Aging Research Using Mouse Models

Curr Protoc Mouse Biol. 2015 Jun 1;5(2):95-133. doi: 10.1002/9780470942390.mo140195.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging* / physiology
  • Aging* / psychology
  • Animal Structures / physiology
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Laboratory Animal Science / methods*
  • Longevity
  • Mice* / genetics
  • Mice* / physiology
  • Research Design