Rapamycin Slows Aging in Mice

Researchers conclude that the extension of life in mice due to rapamycin is in fact a slowing of aging due to the breadth of its effects: "Rapamycin increases lifespan in mice, but whether this represents merely inhibition of lethal neoplastic diseases, or an overall slowing in multiple aspects of aging is currently unclear. We report here that many forms of age-dependent change, including alterations in heart, liver, adrenal glands, endometrium, and tendon, as well as age-dependent decline in spontaneous activity, occur more slowly in rapamycin-treated mice, suggesting strongly that rapamycin retards multiple aspects of aging in mice, in addition to any beneficial effects it may have on neoplastic disease. We also note, however, that mice treated with rapamycin starting at 9 months of age have significantly higher incidence of testicular degeneration and cataracts; harmful effects of this kind will guide further studies on timing, dosage, and tissue-specific actions of rapamycin relevant to the development of clinically useful inhibitors of TOR action." You might also look at recent research focused on separating the beneficial effects of rapamycin from the undesirable side-effects.

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22587563