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Exp Gerontol. 2013 Oct;48(10):1025-9. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2013.03.010. Epub 2013 Apr 5.

Genetic variation in responses to dietary restriction--an unbiased tool for hypothesis testing.

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Department of Physiology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78229, United States.


Dietary restriction (DR) extends lifespan in a wide range of animal models. A major obstacle to understanding how DR modulates lifespan and aging-related dysfunction is the multiplicity of physiological and molecular changes associated with DR. Unraveling their importance to the longevity effect of DR remains a major challenge. In this perspective, we review the marked genetic variation in the response to DR of multiple recombinant inbred (RI) mouse strains. We illustrate how this genetic variation can be exploited to probe the mechanisms mediating lifespan extension by DR, as well as uncover its limits as an intervention. RI strains exhibit marked variation in their lifespan as well as physiological responses to DR. Quantitative genetic and statistical tools can use this phenotypic variation to probe the importance of physiological and molecular changes that have been hypothesized to play roles in DR-mediated lifespan extension.


Dietary restriction; Genetics; Lifespan; Mouse; Recombinant inbred

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