Rapamycin extends lifespan and delays tumorigenesis in heterozygous p53+/- mice

Aging (Albany NY). 2012 Oct;4(10):709-14. doi: 10.18632/aging.100498.


TOR (Target of Rapamycin) pathway accelerates cellular and organismal aging. Similar to rapamycin, p53 can inhibit the mTOR pathway in some mammalian cells. Mice lacking one copy of p53 (p53+/- mice) have an increased cancer incidence and a shorter lifespan. We hypothesize that rapamycin can delay cancer in heterozygous p53+/- mice. Here we show that rapamycin (given in a drinking water) extended the mean lifespan of p53+/- mice by 10% and when treatment started early in life (at the age less than 5 months) by 28%. In addition, rapamycin decreased the incidence of spontaneous tumors. This observation may have applications in management of Li-Fraumeni syndrome patients characterized by heterozygous mutations in the p53 gene.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / pharmacology
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Female
  • Genes, p53*
  • Li-Fraumeni Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Longevity / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Sirolimus / pharmacology*
  • Sirolimus / therapeutic use*


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Sirolimus