, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 461–473

Age relationships of postmortem observations in Portuguese Water Dogs


  • Kevin Chase
    • Department of BiologyUniversity of Utah
  • Dennis F. Lawler
  • Lawrence D. McGill
    • Animal Reference Pathology DivisionARUP
  • Shawn Miller
    • Department of BiologyUniversity of Utah
  • Mark Nielsen
    • Department of BiologyUniversity of Utah
    • Department of BiologyUniversity of Utah

DOI: 10.1007/s11357-010-9181-5

Cite this article as:
Chase, K., Lawler, D.F., McGill, L.D. et al. AGE (2011) 33: 461. doi:10.1007/s11357-010-9181-5


A dog model has been used to evaluate histological changes arising from senescence. Autopsies of 145 Portuguese Water Dogs have been used to evaluate the individual and group “state of health” at time of death. For each dog, weights or dimensions of organs or tissues were obtained, together with histological evaluation of tissues. Twenty-three morphological metrics correlated significantly to age at death. Many of these involved muscles; others were associated with derivatives of embryonic foregut. The latter included lengths of the small intestine and trachea as well as weights of the stomach and some lung lobes. Nearly all of the dogs examined had histological changes in multiple tissues, ranging from two to 12 per dog. Associations among pathologies included inflammatory bowel disease with osteoporosis and dental calculus/periodontitis with atherosclerosis and amyloidosis. In addition, two clusters of histological changes were correlated to aging: hyperplasia, frequency of adenomas, and hemosiderosis constituted one group; inflammation, plasmacytic and lymphocytic infiltration, fibrosis, and atrophy, another. Heritability analysis indicated that many of the changes in tissue/organ morphology or histology could be heritable and possibly associated with IGF1, but more autopsies will be required to substantiate these genetic relationships.


Age of death Autopsy Dog Pathology Histology

Supplementary material

11357_2010_9181_MOESM1_ESM.doc (105 kb)
Supplementary Table 1 Portuguese Water Dog autopsy protocol (DOC 105 kb)
11357_2010_9181_MOESM2_ESM.doc (103 kb)
Supplementary Table 2 Most frequent non-neoplastic histological changes (DOC 103 kb)

Copyright information

© American Aging Association 2010