Age-Related Neurodegeneration Prevention Through mTOR Inhibition: Potential Mechanisms and Remaining Questions

Author(s): Jordan B. Jahrling, Remi-Martin Laberge

Journal Name: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry

Volume 15 , Issue 21 , 2015

Become EABM
Become Reviewer
Call for Editor

Graphical Abstract:


With the global aging population, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and mild cognition impairment are increasing in prevalence. The success of rapamycin as an agent to extend lifespan in various organisms, including mice, brings hope that chronic mTOR inhibition could also refrain age-related neurodegeneration. Here we review the evidence suggesting that mTOR inhibition - mainly with rapamycin - is a valid intervention to delay age-related neurodegeneration. We discuss the potential mechanisms by which rapamycin may facilitate neurodegeneration prevention or restoration of cognitive function. We also discuss the known side effects of rapamycin and provide evidence to alleviate exaggerated concerns regarding its wider clinical use. We explore the small molecule alternatives to rapamycin and propose future directions for their development, mainly by exploring the possibility of targeting the downstream effectors of mTOR: S6K1 and especially S6K2. Finally, we discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the models used to determine intervention efficacy for neurodegeneration. We address the difficulties of interpreting data using the common way of investigating the efficacy of interventions to delay/prevent neurodegeneration by observing animal behavior while these animals are under treatment. We propose an experimental design that should isolate the variable of aging in the experimental design and resolve the ambiguity present in recent literature.

Keywords: Aging, Healthspan, Intervention, mTOR, Neurodegeneration, Prevention, Rapamycin.

Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

Year: 2015
Published on: 07 August, 2015
Page: [2139 - 2151]
Pages: 13
DOI: 10.2174/1568026615666150610125856
Price: $65

Article Metrics

PDF: 33