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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2002 Nov;57(11):B379-89.

Survival characteristics and age-adjusted disease incidences in C57BL/6 mice fed a commonly used cereal-based diet modulated by dietary restriction.

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Divisions of Biometry and Risk Assessment, National Center for Toxicological Research, Jefferson, Arkansas 72079, USA.


Studies of C57BL/6 mice are often restricted to one sex, with limited characterization of pathology as a function of age. As part of the National Institute on Aging/National Center for Toxicological Research Collaboration on Biomarkers, over 3000 males and 1500 females of this strain were raised, maintained, and used to evaluate longevity under specific pathogen-free conditions. A diet commonly used in testing the impact of agents was fed ad libitum or was restricted to 60% of normal consumption, starting when the mice were 14-16 weeks of age. Cardiac, renal, and central nervous system pathologies were significantly inhibited by dietary restriction (DR), as were bone degeneration, inflammation, hyperplasia, amyloid induction, and atrophy of secretory organs. Hematological disorders and tumors were among the most common problem in this strain, and they were ameliorated by DR. In males, for other neoplasms, adrenal adenomas, liver tumors, and hemangiomas combined with hemangiosarcomas were decreased by DR, variably in onset and progression. In females, DR decreased pituitary tumors, mammary tumors, and alveolar carcinomas, again variably in onset and progression.

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