A toolbox for the longitudinal assessment of healthspan in aging mice

I. Bellantuono, R. de Cabo, D. Ehninger, C. Di Germanio, A. Lawrie, J. Miller, S. J. Mitchell, I. Navas-Enamorado, P. K. Potter, T. Tchkonia, J. L. Trejo, D. W. Lamming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The number of people aged over 65 is expected to double in the next 30 years. For many, living longer will mean spending more years with the burdens of chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Although researchers have made rapid progress in developing geroprotective interventions that target mechanisms of aging and delay or prevent the onset of multiple concurrent age-related diseases, a lack of standardized techniques to assess healthspan in preclinical murine studies has resulted in reduced reproducibility and slow progress. To overcome this, major centers in Europe and the United States skilled in healthspan analysis came together to agree on a toolbox of techniques that can be used to consistently assess the healthspan of mice. Here, we describe the agreed toolbox, which contains protocols for echocardiography, novel object recognition, grip strength, rotarod, glucose tolerance test (GTT) and insulin tolerance test (ITT), body composition, and energy expenditure. The protocols can be performed longitudinally in the same mouse over a period of 4–6 weeks to test how candidate geroprotectors affect cardiac, cognitive, neuromuscular, and metabolic health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)540-574
Number of pages35
JournalNature Protocols
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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