The Dog Aging Project Forges Ahead with a Large Study

As noted here by the Life Extension Advocacy Foundation, the Dog Aging Project researchers are moving ahead with a large study of companion animals. While much of the study is observational, a sizable cohort will be treated with the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin. Dogs are much closer to humans than mice, so it will be interesting to see what results. Given what is known of the way in which stress response upregulation behaves in different species, we would expect to see similar effects on cellular biochemistry - such as upregulation of autophagy - but smaller relative gains in life span in dogs versus mice. Short-lived species have a much greater plasticity of life span in response to environmental circumstances than longer-lived species, something that probably has its roots in adaptation to seasonal famine. A mouse must extend its reproductive life span by a larger proportion than a dog or a human in order to pass through a famine and carry on its lineage on the other side.

The Dog Aging Project has kicked into high gear and is recruiting 10,000 of our furry friends in what will be the largest dog aging study in history. The researchers hope that the study will also reveal more about human aging and longevity. The National Institute on Aging is funding the $23 million project, which will see a vast amount of data being collected during the five years that the project will run for. The research team will be collecting data such as vet records, DNA samples, gut microbiome samples, and information on diet and exercise.

The study chose to use dogs as they share many things with us humans, including living in the same environment and similar biology, and they even develop many age-related diseases that we do. The dogs in the study will continue to live at home and enjoy their usual daily lives, and the study will include dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds, including mutts. To be part of the study, owners will have to complete periodic surveys, take their dogs to a vet once a year for examination, and possibly have to make extra visits for additional tests. A panel of animal welfare advisors will be involved in the study to ensure that the participants are treated well. The data from the study will be made available publicly, which is great news for open science and knowledge sharing.

Five hundred lucky pooches will also be given rapamycin, which appears to slow down aging according to various mouse studies; the hope is those results will translate to the dogs in this study. Rapamycin is an immune system suppressant and is currently used in humans to prevent organ rejection during transplants. However, in smaller doses in mouse studies, it has been shown to increase lifespan. A pilot safety study in dogs found no serious side effects.



they might be barking up the wrong tree on this one lol

Posted by: scott at November 22nd, 2019 8:58 AM

So, since the rhesus monkeys trials took around 3 decades to complete, will this take like a decade? Wow, a lot of things can happen in a decade. Probably by then there will be working therapies in humans for senescent cells, 7KC, glucosepane, mitomutations and maybe some other damages.

Posted by: Antonio at November 22nd, 2019 9:13 AM

I think that the study can start with already old dogs. If the effects are strong enough, I think statistically significant results could be observed in 2-3 years. I would also add another group to be treated with senolytics. The question is how strong will be the effect of rapamycin. It doesn't have to increase the lifespan as long as it improves the healthspan...

Posted by: cuberat at November 22nd, 2019 9:24 AM

@Antonio As technology progresses things move quicker. Spreading the word and donating helps.

Posted by: Person1234 at November 22nd, 2019 10:25 AM

I'm not interested at all in mTOR inhibitors. Their effect will be small, if any. And trial duration for any of them, or any CR mimetic, can't be reduced much more, because effects are so small and they don't affect only a particular organ or structure (like, say, glucosepane) but the whole body (so you can't just measure, say, blood vessel flexibility).
I did make donations to SENS in the past, and will resume then when I can, probably next summer.

Posted by: Antonio at November 22nd, 2019 11:04 AM

Off topic:

Libella Gene Therapeutics offers to reverse at least 20 years off your life for $1M. They say they can lengthen telomeres. If this works (even if I have the money), I'd let others be the guine pig. Hopefully price goes down substantially and quickly if results are spectacular.

Posted by: Robert at November 22nd, 2019 11:14 AM

@Quinn, maybe. I hope it gives a boost to the possibilities of longevity and not hinder it. Yea, I thought about this also, but I'm an optimist:)

Posted by: Robert Church at November 22nd, 2019 12:49 PM

He it really worked that will 1M might be even justified, if you can take a loan and are making silicon valley employee money. Alas, that's am irresponsive claim that hurt the whole field.

Posted by: Cuberat at November 22nd, 2019 5:00 PM

Thanks for the link. Momo is adorable!

Posted by: CD at November 27th, 2019 10:41 AM
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