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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2009 May;64(5):516-21. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glp024. Epub 2009 Mar 20.

Insulin sensitivity as a key mediator of growth hormone actions on longevity.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL 62794, USA.


Reduced insulin sensitivity and glucose intolerance have been long suspected of having important involvement in aging. Here we report that in studies of calorie restriction (CR) effects in mutant (Prop1(df) and growth hormone receptor knockout [GHRKO]) and normal mice, insulin sensitivity was strongly associated with longevity. Of particular interest was enhancement of the already increased insulin sensitivity in CR df/df mice in which longevity was also further extended and the lack of changes in insulin sensitivity in calorically restricted GHRKO mice in which there was no further increase in average life span. We suggest that enhanced insulin sensitivity, in conjunction with reduced insulin levels, may represent an important (although almost certainly not exclusive) mechanism of increased longevity in hypopituitary, growth hormone (GH)-resistant, and calorie-restricted animals. We also report that the effects of GH treatment on insulin sensitivity may be limited to the period of GH administration.

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