Mutant Mice Live Longer
Reducing the levels of mTOR in rodents extends their lifespan by about 20 percent, though not without consequences.
Systemically blocking the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) protein with an immunosuppressant drug has been shown to increase longevity in mice. Taking a new approach, researchers show in Cell Reports today (August 29) that cutting down the levels of mTOR through a genetic alteration also extends mouse lifespan, and delays the appearance of biomarkers of aging. “It’s clear that in many different model organisms, either pharmacologically or genetically, perturbations of this pathway extend lifespan,” said David Sabatini, a member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Mass., who was not involved in the study.