Rapamycin increases grip strength and attenuates age-related decline in maximal running distance in old low capacity runner rats

Qian Li Xue, Huanle Yang, Hui Fen Li, Peter M. Abadir, Tyesha N. Burks, Lauren G. Koch, Steven L. Britton, Joshua Carlson, Laura Chen, Jeremy D. Walston, Sean X. Leng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Rapamycin is known to extend lifespan. We conducted a randomized placebo-controlled study of enteric rapamycin-treatment to evaluate its effect on physical function in old low capacity runner (LCR) rats, a rat model selected from diverse genetic background for low intrinsic aerobic exercise capacity without genomic manipulation and characterized by increased complex disease risks and aging phenotypes. The study was performed in 12 male and 16 female LCR rats aged 16-22 months at baseline. The treatment group was fed with rapamycin-containing diet pellets at approximately 2.24mg/kg body weight per day and the placebo group with the same diet without rapamycin for six months. Observation was extended for additional 2 months. Physical function measurements include grip strength measured as maximum tensile force using a rat grip strength meter and maximum running distance (MRD) using rat physical treadmill test. The results showed that rapamycin improved grip strength by 13% (p=.036) and 60% (p <.001) from its baseline in female and male rats, respectively. Rapamycin attenuated MRD decline by 66% (p <.001) and 46% (p=.319) in females and males, respectively. These findings provide initial evidence for beneficial effect of rapamycin on physical functioning in an aging rat model of high disease risks with significant implication in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)769-776
Number of pages8
JournalAging
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Healthspan
  • Low capacity runner rats
  • Physical function
  • Rapamycin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cell Biology

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