Rapamycin slows aging in mice

John E. Wilkinson, Lisa Burmeister, Susan V. Brooks, Chi Chao Chan, Sabrina Friedline, David E. Harrison, James F. Hejtmancik, Nancy Nadon, Randy Strong, Lauren K. Wood, Maria A. Woodward, Richard A. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

529 Scopus citations


Rapamycin increases lifespan in mice, but whether this represents merely inhibition of lethal neoplastic diseases, or an overall slowing in multiple aspects of aging is currently unclear. We report here that many forms of age-dependent change, including alterations in heart, liver, adrenal glands, endometrium, and tendon, as well as age-dependent decline in spontaneous activity, occur more slowly in rapamycin-treated mice, suggesting strongly that rapamycin retards multiple aspects of aging in mice, in addition to any beneficial effects it may have on neoplastic disease. We also note, however, that mice treated with rapamycin starting at 9months of age have significantly higher incidence of testicular degeneration and cataracts; harmful effects of this kind will guide further studies on timing, dosage, and tissue-specific actions of rapamycin relevant to the development of clinically useful inhibitors of TOR action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)675-682
Number of pages8
JournalAging cell
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Interventions
  • Longevity pathology
  • TOR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cell Biology


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