Naked Mole-Rats and Stress Resistance

Long-lived naked mole-rats are little goldmines of information on how metabolism and membrane composition relates to species longevity. From Ouroboros, a new twist: "Stress resistance at the cellular level is correlated with longevity at the organismal level, to such an extent that one can screen for longevity mutants by first identifying stress-resistant animals. ... It would therefore come as a surprise if a long-lived organism turned out to be unusually sensitive to stress - and in particular, sensitive to particular stresses. In one fell swoop, this would falsify both the general, well-accepted correlative pattern (stress resistance = longevity) and the somewhat more fanciful model of a central [stress resistance mechanism related to longevity]. ... Short version: naked mole rats are more resistant than mice and rats some stressors, but not all of them. Heat and starvation, two of the classic and longest-known types of stress known to correlate with longevity, work in the expected direction, with the mole rat more resistant. Beyond that, curiously, it’s hard to find patterns." If you have to bet on biology, always bet that it's going to turn out to be more complex than presently thought.

Link: http://ouroboros.wordpress.com/2008/07/10/stressor-specific-hypersensitivity-in-the-long-lived-naked-mole-rat/

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