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Caloric Restriction preserves replicative potential.....

Aubrey de Grey ag24 at mole.bio.cam.ac.uk
Sun Jan 17 10:44:00 EST 1999

William wrote:

> It seems to me that
> if cellular replicative potential, which is controled of course by
> telomere length, is conserved by caloric restriction, then perhaps by
> increasing cellular replicative potential (perhaps through a
> telomerase inducer or vector) the same life extending effects could be
> observed.
> ...
> Caloric restriction: conservation of cellular replicative capacity in
> vitro accompanies life-span extension in mice.

The problem is with your "of course".  Replicative capacity of mouse
cells in vitro is a lot less than that of human cells, even though their
telomeres are a lot longer (for Mus musculus) or about the same as ours
(for Mus spretus).  Similarly, cells from telomerase knockout maintain
their relicative capacity from one generation to the next despite loss
of telomere length.  It's certainly possible that this curious uniformity
of replicative capacity in Mus, irrespective of telomere length, is due
to all Mus species having the same *minimum* telomere length -- i.e. Mus
musculus has a bigger variation -- but there is no evidence whatever
that this minimum telomere length is short enough to trigger replicative
senescence: thus, rather more likely on present evidence is that mouse
cells suffer replicative senescence by a mechanism not based on their
telomere length at all.

Aubrey de Grey

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