Despite the dramatic increase in human lifespan over the past century, there remains pronounced variability in "health-span," or the period of time in which one is generally healthy and free of disease. Much of the variability in health-span and lifespan is thought to be genetic in origin. Understanding the genetic mechanisms of aging and identifying ways to boost longevity is a primary goal in aging research. Here, we describe a pipeline of phenotypic assays for assessing mouse models of aging. This pipeline includes behavior/cognition testing, body composition analysis, and tests of kidney function, hematopoiesis, and immune function, as well as physical parameters. We also describe study design methods for assessing lifespan and health-span, and other important considerations when conducting aging research in the laboratory mouse. The tools and assays provided can assist researchers with understanding the correlative relationships between age-associated phenotypes and, ultimately, the role of specific genes in the aging process.
Keywords: age-related disease; health-spanm; lifespan; mouse; phenotyping.
Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.