1)Rat age 2)Caloric restriction

Wed Dec 21 18:55:13 EST 1994

First,  with regard to aging of wild rats:
	  I agree that there is no way to obtain an exact age of wild
	species because of individual variablity.    I will mention,
 	however, a correlate that I have not seen mentioned by others
	and that is cross-linking in the extracellular matrix.  A paper,
	discussing this in human's is :
	Sell, DR, and Monnier, VM.  Structure elucidation of a Senescence
	cross-link from human extracellular matrix.  J. Biol. Chem.  266:
	21597-21602, 1990.
	  This process also occurs over the life-time
	of the primitive least shrew (Orin Mock, Ph.D., Personal
	Communication).  I don't know for sure, but presume it also
	occurs in more advancd rodents like the rat.

Second regading  nutrition and aging:
	Several  contributors have asserted recently that eating well
	is associated with an increased life span.  There is a wealth
	of experimental evidence to suggest exactly the opposite.
	That is, caloric restriction has been shown to promote longevity
	in experimental animals.   A place to start reading about this
	might be:
	YU, BP, How diet influences the aging process of the rat.  Proc.
	Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 205: 97-105,1994.
	  Clearly, starvation  hastens death; but so too does overeating
	hasten death.

	I'm headed home to dinner now!!  Oh well.

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