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Exp Gerontol. 2008 Aug;43(8):757-63. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2008.04.016. Epub 2008 May 4.

Comparison of metabolic rate and oxidative stress between two different strains of mice with varying response to caloric restriction.

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Department of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.


Metabolic rate and parameters associated with oxidative stress were compared in two strains of mice, one of which, C57BL/6, exhibits an extension of life span in response to caloric restriction while the other, DBA/2, shows no such effect. Metabolic rate was higher in the DBA/2 than in the C57BL/6 mice, when measured at 5-6 months of age as in vivo and in vitro rates of oxygen consumption or body temperature. There were no remarkable inter-strain differences in activities of the antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase or in the rates of mitochondrial superoxide anion radical generation in heart or skeletal muscles. Comparison of glutathione redox state in the heart and skeletal muscles at 3 and 20 months of age indicated that the amount of glutathione (GSH) and the GSH:GSSG (glutathione disulfide) ratio were relatively higher in the young DBA/2 mice, but there were no inter-strain differences in the older mice. The age-related elevation in the level of oxidative stress reflected by GSH:GSSG ratio was greater in the C57BL/6 than DBA/2 mice. The energy balance, indicated by the gain/loss in body weight per unit of food consumed, is higher in C57BL/6 than DBA/2 mice. It is hypothesized that the genotype-specific extension of life span by caloric restriction may involve modulation of oxidative stress produced as a result of an interplay between metabolic rate and energy balance during aging.

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