Naked mole-rat mortality rates defy gompertzian laws by not increasing with age

J. Graham Ruby, Megan Smith, Rochelle Buffenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The longest-lived rodent, the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber), has a reported maximum lifespan of >30 years and exhibits delayed and/or attenuated age-associated physiological declines. We questioned whether these mouse-sized, eusocial rodents conform to Gompertzian mortality laws by experiencing an exponentially increasing risk of death as they get older. We compiled and analyzed a large compendium of historical naked mole-rat lifespan data with >3000 data points. Kaplan-Meier analyses revealed a substantial portion of the population to have survived at 30 years of age. Moreover, unlike all other mammals studied to date, and regardless of sex or breeding-status, the age-specific hazard of mortality did not increase with age, even at ages 25-fold past their time to reproductive maturity. This absence of hazard increase with age, in defiance of Gompertz’s law, uniquely identifies the naked mole-rat as a non-aging mammal, confirming its status as an exceptional model for biogerontology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere31157
JournaleLife
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 24 2018
Externally publishedYes

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Mole Rats
Rats
Mammals
Mortality
Hazards
Rodentia
Kaplan-Meier Estimate
Breeding
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

Cite this

Naked mole-rat mortality rates defy gompertzian laws by not increasing with age. / Ruby, J. Graham; Smith, Megan; Buffenstein, Rochelle.

In: eLife, Vol. 7, e31157, 24.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ruby, J. Graham ; Smith, Megan ; Buffenstein, Rochelle. / Naked mole-rat mortality rates defy gompertzian laws by not increasing with age. In: eLife. 2018 ; Vol. 7.
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