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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cytokine responses in young and old rhesus monkeys: effect of caloric restriction.

Caloric restriction (CR) is the only known intervention demonstrated to retard a great variety of aging processes, extend median and maximum life-span, and decrease the incidence of age-associated diseases in mammals. Paralleling findings from rodent studies, studies in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) suggest that CR may retard many age-sensitive parameters in primates. A recent study in rhesus monkeys showed age-related dysregulation of cytokine levels. Specifically, age-related increases in interleukin-10 (IL-10) and IL-6 proteins were observed in supernatants from lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) protein exhibited an age-related decrease in phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-stimulated PBMCs. To investigate effects of CR on age-related changes in cytokine production, we obtained PBMCs from control and CR rhesus monkeys aged 6-7 and 22-25 years. We evaluated IL-10 and IL-6 protein and gene expression after exposure to LPS and IFN-gamma protein and gene expression after PHA stimulation. The results revealed significantly higher levels of IFN-gamma protein and gene expression in aged monkeys on CR for 2 years compared with controls. No significant CR effects were observed on IL-10 and IL-6 protein levels. IFN-gamma plays an important role in the initial defense mechanism against viral and microbial disease and cancer. Altered regulation of IFN-gamma in old CR rhesus monkeys may be a key factor in reducing cancer incidence and other age-associated diseases.[1]


  1. Cytokine responses in young and old rhesus monkeys: effect of caloric restriction. Mascarucci, P., Taub, D., Saccani, S., Paloma, M.A., Dawson, H., Roth, G.S., Lane, M.A., Ingram, D.K. J. Interferon Cytokine Res. (2002) [Pubmed]
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