black ones) will be used.
Q: How did it happen that more than a hundred mice were just present and that nobody did experiments on them?
A: Kiev Gerontology Institute is large. It used to be the biggest in USSR and one of the world leaders in bio-gerontology domain. After USSR disintegration it lost its world top-ranking but still there are many laboratories and animal experiments conducted there. A large part of them are done on aged mice and focus on maintaining their health, due to specialization of the Institute in Gerontology. Those mice that we discovered had not been supposed to be used for lifespan tests and therefore were in another room of the mouse facility.
Sometimes experiments on animals are cancelled due to lack of funding or another reasons and mice become "free" for some time, until any laboratory of the Institute proposes to make other experiment on them. And when such experiments are planned on aged mice there is always a risk that they will be lost for science as animals will become too old before labs will find appropriate experiment for them and receive funding for it.
Q: Is SENS Research Foundation fiscal sponsor of the campaign?
A: No, it is not. SENS Research Foundation is only a campaign carrier.
Q: I have difficulties paying to Indiegogo via credit card, are there any alternative ways to pay?
A: Yes, you can pay to our partners in different countries of the world and they will transfer your donation to the campaign. Please, do no forget to mention "little mouse crowdfunding" in the payment comments.
Sceaux Longévité Santé (tax deductable for french donors): http://www.sceauxlongevitesante.org/dons-nbsp.html
Russian transhumanist movement ( http://transhuman.ru ):
Or via cash to representatives of RTM in Russian cities.
Q: I see that Mesuselah foundation from time to time donates 1 thousand of dollars, what is it about?
A: We are happy to tell about support from Mesuselah foundation, for each thousand dollars donated to this campaign they donate one thousand more until the goal of campaign will be reached. So you may count that all your donations will be doubled.
Q: What does the “Biology training course” involve, and where is it available?
A: The content of "Biology training course" will be tailored to the interests of the contributor. As we are in contact with laboratories all around the globe, we will locate the most suitable location for doing the training that you like to do. Please post your preferred location and the topic in which you like to get training in and we will find the best place for it for you. We would greatly appreciate topics that have relevance to aging research as most of our contacts are researching on aging.
Q: Are we trying to win the Methuselah Mouse Prize?
A: It was not in our original intention to win the MPrize. However, if indeed a mouse would break the record, we would invest the prize money into performing additional experiments towards extending the lifespan of mice and humans for the sake of humanity.
Q: As we are trying a combination therapy and there are many other drugs, nutrients, and interventions that one could test, is it possible to suggest the inclusion of other things to test?
A: Yes, it is possible to include additional treatments. If you have any particular suggestions then please let us know and we will try to include it if it makes sense.
Suggested so far were:
Olive Oil Supplementation
Sirt1 Activation in the Brain
recombinant GDF-11 (rGDF-11) Supplementation
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Oral Hormone Replacement
Q: Is it possible to give male names and female names for mice?
A: As we have both male and female mice, it is possible to give names of both sexes. However, we would appreciate if you could give a female mouse also a female name and a male mouse a male name and not vice versa.
Q: Is it possible that biomarkers of aging can be measured in these mice and which one?
A: Yes, if enough contributions are made a panel of biomarkers will be used to assess the effect of the treatment. Those biomarkers however should be non-invasive (or minimal invasive; e.g. blood tests).
Q: Will the food intake or weight be controlled to exclude CR?
A: We are able to control the effect of CR.
Q: Will we have any tissue for analysis?
A: Tissues might be offered from those mice that die, e.g. for autopsy. We will freeze tissues and ship them to other labs for analysis if required. If you like to analyse them please get in touch with us.
Q: Why does this crowd-funding campaign have such weird "i-am-a-little-mouse-and-i-want-to-live-longer" name?
A: Because campaign started from a little mouse who wants to live longer. Here is the story: