|THE WORLD'S OLDEST MOUSE
A big record in animal longevity was set by a very small resident of the SIUC Vivarium in January. A dwarf mouse died one week shy of his fifth birthday, surpassing all known records for mouse longevity among either wild or laboratory-raised animals.
"In terms of an animal that normally lives two to two-and-a-half, occasionally three years, this guy was way out there," says Andrzej Bartke, an SIUC physiologist and expert on aging who has been studying longevity in dwarf mice. "It would be like a human living to be 180 to 200."
The mouse came from a line of research mice that produce growth hormone but do not respond to it. Bartke has used them to study the impact of growth hormone resistance on male reproductive function.
"We think one of the reasons these mice live so long is because they have low levels of insulin and glucose," he says.
The world’s oldest mouse bore a close resemblance to the dwarf mouse, bred to be resistant to growth hormone, that’s shown at right in the photo here. The mouse on the left is of normal size.
The tiny mouse weighed only 8 grams when he died—about as much as eight paper clips. His body is being studied by researchers at the University of Texas in San Antonio.
—K. C. Jaehnig
In the print edition of Perspectives, we didn't have room to run the full version of K. C.'s news release about the world's oldest mouse, but you won't want to miss it here. [Yes, I'll bite!]