, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 175–182 | Cite as

Effects of calorie restriction and ω-3 dietary fat on aging in short-and long-lived rodents

  • Dean A. Troyer
  • Jaya T. Venkatraman
  • Gabriel Fernandes


Aging is accompanied by a steady increase in the incidence of spontaneous tumors and a decline in immune function. Calorie restriction (CR) or supplementation with ω-3 fats prolongs life span, suppresses tumorigenesis, and ameliorates immune function in a variety of experimental models. We suggest that decreased oxidant stress and upregulation of apoptosis mediate the effects of calorie restriction on immunity and longevity. CR prolongs life span in several animal models and our studies have examined the effects of CR on the immune system and on tumorigenesis. CR maintains naive T cells, prevents the rise in “double-negative” T cells, maintains lymphocyte responsiveness to mitogens, and preserves Dexamethasone induced apoptosis in spleen cells of MRL/Ipr mice. CR also modulates the expression of inflammatory mediators and cytokines. CR decreases the Sjögren’s syndrome-like chronic inflammation of salivary glands of B/W animals while increasing expression of the immunosuppressive cytokine TGFβ1 and decreasing expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNFα. The autoimmune disease in the B/W mouse also affects the kidneys, and we find that renal expression of platelet derived growth factor-A, (PDGF-A) and thrombin receptor are decreased in CR animals. Similarly, CR decreases the expression and localization of plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 in glomeruli of B/W animals. CR also modulates expression and function of androgen receptors and the binding of insulin to liver nuclei. Finally, CR suppresses the development of breast tumors in the Ras oncomouse. These effects of calorie restriction are paralleled in short-lived B/W animals fed diets supplemented with ω-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids induce the expression of hepatic antioxidant enzymes, and enhance apoptosis in lymphocytes of B/W animals.


Androgen Thrombin Androgen Receptor Calorie Restriction Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 
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Copyright information

© American Aging Association, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dean A. Troyer
    • 1
  • Jaya T. Venkatraman
    • 2
  • Gabriel Fernandes
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PathologyThe University of Texas Health Science Center at San AntonioSan Antonio
  2. 2.Department of Physical Therapy, Exercise and Nutrition SciencesState University of New York at BuffaloBuffalo
  3. 3.Department of MedicineThe University of Texas Health Science Center at San AntonioSan Antonio
  4. 4.Department of Medicine, Clinical ImmunologyThe University of Texas Health Science Center at San AntonioSan Antonio

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