Department of Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology; Program in Gene Function & Expression; Program in Molecular Medicine
Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Genomics | Molecular Biology | Molecular Genetics | Survival Analysis
Aging research has been very successful at identifying signaling pathways and evolutionarily conserved genes that extend lifespan with the assumption that an increase in lifespan will also increase healthspan. However, it is largely unknown whether we are extending the healthy time of life or simply prolonging a period of frailty with increased incidence of age-associated diseases. Here we use Caenorhabditis elegans, one of the premiere systems for lifespan studies, to determine whether lifespan and healthspan are intrinsically correlated. We conducted multiple cellular and organismal assays on wild type as well as four long-lived mutants (insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1, dietary restriction, protein translation, mitochondrial signaling) in a longitudinal manner to determine the health of the animals as they age. We find that some long-lived mutants performed better than wild type when measured chronologically (number of days). However, all long-lived mutants increased the proportion of time spent in a frail state. Together, these data suggest that lifespan can no longer be the sole parameter of interest and reveal the importance of evaluating multiple healthspan parameters for future studies on antiaging interventions.
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Citation: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Jan 20;112(3):E277-86. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1412192112. Epub 2015 Jan 5. Link to article on publisher's site
healthspan, lifespan, gerospan, functional capacity, healthy aging
Bansal, Ankita; Zhu, Lihua Julie; Yen, Kelvin; and Tissenbaum, Heidi A., "Uncoupling lifespan and healthspan in Caenorhabditis elegans longevity mutants" (2015). Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology Publications. 16.