The Naked Mole Rat: A Unique Example of Positive Oxidative Stress

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2019 Feb 7;2019:4502819. doi: 10.1155/2019/4502819. eCollection 2019.


The oxidative stress theory of aging, linking reactive oxygen species (ROS) to aging, has been accepted for more than 60 years, and numerous studies have associated ROS with various age-related diseases. A more precise version of the theory specifies that mitochondrial oxidative stress is a direct cause of aging. The naked mole rat, a unique animal with exceptional longevity (32 years in captivity), appears to be an ideal model to study successful aging and the role of ROS in this process. Several studies in the naked mole rat have shown that these animals exhibit a remarkable resistance to oxidative stress. At low concentrations, ROS serve as second messengers, and these important intracellular signalling functions are crucial for the regulation of cellular processes. In this review, we examine the literature on ROS and their functions as signal transducers. We focus specifically on the longest-lived rodent, the naked mole rat, which is a perfect example of the paradox of living an exceptionally long life with slow aging despite high levels of oxidative damage from a young age.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Mole Rats
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Rats