Disparate patterns of age-related changes in lipid peroxidation in long-lived naked mole-rats and shorter-lived mice

Aging Cell. 2006 Dec;5(6):525-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1474-9726.2006.00246.x.


A key tenet of the oxidative stress theory of aging is that levels of accrued oxidative damage increase with age. Differences in damage generation and accumulation therefore may underlie the natural variation in species longevity. We compared age-related profiles of whole-organism lipid peroxidation (urinary isoprostanes) and liver lipid damage (malondialdehyde) in long living naked mole-rats [maximum lifespan (MLS) > 28.3 years] and shorter-living CB6F1 hybrid mice (MLS approximately 3.5 years). In addition, we compared age-associated changes in liver non-heme iron to assess how intracellular conditions, which may modulate oxidative processes, are affected by aging. Surprisingly, even at a young age, concentrations of both markers of lipid peroxidation, as well as of iron, were at least twofold (P < 0.005) greater in naked mole tats than in mice. This refutes the hypothesis that prolonged naked mole-rat longevity is due to superior protection against oxidative stress. The age-related profiles of all three parameters were distinctly species specific. Rates of lipid damage generation in mice were maintained throughout adulthood, while accrued damage in old animals was twice that of young mice. In naked mole-rats, urinary isoprostane excretion declined by half with age (P < 0.001), despite increases in tissue iron (P < 0.05). Contrary to the predictions of the oxidative stress theory, lipid damage levels did not change with age in mole-rats. These data suggest that the patterns of age-related changes in levels of markers of oxidative stress are species specific, and that the pronounced longevity of naked mole-rats is independent of oxidative stress parameters.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Chimera
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Isoprostanes / urine
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology
  • Lipid Peroxidation / physiology*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Longevity / physiology*
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Models, Animal
  • Mole Rats / metabolism*
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Species Specificity


  • Isoprostanes
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Iron