Endocrine function and neurobiology of the longest-living rodent, the naked mole-rat

Yael H. Edrey, Thomas J. Park, Hyesin Kang, Adriana Biney, Rochelle Buffenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Animals that have evolved exceptional capabilities, such as extraordinary longevity may reveal pertinent and potentially critical insights into biomedical research that are not readily apparent in standard laboratory animals. Naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus glaber; NMRs) are extremely long-lived (30. years) mouse-sized rodents. They clearly have evolved superior anti-aging mechanisms as evident by the markedly attenuated age-related decline in physiological function, sustained reproductive capacity and pronounced cancer resistance throughout their long-lives. These eusocial rodents, like the social insects, live in colonies with breeding restricted to one female and a few males. Subordinates are sexually monomorphic, yet retain the ability to become breeders, and can undergo growth surges and neural modifications at any time throughout their life. This plasticity in physiological and behavioral aspects may have contributed to their long-lives. Naked mole-rats show numerous adaptations to life underground including extreme tolerance of hypoxia, acid insensitivity, as well as independence of photoendocrine systems. Here we review what is known about their unique social structure, sensory systems, endocrinology and neurobiology, and highlight areas that may be pertinent to biogerontology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-123
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Volume46
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2011

Fingerprint

Mole Rats
Neurobiology
Rats
Rodentia
Endocrinology
Animals
Plasticity
Aging of materials
Nuclear magnetic resonance
Laboratory Animals
Acids
Breeding
Insects
Biomedical Research
Growth
Neoplasms

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Eusociality
  • Hormones
  • Hypoxia tolerance
  • Naked mole-rats
  • Neural plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this

Endocrine function and neurobiology of the longest-living rodent, the naked mole-rat. / Edrey, Yael H.; Park, Thomas J.; Kang, Hyesin; Biney, Adriana; Buffenstein, Rochelle.

In: Experimental Gerontology, Vol. 46, No. 2-3, 02.2011, p. 116-123.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Edrey, Yael H. ; Park, Thomas J. ; Kang, Hyesin ; Biney, Adriana ; Buffenstein, Rochelle. / Endocrine function and neurobiology of the longest-living rodent, the naked mole-rat. In: Experimental Gerontology. 2011 ; Vol. 46, No. 2-3. pp. 116-123.
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