Aging in the Food-restricted Rat: Body Temperature, Receptor Function, and Morphologic Changes in the Brain

  • Christopher D. West
  • Ladislav Volicer
  • Deborah W. Vaughan


This investigation examined three different aspects of aging rats maintained on a food-restricted diet that prolonged life: body temperature in young and old adults, receptor sensitivity in young and old adults, and neuromorphologic changes in extreme old age. We were interested to see 1) whether lower body temperature was a factor in the longevity of food-restricted rats, 2) whether receptor function was one of the age-sensitive variables affected by food restriction, and 3) whether certain morphologic changes found in the brains of old humans and certain very old monkeys and dogs would be found in the brains of the oldest food-restricted rats.


Food Restriction Restricted Diet Neuritic Plaque Intermittent Fasting Membranous Body 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    McCay CM, Dilley WE, Crowell MF: Growth rates of brook trout reared upon purified rations, upon dry skim milk diets, and upon feed combinations of cereal grains. J Nutr 1929; 1:233–244.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    McCay CM, Crowell MF, Maynard LA: The effect of retarded growth upon the length of lifespan and upon the ultimate body size. J Nutr 1935; 10:63–74.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sinclair HM: Nutrition and aging, in Yapp WB, Bourne GH (eds): The Biology of Ageing New York, Hafner 1959, pp 101–109.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hansen K, Steensber V: Forsekelligt op draettede Koers holdbarked og ydelse, no 246. Kovenhavn, Udgivet af Statens Hysdrybrugsudvalg, 1950.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Comfort A: Effect of delayed and resumed growth on the longevity of fish (Lebistes reticulatus, Peters) in captivity.Gerontologia 1963; 8:150–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Fanestil DD, Barrows CH, Jr: Aging in the rotifer. J Gerontol 1965; 20:452–469.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Leto S, Kokkonen GC, Barrows CH, Jr: Dietary protein, lifespan and biochemical variables in female mice. J Gerontol 1976; 31:144–148.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Henschen F: Geographic and historical pathology of arteriosclerosis. J Gerontol 1953; 8:1–5.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Silberberg R, Jarrett SR, Silberberg H: Lifespan of mice fed enriched or restricted diets during growth. Am J Physiol 1961; 200:332–334.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Silberberg R, Silberberg J, Jarrett S: Effects of diet during growth: Studies in male mice of various strains. Pathol Microbiol 1962; 25:56–66.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Nakagawa I, Sasaki A, Kajimoto M, et al: Effect of protein nutrition on growth, longevity and incidence of lesions in the rat. J Nutr 1974; 104:1576–1583.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    McCay CM, Maynard LA, Sperling G, Barnes LL: Retarded growth, lifespan, ultimate body size and age changes in the albino rat after feeding diets restricted in calories. J Nutr 1939; 18:1–13.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Carlson AJ, Hoelzel F: Apparent prolongation of the lifespan of rats by intermittent fasting. J Nutr 1946; 31:363–375.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Berg BN, Simms HS: Nutrition and longevity in the rat. II. Longevity and onset of disease with different levels of food intake. J Nutr 1960; 71:255–263.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Nolan GA: Effect of various restricted dietary regimens on the growth, health and longevity of albino rats. J Nutr 1972; 102:1477–1493.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    McCay CM, Maynard L, Sperling G, Osgood H: Nutrition requirements in the latter half of life. J Nutr 1941; 21:45–60.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ross MH: Life expectancy modification by change in dietary regimen of the mature rat. Kuhnau J (ed): Proc 7th Internat Cong Nutr. vol 5. New York, Per- gamon Press, 1966, pp 35–38.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ross MH: Length of life and caloric intake.Am J Clin Nutr 1972; 25:834–838.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ross MH, Lustbader E, Bras G: Dietary practices and growth responses as predictors of longevity. Nature 1976; 262:548–553.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bertrand HA, Lynd FT, Masoro EJ, Yu RP: Change in adipose mass and cellularity through the adult life of rats fed ad libitum on life prolonging restricted diet. J Gerontol 1980; 35:827–835.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Masoro EJ, Yu BP, Bertrand HA, Lynd FT: Nutritional probe of the aging process.Fed Proc 1980; 39:3178–3182.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Masoro EJ, Yu BP, Bertrand HA: Action of food restriction in delaying the aging process. Proc Natl Acad Sci 1982; 79:4239–4241.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Weindruch RH, Kristie, JA, Cheney KE, Walford RL: Influence of controlled dietary restriction on immunologic function and aging. Fed Proc 1979; 38:2007–2016.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Volicer L, West CD, Greene L: Effect of dietary restriction and stress on body temperature in rats. J Gerontol 1984; 39:178–182.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ingle DJ: A simple means of producing obesity in the rat. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1934; 72:604–605.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Diamond MC, Krech D, Rosenzweig MR: The effects of an enriched environment on the histology of the rat cerebral cortex. J Comp Neurol 1964; 123:111–120.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Holloway RL, Jr: Dendritic branching: Some preliminary results of training and complexity in rat visual cortex. Brain Res 1966; 2:393–396.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    West CD, Kemper TL: The effect of a low protein diet on the developing rat brain. Brain Res 1976; 107:221–237.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Briese E, Dequijada MG: Colonic temperature of rats during handling. Acta Physiol Lat Am 1970;20:97–102.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Renbourn ET: Body temperature and pulse rate in body and young men prior to sporting contests. A study of emotional hyperthermia: With a review of the literature. J Psychosom Res 1960; 4:149–175.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Webb GP, Jaget YA, Rogers PD, Jackson ME: The effect of fasting on thermoregulation in normal and obese mice. IRCS Med Sci 1980; 8:163–164.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    McCay CM, Ellis GJ, Barnes LL, et al: Chemical and pathological changes in aging after retarded growth. J Nutr 1939; 18:15–25.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Chvapil M, Hruza Z: The influence of aging and undernutrition on chemical contractility and relaxation of collagen fibers in rats. Gerontologia 1959; 3:241–252.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Holeckova E, Fabry P, Poupa A: Studies in the adaptation of metabolism. VIII: The latent period of explanted tissues of rats adapted to intermittent starvation. Physiol Bohemoslov 1959; 8:15–22.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Levin P, Janada J, Joseph JA: Dietary restriction retards the age-associated loss of rat striatal dopaminergic receptors. Science 1981; 214:561–562.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Lakatta EG: Age-related alterations in the cardiovascular response to adrenergic mediated stress. Fed Proc 1980; 39:3173–3177.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Bitinsky MW, Russell V, Blanco M: Independent variations of glucagon and epinephrine responsive components of hepatic adenyl cyclase as a function of age, sex and steroid hormones. Endocrinology 1970; 86:154–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Duncan PG, Brink C, Douglas JJ: Beta-receptors during aging in respiratory tissues. Eur J Pharmacol 1982; 78:45–52.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Sheppard H, Burghardt CR: Age-dependent changes in the adenylate cyclase and phosphodiesterase activity of rat erythrocytes. Biochem Pharmacol 1973; 22:427–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Bylund B, Tellex-Inon T, Hollenberg D: Age-related parallel decline in beta-adrenerginc receptors, adenylate cyclase and phosphodiesterase activity in rat erythrocyte membranes. Life Sci 1970; 21:403–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Forn J, Schonhoffer PS, Skidmore IF, Krishna G: Effect of aging on the adenyl cyclase and phosphodiesterase activity of isolated fat cells of rats. Biochim Biophycta 1970; 208:304–309.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Cooper B, Gregerman RI: Hormone-sensitive fat cell adenylate cyclase in the rat. Influences of growth, cell size and aging. J Clin Invest 1976; 57:161–168.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Giudicelli Y, Pequery R: Beta-adrenergic receptors and catecholamine sensitive adenylate cyclase in rat fat cell membranes. Influence of growth, cell size and aging. Eur J Biochem 1978, 413–419.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Schmidt MJ, Thornberry JF: Cyclic AMP and cyclic GMP accumulation in vitro in brain regions of young, old and aged rats. Brain Res 1978; 139:169–177.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Volicer L, West CD, Chase AR, Greene L: Beta-adrenergic receptor sensitivity in cultured vascular smooth muscle cells: Effect of age and dietary restriction. Mech Ageing Dev 1983; 21:283–293.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Ross MH, Bras G: Influence of protein under-and overnutrition on spontaneous tumor prevalence in the rat. J Nutr 1973; 103:944–963.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Ross MH, Bras G: Dietary preference and diseases of age. Nature 1974; 250:263–265.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Berg BN, Wolf A, Simms HS: Nutrition and longevity in the rat. IV. Food restriction and the radiculoneuropathy of aging rats. J Nutr 1962; 77:439–442.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Vaughan DW: Membranous bodies in the cerebral cortex of aging rats: An electron microscope study. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 1976; 35:152–166.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Vaughan DW, Vincent JM: Ultrastructure of neurons in the auditory cortex of aging rats: a morphometric study. J Neurocytol 1979; 8:215–228.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    West CD: A quantitative study of lipofuscin accumulation with age in normals and individuals with Down’s syndrome, phenylketonuria, Progeria and transneuronal atrophy. J Comp Neurol 1979; 186:109–116.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Hinds JW, McNelly NA: Capillaries in aging rat olfactory bulb: A quantitative light and electronmicroscopic study. Neurobiol Aging 1982; 3:197–207.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Vaughan DW, West CD: Deteriorative changes in the neocortex of aging rats on restricted diets. Anact Rec 1983; 205:206.Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Vaughan DW, Peters A: The structure of neuritic plaques in the cerebral cortex of aged rats. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 1981; 40:471–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Wisniewski HM, Johnson AB, Rain CS, et al: Senile plaques and cerebral amyloidosis in aged dogs. Lab Invest 1970; 23:287–296.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Wisniewski HM, Ghetti B, Terry RD: Neuritic (senile) plaques and filamentous changes in aged Rhesus monkeys.J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 1973; 32:566–584.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Wisniewski HM, Terry RD: Morphology of the aging brain, human and animal, in Ford DH (ed): Progress in Brain Research, vol 40. Amsterdam, Elsevier Press, 1973.Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Terry RD: Some biological aspects of the aging brain. Mech Ageing Dev 1980; 14:191–201.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Klatzo I, Gajdusek DC, Zigas V: Pathology of Kuru. Lab Invest 1959; 8:799–847.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Chou SM, Martin JD: Kuru-plaques in a case of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Acta Neuropathol 1971; 17:150–155.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Wisniewski HM, Bruce ME, Fraser H: Infectious aetiology of neurotic (senile) plaques in mice. Science 1975; 190:1108–1110.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Wisniewski HM, Moretz RC, Lossinsky AS: Evidence for induction of localized amyloid deposits and neuritic plaques by an infectious agent. Ann Neurol 1981; 10:517–522.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Stunkard AJ: Nutrition, aging and obesity, in Rockstein M, Sussman ML (eds): Nutrition, Longevity, and Aging. New York, Academic Press, 1976, pp 253–284.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher D. West
  • Ladislav Volicer
  • Deborah W. Vaughan

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations