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Mech Ageing Dev. 1994 Mar;73(3):209-21.

Serum glucose, glucose tolerance, corticosterone and free fatty acids during aging in energy restricted mice.

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Department of Pathology, University of California at Los Angeles 90024.


Energy restriction, the only method known to increase maximum life span in laboratory animals, was used as a tool to test hypotheses regarding possible mechanisms of aging. Serum glucose and corticosterone (CS) concentrations in mice of a long-lived hybrid mouse strain, aged 7, 17, and 29 months, and on 50%, 80%, and 100% of ad libitum intake, were measured. Serum glucose and CS concentrations were also measured in response to intraperitoneal (i.p.) glucose challenge in mice at ages 7 and 29 months. Serum glucose and CS concentrations were also measured at several time points over 36 h, to assess their diurnal variation. There were no differences in single fasting glucose concentrations in 7- and 29-month-old mice at the same degree of energy restriction, but energy restriction decreased glucose concentrations. Serum CS concentrations were generally increased restricted animals with respect to fully fed ones. Average serum glucose concentrations were found to be significantly decreased by dietary restriction. Glucose tolerance curves were unchanged by age in ad libitum fed or 50% restricted animals, but in 80% ad libitum groups, older animals showed evidence of decreased glucose tolerance with respect to young animals. For each age, peak serum glucose concentrations after i.p. glucose loading varied with degree of energy restriction, with more severely restricted animals showing less glucose tolerance. Average serum CS concentrations were elevated at 7 months by restriction, especially at night and long after feeding, but we found no differences with age or diet in average CS concentrations. Our serum glucose results support the hypothesis that nonenzymatic glycation is mechanistically involved in normal aging. Our serum CS results do not support the hypothesis that CS contributes significantly to the pathophysiology of normal aging in mice.

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