To characterize the pharmacological effects of N-tert-butyl-alpha-phenylnitrone (PBN) on life span, we administered PBN in drinking water to 24.5-month-old mice, and the survivors were counted. Their water consumption and body weights were measured as biological markers. PBN-treated animals as compared with control animals had prolonged mean and maximum life spans. Their water consumption decreased but no significant change was found in their body weights, indicating that the metabolism was improved. Results showed that PBN indeed affects physiological functions and extends life span. We propose that nitric oxide release from PBN may be involved in altering the aging process.