Rapamycin extends life and health in C57BL/6 mice

Yiqiang Zhang, Alex Bokov, John Gelfond, Vanessa Soto, Yuji Ikeno, Gene Hubbard, Vivian Diaz, Lauren Sloane, Keith Maslin, Stephen Treaster, Samantha Réndon, Holly Vanremmen, Walter F Ward, Martin Javors, Arlan G Richardson, Steven N Austad, Kathleen E Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

229 Scopus citations


Target of rapamycin inhibition by rapamycin feeding has previously been shown to extend life in genetically heterogeneous mice. To examine whether it similarly affected mouse health, we fed encapsulated rapamycin or a control diet to C57BL/6Nia mice of both sexes starting at 19 months of age. We performed a range of health assessments 6 and 12 months later. Rapamycin feeding significantly reduced mTOR activity in most but not all tissues. It also reduced total and resting metabolic rate during the light (inactive) phase of the light:dark cycle in females only but had no effect on spontaneous activity or metabolism during the dark (active) phase of either sex. Males only had less fragmented sleep when fed rapamycin, whereas stride length and rotarod performance were improved in both sexes. Survival was also improved by this late-life rapamycin feeding, and some pathological lesions were delayed. We found no adverse health consequences associated with rapamycin treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-130
Number of pages12
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Volume69 A
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014


  • Aging
  • Health span
  • Rapamycin
  • Sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Aging


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