The precise genes involved in the control of ageing have been unclear, but several studies from invertebrates studies suggest that some of these life span genes encode components of the insulin or insulin-like signaling pathways. In December 5 Nature, Martin Holzenberger and colleagues at the INSERM, France, show that IGF-1 receptor regulates lifespan and resistance to oxidative stress in mice (Nature doi:10.1038/nature01298, December 5, 2002).

Holzenberger et al. inactivated the IGF-1R gene in mice (Igf1r) and observed that female Igf1r1/2 mice live 33% longer than wild-type females (P < 0.001), whereas the equivalent male mice show an increase in lifespan of 16% (which was not statistically significant). The long-lived Igf1r1/2 mice do not develop dwarfism, their energy metabolism is normal, and their nutrient uptake, physical activity, fertility and reproduction are unaffected. In addition, they showed that the Igf1r1/2 mice display greater resistance to oxidative stress —a...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?