Lifespan: catch-up growth and obesity in male mice

Nature. 2004 Jan 29;427(6973):411-2. doi: 10.1038/427411b.


Poor fetal growth is linked with long-term detrimental effects on health in adulthood. Here we investigate whether the lifespan of male mice is affected by their growth rate when they were suckling and find that limiting growth during that period not only increases longevity but also protects against the life-shortening effect of an obesity-inducing diet later on. By contrast, we find that lifespan is considerably shortened if the postnatal period of growth is accelerated to make up for reduced growth in utero, and that, in addition, these mice are susceptible to the adverse effects on longevity of an obesity-inducing diet after weaning.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn / growth & development
  • Animals, Newborn / physiology*
  • Animals, Suckling / growth & development
  • Animals, Suckling / physiology*
  • Diet
  • Growth / physiology*
  • Longevity / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Obesity / etiology*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Prenatal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena