Washington: A new research has found that ageing is determined not only by the accumulation of changes during our lifetime but also by the genes we acquire from our mothers.
There are many causes of ageing that are determined by an accumulation of various kinds of changes that impair the function of bodily organs.
Of particular importance in ageing, however, seems to be the changes that occur in the cell`s power plant - the mitochondrion.
This structure is located in the cell and generates most of the cell`s supply of ATP which is used as a source of chemical energy.
"The mitochondria contains their own DNA, which changes more than the DNA in the nucleus, and this has a significant impact on the ageing process," Nils-Goran Larsson, Ph.D., professor at the Karolinska Institutet and principal investigator at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, and leader of the current study alongside Lars Olson, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institutet, said.
"Many mutations in the mitochondria gradually disable the cell`s energy production," Larsson said.
For the first time, the researchers have shown that the ageing process is influenced not only by the accumulation of mitochondrial DNA damage during a person`s lifetime, but also by the inherited DNA from their mothers.
"Surprisingly, we also show that our mother`s mitochondrial DNA seems to influence our own ageing," Larsson said.
"If we inherit m DNA with mutations from our mother, we age more quickly," the researcher added.
The study is published in the journal Nature.