A window into extreme longevity; the circulating metabolomic signature of the naked mole-rat, a mammal that shows negligible senescence

Kaitlyn N. Lewis, Nimrod D. Rubinstein, Rochelle Buffenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mouse-sized naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus glaber), unlike other mammals, do not conform to Gompertzian laws of age-related mortality; adults show no age-related change in mortality risk. Moreover, we observe negligible hallmarks of aging with well-maintained physiological and molecular functions, commonly altered with age in other species. We questioned whether naked mole-rats, living an order of magnitude longer than laboratory mice, exhibit different plasma metabolite profiles, which could then highlight novel mechanisms or targets involved in disease and longevity. Using a comprehensive, unbiased metabolomics screen, we observe striking inter-species differences in amino acid, peptide, and lipid metabolites. Low circulating levels of specific amino acids, particularly those linked to the methionine pathway, resemble those observed during the fasting period at late torpor in hibernating ground squirrels and those seen in longer-lived methionine-restricted rats. These data also concur with metabolome reports on long-lived mutant mice, including the Ames dwarf mice and calorically restricted mice, as well as fruit flies, and even show similarities to circulating metabolite differences observed in young human adults when compared to older humans. During evolution, some of these beneficial nutrient/stress response pathways may have been positively selected in the naked mole-rat. These observations suggest that interventions that modify the aging metabolomic profile to a more youthful one may enable people to lead healthier and longer lives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalGeroScience
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Apr 20 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Amino acid profile
  • Hibernation
  • Metabolomics
  • Methionine pathway
  • Methionine restriction
  • Naked mole-rat
  • Plasma
  • Torpor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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