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      The Naked Mole-Rat: A New Long-Living Model for Human Aging Research

      The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences

      Oxford University Press (OUP)

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          Abstract

          Tremendous variation in maximum life span among species overshadows modest increases in longevity resulting from experimental manipulation. Few aging studies focus on long-lived mammals even though these species may expose mechanisms involved in resisting aging. Naked mole-rats (NMRs approximately 35 grams) are the longest-living (>28.3 years) rodents known. This review describes their biology and potential use in aging research. Lifestyle features concur with most evolutionary theories with the exception of the disposable soma theory. Indeed, maximum life span is similar in breeders and nonbreeders, and these highly fecund animals reproduce until they die. Shared characteristics with calorie-restricted, methionine-restricted, and dwarf mice models of extended longevity include reduced body temperature; reduced thyroid, and blood glucose concentrations; and low glycated hemoglobin; in addition to reduced incidence of cancer. Young naked mole-rats surprisingly have high levels of accrued oxidative damage. With their similar longevity quotient to humans, these rodents may provide a novel opportunity to examine mechanisms modulating aging.

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          Most cited references 34

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          Evolution of ageing

           T Kirkwood (1977)
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            Evolutionary medicine: from dwarf model systems to healthy centenarians?

            Restriction of the number of calories consumed extends longevity in many organisms. In rodents, caloric restriction decreases the levels of plasma glucose and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-1) and postpones or attenuates cancer, immunosenescence, and inflammation without irreversible side effects. In organisms ranging from yeast to mice, mutations in glucose or IGF-I-like signaling pathways extend life-span but also cause glycogen or fat accumulation and dwarfism. This information suggests a new category of drugs that could prevent or postpone diseases of aging with few adverse effects.
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              Extraordinary lifespans in ants: a test of evolutionary theories of ageing

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
                The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                1079-5006
                1758-535X
                November 01 2005
                November 01 2005
                : 60
                : 11
                : 1369-1377
                Article
                10.1093/gerona/60.11.1369
                16339321
                © 2005

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