Visceral adipose tissue modulates mammalian longevity

Radhika Muzumdar, David B. Allison, Derek M. Huffman, Xiaohui Ma, Gil Atzmon, Francine H. Einstein, Sigal Fishman, Aruna D. Poduval, Theresa McVei, Scott W. Keith, Nir Barzilai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

179 Scopus citations


Caloric restriction (CR) can delay many age-related diseases and extend lifespan, while an increase in adiposity is associated with enhanced disease risk and accelerated aging. Among the various fat depots, the accrual of visceral fat (VF) is a common feature of aging, and has been shown to be the most detrimental on metabolic syndrome of aging in humans. We have previously demonstrated that surgical removal of VF in rats improves insulin action; thus, we set out to determine if VF removal affects longevity. We prospectively studied lifespan in three groups of rats: ad libitum-fed (AL-fed), CR (Fed 60% of AL) and a group of AL-fed rats with selective removal of VF at 5 months of age (VF-removed rats). We demonstrate that compared to AL-fed rats, VF-removed rats had a significant increase in mean (p < 0.001) and maximum lifespan (p < 0.04) and significant reduction in the incidence of severe renal disease (p < 0.01). CR rats demonstrated the greatest mean and maximum lifespan (p < 0.001) and the lowest rate of death as compared to AL-fed rats (0.13). Taken together, these observations provide the most direct evidence to date that a reduction in fat mass, specifically VF, may be one of the possible underlying mechanisms of the anti-aging effect of CR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-440
Number of pages3
JournalAging Cell
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Institute on AgingK08AG027462
National Institute on Aging


    • Aging
    • Caloric restriction
    • Life span
    • Obesity
    • Visceral fat removal


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