Impairment of insulin signalling in peripheral tissue fails to extend murine lifespan

Aging Cell. 2017 Aug;16(4):761-772. doi: 10.1111/acel.12610. Epub 2017 May 22.


Impaired insulin/IGF1 signalling has been shown to extend lifespan in model organisms ranging from yeast to mammals. Here we sought to determine the effect of targeted disruption of the insulin receptor (IR) in non-neuronal tissues of adult mice on the lifespan. We induced hemizygous (PerIRKO+/- ) or homozygous (PerIRKO-/- ) disruption of the IR in peripheral tissue of 15-weeks-old mice using a tamoxifen-inducible Cre transgenic mouse with only peripheral tissue expression, and subsequently monitored glucose metabolism, insulin signalling and spontaneous death rates over 4 years. Complete peripheral IR disruption resulted in a diabetic phenotype with increased blood glucose and plasma insulin levels in young mice. Although blood glucose levels returned to normal, and fat mass was reduced in aged PerIRKO-/- mice, their lifespan was reduced. By contrast, heterozygous disruption had no effect on lifespan. This was despite young male PerIRKO+/- mice showing reduced fat mass and mild increase in hepatic insulin sensitivity. In conflict with findings in metazoans like Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster, our results suggest that heterozygous impairment of the insulin signalling limited to peripheral tissues of adult mice fails to extend lifespan despite increased systemic insulin sensitivity, while homozygous impairment shortens lifespan.

Keywords: aging; fat mass; glucose tolerance; healthspan; insulin sensitivity; lifespan; longevity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Gene Expression
  • Heterozygote
  • Homozygote
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Integrases / genetics
  • Integrases / metabolism
  • Longevity / genetics*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mutation
  • Receptor, Insulin / deficiency
  • Receptor, Insulin / genetics*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Receptor, Insulin
  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases