Comprehensive Physiology Wiley Online Library

Animal Models

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Abstract

The sections in this article are:

1 Selection of an Appropriate Animal Model
1.1 Animal Models and the Main Ways of Studying Aging
1.2 Defined Longevity Characteristics
1.3 Awareness of Late‐Life Disease Patterns
1.4 Defined Environmental Conditions
1.5 Diet
1.6 Genetic Characteristics
1.7 Availability and Cost
2 Patterns of Animal Use in Aging Studies
2.1 Animal Use in Aging Research, 1972–1992
2.2 Overuse of the Male Fischer 344 Rat
3 Need for the Use of a Wide Spectrum of Models
3.1 Lessons from Nonmammals
3.2 Rodents
3.3 Carnivores
3.4 Nonhuman Primates
4 Summary and Conclusions
Figure 1. Figure 1.

Survival curves of female C3B10RF1 mice fed ad libitum and restricted diets. Diet groups: Lab Chow (Purina Lab ChowRM) ad libitum; N/N85, normal caloric intake before weaning and thereafter 85 kcal/wk or ∼25% less than ad libitum levels; N/R50, fed normally before weaning, restricted postweaning to 50 kcal/wk; R/R50, restricted in feeding level both before and after weaning; N/R50 1 opro, restricted after weaning to 50 kcal/wk with a decrease with age in the protein content of the diet; N/R40, restricted after weaning to 40 kcal/wk. Adult body weights for these groups averaged ∼50 g for Lab Chow, ∼35 g for N/N85, and 20–25 g for the other four groups subjected to more severe dietary restriction.

From with permission
Figure 2. Figure 2.

Relationship between caloric intake and life span in female C3B10RF1 mice. Dietary restriction was initiated at 3 wk of age. Four cohorts of mice (n = 49–71) were fed either 125, 85, 50 or 40 kcal/wk. Maximum life span is defined as the average of the cohort's longest‐lived decile.

Adapted from with permission
Figure 3. Figure 3.

Influence of dietary restriction started at 3 wk of age on life span and tumor incidence of female mice from the long‐lived C3B10RF1 hybrid strain. Survival curves are those for the 85 kcal/wk (control) and 40 kcal/wk (diet‐restricted) cohorts shown in Figure . Circles show the age of death for tumor‐bearing mice.

Adapted from with permission
Figure 4. Figure 4.

Survival curves for two species of Peromyscus (the white‐footed mouse) and one strain (C57BL/6J) of Mus musculus (the laboratory mouse) under laboratory conditions.

Redrawn from with permission
Figure 5. Figure 5.

Animal usage patterns in gerontology studies from 1972 to 1992. Data are derived from the animals studied in the reports published in four of the main biogerontology journals (AGE, Experimental Gerontology, Journals of Gerontology, and Mechanisms of Aging and Development). The figure shows only the most commonly used animals.

Figure 6. Figure 6.

Animals other than rats and mice used in gerontology studies from 1972 to 1992. Data are derived from the animals studied in the reports published in four of the main biogerontology journals (AGE, Experimental Gerontology, Journals of Gerontology, and Mechanisms of Aging and Development).



Figure 1.

Survival curves of female C3B10RF1 mice fed ad libitum and restricted diets. Diet groups: Lab Chow (Purina Lab ChowRM) ad libitum; N/N85, normal caloric intake before weaning and thereafter 85 kcal/wk or ∼25% less than ad libitum levels; N/R50, fed normally before weaning, restricted postweaning to 50 kcal/wk; R/R50, restricted in feeding level both before and after weaning; N/R50 1 opro, restricted after weaning to 50 kcal/wk with a decrease with age in the protein content of the diet; N/R40, restricted after weaning to 40 kcal/wk. Adult body weights for these groups averaged ∼50 g for Lab Chow, ∼35 g for N/N85, and 20–25 g for the other four groups subjected to more severe dietary restriction.

From with permission


Figure 2.

Relationship between caloric intake and life span in female C3B10RF1 mice. Dietary restriction was initiated at 3 wk of age. Four cohorts of mice (n = 49–71) were fed either 125, 85, 50 or 40 kcal/wk. Maximum life span is defined as the average of the cohort's longest‐lived decile.

Adapted from with permission


Figure 3.

Influence of dietary restriction started at 3 wk of age on life span and tumor incidence of female mice from the long‐lived C3B10RF1 hybrid strain. Survival curves are those for the 85 kcal/wk (control) and 40 kcal/wk (diet‐restricted) cohorts shown in Figure . Circles show the age of death for tumor‐bearing mice.

Adapted from with permission


Figure 4.

Survival curves for two species of Peromyscus (the white‐footed mouse) and one strain (C57BL/6J) of Mus musculus (the laboratory mouse) under laboratory conditions.

Redrawn from with permission


Figure 5.

Animal usage patterns in gerontology studies from 1972 to 1992. Data are derived from the animals studied in the reports published in four of the main biogerontology journals (AGE, Experimental Gerontology, Journals of Gerontology, and Mechanisms of Aging and Development). The figure shows only the most commonly used animals.



Figure 6.

Animals other than rats and mice used in gerontology studies from 1972 to 1992. Data are derived from the animals studied in the reports published in four of the main biogerontology journals (AGE, Experimental Gerontology, Journals of Gerontology, and Mechanisms of Aging and Development).

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How to Cite

Richard Weindruch. Animal Models. Compr Physiol 2011, Supplement 28: Handbook of Physiology, Aging: 37-52. First published in print 1995. doi: 10.1002/cphy.cp110103