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Curr Genomics. 2007 Nov;8(7):423-8. doi: 10.2174/138920207783591726.

Role of insulin and growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-I signaling in lifespan extension: rodent longevity models for studying aging and calorie restriction.

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  • 1Department of Investigative Pathology, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki 852-8523, Japan.


Insulin/insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) pathways are recognized as critical signaling pathways involved in the control of lifespans in lower organisms to mammals. Caloric restriction (CR) reduces plasma concentration of insulin, growth hormone (GH), and IGF-I. CR retards various age-dependent disorders such as nuerodegenerative diseases and extends lifespan in laboratory rodents. These beneficial effects of CR are partly mimicked in spontaneous or genetically engineered rodent models of reduced insulin and GH/IGF-I axis. Most of these long-living rodents show increased insulin sensitivity; however, recent study has revealed that some other rodents show normal or reduced insulin sensitivity. Thus, increased insulin sensitivity might be not prerequisite for lifespan extension in insulin/GH/IGF-I altered longevity rodent models. These results highlighted that, for lifespan extension, the intracellular signaling molecules of insulin/GH/IGF-I pathways might be more important than actual peripheral or systemic insulin action.


GH; IGF-I; Insulin; calorie restriction.

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