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. 1997 Jan;20(1):45-56.
doi: 10.1007/s11357-997-0004-2.

Beyond the Rodent Model: Calorie Restriction in Rhesus Monkeys

Free PMC article

Beyond the Rodent Model: Calorie Restriction in Rhesus Monkeys

M A Lane et al. Age (Omaha). .
Free PMC article


Lifespan extension and reduction of age-related disease by calorie restriction (CR) are among the most consistent findings in gerontological research. The well known effects of CR have been demonstrated many times in rodents and other short-lived species. However, effects of CR on aging in longer-lived species, more closely related to humans, were unknown until recently. Studies of CR and aging using nonhuman primates (rhesus monkeys) were begun several years ago at the National Institute on Aging, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Maryland. These studies are beginning to yield useful data regarding the effects of this nutritional intervention in primates. Several studies from these ongoing investigations have shown that rhesus monkeys on CR exhibit physiological responses to CR that parallel findings in rodents. In addition, several potential biomarkers of aging are being evaluated and preliminary findings suggest the possibility that CR in rhesus monkeys could slow the rate of aging and reduce age-related disease, specifically diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It will be several years before conclusive proof that CR slows aging and extends life span in primates is established, however, results from these exciting studies suggest the possibility that the anti-aging effects of CR reported in rodents also occur in longer-lived species such as nonhuman primates, strenghtening the possibility that this nutritional intervention will also prove beneficial in longer-lived species, including humans.

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