Mechanisms of ageing and development

Short-term rapamycin treatment in mice has few effects on the transcriptome of white adipose tissue compared to dietary restriction.

PMID 25075714


Rapamycin, a drug that has been shown to increase lifespan in mice, inhibits the target of rapamycin (TOR) pathway, a major pathway that regulates cell growth and energy status. It has been hypothesized that rapamycin and dietary restriction (DR) extend lifespan through similar mechanisms/pathways. Using microarray analysis, we compared the transcriptome of white adipose tissue from mice fed rapamycin or DR-diet for 6 months. Multidimensional scaling and heatmap analyses showed that rapamycin had essentially no effect on the transcriptome as compared to DR. For example, only six transcripts were significantly altered by rapamycin while mice fed DR showed a significant change in over 1000 transcripts. Using ingenuity pathway analysis, we found that stearate biosynthesis and circadian rhythm signaling were significantly changed by DR. Our findings showing that DR, but not rapamycin, has an effect on the transcriptome of the adipose tissue, suggesting that these two manipulations increase lifespan through different mechanisms/pathways.