Aging and Resiliency in Mice: Optimizing Assessment Protocols and Testing Interventions

Project: Research project

Project Details


PROJECT SUMMARY/ABSTRACTTherapeutic interventions that target fundamental mechanisms of aging are being sought to radically transformpublic health. Indicators of biological aging that can be identified prior to overt manifestations of late-lifeconditions, and concomitantly serve as predictors of future health and longevity, could facilitate this effort. Ashighlighted in this RFA, resilience, defined as the ability of an organism to adequately respond to physicalchallenges, may offer one such opportunity. Thus, the objective of this proposal is to develop and validate abattery of disease-agnostic physical challenges to enable the evaluation of resiliency in mice. To this end, inSpecific Aim 1 we will determine which physical challenges best reveal differences in resilience between andwithin younger, middle-aged, and older mice. Specifically, we will assess acute responses to anesthesia,chemotherapy, surgery, and dehydration in cohorts of 4-month-old, 12-month-old, and 20-month-old mice. InSpecific Aim 2, using the physical challenges deemed optimal in Specific Aim 1, we will determine the extent towhich baseline resilience of middle-aged mice longitudinally predicts healthspan using discriminating measuresof physical, metabolic, cardiovascular, and immune function at Mayo Clinic, and lifespan at the University ofMichigan. Given the considerable evidence that aberrant mTOR signaling and senescent cell accumulation aremediators of aging, in Specific Aim 3 we will determine the extent to which rapamycin and targeted clearanceof p16INK4a-positive senescent cells affect the resilience of older mice to physical challenges. We expect that astandardized battery of clinically relevant measures of resilience in laboratory mice will provide a newframework in which to test innovative and potentially transformative interventions to promote healthy aging. Inhumans, the emergence of chronic diseases and syndromes such as frailty may reflect a point of no return.Compromised resilience earlier in life, on the other hand, may ultimately serve as a therapeutic opportunity inwhich the progression of aging-related molecular and cellular damage can be attenuated, if not reversed.
Effective start/end date8/15/164/30/21


  • National Institutes of Health: $410,025.00

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