Spontaneous and Experimentally Induced Pathologies in the Naked Mole Rat (Heterocephalus Glaber)

Biochemistry (Mosc). 2017 Dec;82(12):1504-1512. doi: 10.1134/S0006297917120094.


The naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber, Rüppell, 1842) is a unique eusocial rodent with unusually long lifespan. Therefore, the study of spontaneous and experimentally induced pathologies in these animals is one of the most important tasks of gerontology. Various infections, noninfectious pathologies (including age-dependent changes), and tumors have been described in the naked mole rat. The most frequent pathologies are traumas (bite wounds), purulent and septic complications of traumatic injuries, renal tubular calcinosis, chronic progressive nephropathy, hepatic hemosiderosis, testicular interstitial cell hyperplasia, calcinosis cutis, cardiomyopathy, and dysbiosis-related infectious lesions of the digestive system. However, the summarized data on pathology (including tumor incidence) and on the causes of mortality are insufficient. There are only few publications about the results of experiments where pathologies were induced in the naked mole rat. All these problems could be subjects for promising future studies without which adequate studies on mechanisms providing the long lifespan of the naked mole rat are impossible, as well as the elucidation of causes of tumor resistance of this species.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Resistance
  • Infections / mortality
  • Infections / pathology*
  • Infections / veterinary
  • Leishmania / pathogenicity
  • Longevity
  • Mole Rats
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplasms / veterinary
  • Noncommunicable Diseases / mortality
  • Simplexvirus / pathogenicity