Effects of calorie restriction and ω-3 dietary fat on aging in short- and long-lived rodents

Dean A. Troyer, Jaya T. Venkatraman, Gabriel Fernandas

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1 Scopus citations


Aging is accompanied by a steady increase in the incidence of spontaneous tumors and a decline in immune function. Calorie restriction (CR) or supplementation with ω-3 fats prolongs life span, suppresses tumorigenesis, and ameliorates immune function in a variety of experimental models. We suggest that decreased oxidant stress and upregulation of apoptosis mediate the effects of calorie restriction on immunity and longevity. CR prolongs life span in several animal models and our studies have examined the effects of CR on the immune system and on tumorigenesis. CR maintains naive T cells, prevents the rise in "double-negative" T cells, maintains lymphocyte responsiveness to mitogens, and preserves Dexamethasone induced apoptosis in spleen cells of MRL/lpr mice. CR also modulates the expression of inflammatory mediators and cytokines. CR decreases the Sjögren's syndrome-like chronic inflammation of salivary glands of B/W animals while increasing expression of the immunosuppressive cytokine TGFßl and decreasing expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNFα. The autoimmune disease in the B/W mouse also affects the kidneys, and we find that renal expression of platelet derived growth factor-A, (PDGF-A) and thrombin receptor are decreased in CR animals. Similarly, CR decreases the expression and localization of plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 in glomeruli of B/ W animals. CR also modulates expression and function of androgen receptors and the binding of insulin to liver nuclei. Finally, CR suppresses the development of breasttumors in the Ras oncomouse. These effects of calorie restriction are paralleled in short-lived B/W animals fed diets supplemented with ω-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids induce the expression of hepatic antioxidant enzymes, and enhance apoptosis in lymphocytes of B/W animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-182
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Aging Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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