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REVIEW: Is It Possible to Prove the Existence of an Aging Program by Quantitative Analysis of Mortality Dynamics?

G. A. Shilovsky1,2*, T. S. Putyatina2, S. N. Lysenkov2,3, V. V. Ashapkin1, O. S. Luchkina4, A. V. Markov2, and V. P. Skulachev1

1Lomonosov Moscow State University, Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, 119991 Moscow, Russia; E-mail: gregory_sh@list.ru, grgerontol@gmail.com

2Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Biology, 119991 Moscow, Russia

3Russian Clinical Research Center for Gerontology, 129226 Moscow, Russia

4Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, 119071 Moscow, Russia

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received September 16, 2016
Accumulation of various types of lesions in the course of aging increases an organism’s vulnerability and results in a monotonous elevation of mortality rate, irrespective of the position of a species on the evolutionary tree. Stroustrup et al. (Nature, 530, 103-107) [1] showed in 2016 that in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, longevity-altering factors (e.g. oxidative stress, temperature, or diet) do not change the shape of the survival curve, but either stretch or shrink it along the time axis, which the authors attributed to the existence of an “aging program”. Modification of the accelerated failure time model by Stroustrup et al. uses temporal scaling as a basic approach for distinguishing between quantitative and qualitative changes in aging dynamics. Thus we analyzed data on the effects of various longevity-increasing genetic manipulations in flies, worms, and mice and used several models to choose a theory that would best fit the experimental results. The possibility to identify the moment of switch from a mortality-governing pathway to some other pathways might be useful for testing geroprotective drugs. In this work, we discuss this and other aspects of temporal scaling.
KEY WORDS: lifespan, aging, survival curves, temporal scaling, phenoptosis

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297916120075