Analyzing the Metabolisms of Long-Lived Mice

Advances in biotechnology are greatly reducing the cost of performing broad analyses of metabolism - and so researchers are gathering ever more data on the various breeds of long-lived mice that have been created in recent years: "Significant advances in understanding aging have been achieved through studying model organisms with extended healthy lifespans. Employing (1)H NMR spectroscopy, we characterized the plasma metabolic phenotype (metabotype) of three long-lived murine models: 30% dietary restricted (DR), insulin receptor substrate 1 null (Irs1(-/-)), and Ames dwarf (Prop1(df/df)). A panel of metabolic differences were generated for each model relative to their controls, and subsequently, the three long-lived models were compared to one another. Concentrations of mobile very low density lipoproteins, trimethylamine, and choline were significantly decreased in the plasma of all three models. Metabolites including glucose, choline, glycerophosphocholine, and various lipids were significantly reduced, while acetoacetate, d-3-hydroxybutyrate and trimethylamine-N-oxide levels were increased in DR compared to ad libitum fed controls. Plasma lipids and glycerophosphocholine were also decreased in Irs1(-/-) mice compared to controls, as were methionine and citrate. In contrast, high density lipoproteins and glycerophosphocholine were increased in Ames dwarf mice, as were methionine and citrate. Pairwise comparisons indicated that differences existed between the metabotypes of the different long-lived mice models. Irs1(-/-) mice, for example, had elevated glucose, acetate, acetone, and creatine but lower methionine relative to DR mice and Ames dwarfs. Our study identified several potential candidate biomarkers directionally altered across all three models that may be predictive of longevity but also identified differences in the metabolic signatures. This comparative approach suggests that the metabolic networks underlying lifespan extension may not be exactly the same for each model of longevity and is consistent with multifactorial control of the aging process."

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22225495

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