• Open Access

Deviation of innate circadian period from 24 h reduces longevity in mice

Authors

  • Sergiy Libert,

    1. Paul F. Glenn Laboratory, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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  • Michael S. Bonkowski,

    1. Paul F. Glenn Laboratory, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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  • Kelli Pointer,

    1. Paul F. Glenn Laboratory, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
    2. School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53705, USA
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  • Scott D. Pletcher,

    1. Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and Geriatrics Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
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  • Leonard Guarente

    1. Paul F. Glenn Laboratory, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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Leonard Guarente, Paul F. Glenn Laboratory, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Tel.: 617 253 6965; fax: 617 253 8699; e-mail: leng@mit.edu

Summary

The variation of individual life spans, even in highly inbred cohorts of animals and under strictly controlled environmental conditions, is substantial and not well understood. This variation in part could be due to epigenetic variation, which later affects the animal’s physiology and ultimately longevity. Identification of the physiological properties that impact health and life span is crucial for longevity research and the development of anti-aging therapies. Here, we measured individual circadian and metabolic characteristics in a cohort of inbred F1 hybrid mice and correlated these parameters to their life spans. We found that mice with innate circadian periods close to 24 h (revealed during 30 days of housing in total darkness) enjoyed nearly 20% longer life spans than their littermates, which had shorter or longer innate circadian periods. These findings show that maintenance of a 24-h intrinsic circadian period is a positive predictor of longevity. Our data suggest that circadian period may be used to predict individual longevity and that processes that control innate circadian period affect aging.

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