• IGF-1;
  • insulin;
  • lifespan;
  • longevity;
  • somatotrophic axis


Growth hormone deficiency or resistance resulting from spontaneous or experimentally produced mutations in laboratory mice delay aging and increase lifespan. Alterations in insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and insulin signaling emerged as likely mechanisms linking growth hormone and aging, and increased longevity was reported in mice with selective deletion of IGF-1 receptor in all tissues or insulin receptor in fat. Recent studies in mice with reduced IGF-1 levels or deletion of pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A, a protease that cleaves one of the IGF-1 binding proteins, strongly support the role of IGF-1 in the control of longevity. Reports of increased lifespan in mice with deletion of insulin receptor substrate (IRS) 1, reduced expression of IRS2, or selective deletion of IRS2 in the brain specifically implicate the IRS-PI3K-Akt-Foxo signaling pathway (which is shared by IGF-1 and insulin) in the control of aging. These important novel findings also strengthen the evidence for evolutionary conservation of mechanisms regulating lifespan in worms, insects and mammals.