Research with invertebrates over the past 10 years has suggested that alterations in insulin and/or insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) signalling result in increased lifespan and retard ageing. In this chapter, we describe the current research in mammalian systems with respect to the role of insulin or IGF-I in ageing. Using rodent models of caloric restriction and genetic mouse models, e.g. the Ames and Snell dwarf mice, fat-specific insulin receptor knockout mice (FIRKO) and mice that are heterozygous for the IGF-I receptor (Igf1r+/-), investigators have shown that a reduction in plasma levels of insulin and/or IGF-I or reductions in insulin/IGF-I signalling appear to be correlated with increased longevity and retarded ageing.
Copyright 2004 Elsevier Ltd.