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Archive for the ‘Aging’ Category

TGF-β1 inhibitor stimulates stem cell division in old mice

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

RepSox, a TGF-β1 inhibitor, promotes stem cell growth and enhances neurogenesis and muscle regeneration in old mice. Neurogenesis occurs primarily in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, and this is where the authors find it. No functional tests are shown.

The compound, 2-(3-(6-Methylpyridin-2-yl)-1H-pyrazol-4-yl)-1,5-naphthyridine or RepSox (PubChem) has been mentioned in half a dozen studies as a drug that promotes stem cell proliferation. Compound sells for research use at $50 / gram.

<p>Systemic attenuation of the TGF-β pathway by a single drug simultaneously rejuvenates hippocampal neurogenesis and myogenesis in the same old mammal. Hanadie Yousef, Michael J. Conboy, Adam Morgenthaler, Christina Schlesinger, Lukasz Bugaj, Preeti Paliwal, Christopher Greer, Irina M. Conboy, David Schaffer
Oncotarget. May 06, 2015. (pdf)

Aging research news

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Articel on yeast article
A yeast cells will only divide a certain number of times before it stops–it senesces. When yeast cells divide, the mother and daughter are asymmetric, and the daughter cell has it’s division clock reset. At least part of this is due to extrachromosomal rRNA circles (ERCs) being retained by the mother cell.

New research finds that the septin ring between mother and daughter cells is a selective barrier for membrane proteins. The ERCs can’t pass the septin ring, and are likely linked to a membrane protein.

Z. Shcheprova et al., “A mechanism for asymmetric segregation of age during yeast budding,” Nature, 454:728–34, 2008

A drug that activates telomerase

A team of biotech and academic researchers has found a natural product compound, TA-65, that activates telomerase. Activating telomerase for short period is a way to renew cell populations that stop dividing. This diminishment of renewing cell populations causes some of the human aging phenotypes. If telomerase was turned on all the time, it would lead to cancer. The idea is that short term telomerase activation may have the benefits of renewal without increasing cancer incidence. TA-65 has only had one pilot human pharmacokinetic study where it seemed to have an effect on T-cells.

A Natural Product Telomerase Activator As Part of a Health Maintenance Program. Harley et al. Rejuvenation Research. doi:10.1089/rej.2010.1085. Online Ahead of Print: September 7, 2010

The life cycle of Turritopsis nutricula

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Turritopsis nutricula is jellyfish that can develop back into a polyp from the jellyfish form, with cells differentiating from adult cells types to polyp types. This is quite unusual, only known to occur in a few jellyfish species.

This reversion to an immature form may allow it to become effectively immortal, renewing itself by passing through the polyp stage again. The ‘effectively immortal’ aspect hasn’t been examined–no one has followed one of these jellyfish through multiple jellyfish-polyp-jellyfish cycles or observed cycling jellyfish living longer than they otherwise would. That is, the reversion to the polyp state may have this effect but it hasn’t been demonstrated yet.

T. nutricula

Image from

Articles describing this are getting linked around, but the research was first described in 1996. And this phenomenon has now been described in a couple jellyfish, and is not unique as the articles say. This article has lots of good pictures. This link to Development Biology, 8th ed. by Scott F. Gilbert has good background info.

Scientific articles:

Caloric restriction in humans

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

I ran across a caloric restriction study being done with human volunteers. It is the CALERIE study (Comprehensive Assessment of Long-term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy) being run by Eric Ravussin and Donald Williamson at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA.

The study will put human volunteers on a diet with 25% less calories for two years to see of the effects of short term caloric restriction affect the body in ways similar to the effects in animals. In animals, 25% caloric restriction increases lifespan by 20-25% and reduces the incidence of many age-related diseases.

The results should be interesting. I hope they can recruit and keep enough participants on the low cal diet!

Are people on the Nicoya peninsula, Costa Rica long lived?

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Caught a story on the Oprah TV show talking about why the people living on the Nicoya peninsula on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica are long lived. And I asked myself, are these people long-lived? I haven’t heard that before and I should know.

So I went looking, and the special on Oprah was touting a book, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner. Buettner first reported the story for National Geographic. So why does Buettner think Nicoyaians are long lived?

Some populations have been studied and found to be long lived–for example, there are four times as many centenarians in Okinawa, Japan compared to Japan as a whole.

Buettner’s source is Dr. Luis Rosero-Bixby, a Costa Rican demographer. The sole published source I can find is The exceptionally high life expectancy of Costa Rican nonagenarians. I haven’t read the paper, but from the abstract national birth registry data was used to establish date of birth and census data was used to monitor survival, and life expectancy of 90-year olds was found to be half a year longer than anywhere else in the world, for males only.

This seems very thin evidence, I can’t find other studies by Rosero-Bixby or evidence that these people were studied by any other groups. It is especially odd that the effect is seen in males but not females–this was the pattern in other areas where long survival was reported but didn’t pan out-the Caucus region of Georgia, northern Pakistan, and the Andean village of Vilcabamba in southern Ecuador. Usually remote areas with poor record keeping.

Idea: clearing pre-cancerous cells

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Cells become cancerous through a multi-step process. The cells pick up several mutations, each clearing a natural limit on cell division and usually increasing the rate at which the cells divide. By the time a person gets old their body has many pre-cancerous clumps of cells, and cancer occurs when one of the cells in one of the clumps picks up a final mutation and becomes fully cancerous.

Cancer has proven very difficult to treat, but perhaps it is easier to treat at the pre-cancerous stage. The idea would be to treat healthy people at middle age or later and kill most of their pre-cancerous cells. This would make the pool of cells that can develop into cancer much smaller and reduce the incidence of cancer.

Chemical chemotherapy drugs would be a poor choice for this–I expect they are not effective on slowly dividing pre-cancerous cells and these drugs are also damaging.

Instead, it may be possible to trigger apoptosis (cell suicide) in pre-cancerous cells. These cells are losing their differentiation and activating abnormal signaling pathways. They are likely stressed and may already be primed to undergo apoptosis. One of the organism’s anti-cancer mechanisms is to trigger apoptosis in pre-cancerous cells. The idea here is to supercharge this mechanism.

So the idea would be to treat the person with a cocktail of drugs that induces apoptosis by activating the apoptotic signaling pathways. The treatment should be strong enough to trigger a wave of apoptosis in the most susceptible cells clearing most pre-cancerous cells from the body. There would be some normal cells killed as well but they will be replaced by normal tissue processes.

President’s Council on Bioethics: dying of old age is good

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

The President’s Council on Bioethics under President Bush put out a remarkable report, Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness. It’s worth noting this report before the Bush administration passes into history. Bush’s Bioethics chairman, Leon Kass, will no doubt continue pushing his ideas in other forums for years.

The report was written be the Council chaired by Leon Kass, a professional ‘bioethicist’, and the report makes quite odd assertions. It starts by explaining its motive; people would like to stay young longer and aging science has the potential to offer this in the next few decades:

Still, when properly examined, something like a desire for an “ageless body” seems in fact to be commonplace and deeply held; and should our capacities to retard the senescence of our bodies increase, that desire may well become more explicit and strong.

But Leon Kass sees this as a bioethical issue, and not a positive one, but instead thinks that living longer would be a bad thing. He wants to jump on the issue now to keep people from getting excited about the prospect. Yeah, it will be a hard sell.

The moral case for living longer is very strong, and the desire to live longer speaks powerfully to each and every one of us. But the full consequences of doing so may not be quite so obvious.

The report goes on to survey the ravages of aging and the prospects for reversing them and preventing this horrible toll of suffering and death. Then it begins making the moral case for the ravages of aging!

Being “used up” by our activities reinforces our sense of fully living in the world. Our dedication to our activities, our engagement with life’s callings, and our continuing interest in our projects all rely to some degree upon a sense that we are giving of ourselves, in a process destined to result in our complete expenditure. A life lived devoid of that sense, or so thoroughly removed from it as to be in practice devoid of it, might well be a life of lesser engagements and weakened commitments-a life other than the one that we have come to understand as fully human. This is not to say it will be worse-but it will very likely be quite different.

A far more distant horizon, a sense of essentially limitless time, might leave us less inclined to act with urgency. Why not leave for tomorrow what you might do today, if there are endless tomorrows before you?

But people in search of other more direct and immediate answers, or, more to the point, people whose longer lease on life leaves them relatively heedless of its finitude, might very well be far less welcoming of children, and far less interested in making the sacrifices needed to promote human renewal through the coming of new generations.

Would people in a world affected by age-retardation be more or less inclined to swear lifelong fidelity “until death do us part,” if their life expectancy at the time of marriage were eighty or a hundred more years, rather than, as today, fifty? And would intergenerational family ties be stronger or weaker if there were five or more generations alive at any one time?

The last question is easy to answer–people would have stronger ties to their family if they were able to meet more generations. Also, the quality of the relationships would be better–today people meet their grandparents and great-grandparents only as the elderly shadow of themselves, people who have lost the physical ability to pursue their interests and avocations, and people disengaging with family and the world.

The fact that we might die at any time could sting more if we were less attuned to the fact that we must die at some (more-or-less known) time. In an era of age-retardation, we might in practice therefore live under an even more powerful preoccupation with death, but one that leads us not to commitment, engagement, urgency, and renewal, but rather to anxiety, self-absorption, and preoccupation with any bodily mishap or every new anti-senescence measure.

But what if, in the “stretched rubber band” sort of life cycle, the period of debility became even more protracted and difficult than it now is? … And in the absence of fatal illnesses to end the misery, pressures for euthanasia and assisted suicide might mount.

But in considering the offer, we must take into account the value inherent in the human life cycle, in the process of aging, and in the knowledge we have of our mortality as we experience it. We should recognize that age-retardation may irreparably distort these and leave us living lives that, whatever else they might become, are in fundamental ways different from-and perhaps less serious or rich than-what we have to this point understood to be truly human.

The neediness of the very young and the very old puts roughly one generation at a time at the helm, and charges it with caring for those who are coming and those who are going. They are given the power to command the institutions of society, but with it the responsibility for the health and continuity of those institutions.

A society reshaped by age-retardation could certainly benefit from the wisdom and experience of more generations of older people, and from the peace, patience, and crucial encouragement that is often a wonderful gift of those who are no longer forging their identity or caught up in economic or social competition. But at the same time, generation after generation would reach and remain in their prime for many decades.xvii Sons might no longer surpass their fathers in vigor just as they prepared to become fathers themselves. The mature generation would have no obvious reason to make way for the next as the years passed, if its peak became a plateau. The succession of generations could be obstructed by a glut of the able. The old might think less of preparing their replacements, and the young could see before them only layers of their elders blocking the path, and no great reason to hurry in building families or careers-remaining functionally immature “young adults” for decades, neither willing nor able to step into the shoes of their mothers and fathers.

Disappointed hopes and broken dreams, accumulated mistakes and misfortunes, and the struggle to meet the economic and emotional demands of daily life can take their toll in diminished ambition, insensitivity, fatigue, and cynicism-not in everyone, to be sure, but in many people growing older.

Yes, the poor would hardly be happy to be poor forever, and the forces that damp the determination of the poor to change society–the ignorance and optimism of youth, the decline of the old–would be lessened. Ha. I think Leon Kass is lacking imagination here.

A society is greatly strengthened by the constant task of introducing itself to new generations of members, and might perhaps be weakened by the relative attenuation of that mission. A world that truly belonged to the living-who expected to exercise their ownership into an ever-expanding future-would be a very different, and perhaps a much diminished, world, focused too narrowly on maintaining life and not sufficiently broadly on building a good life.

And this concluding section is quite widdershins. The natural conclusions seem to be the opposite of the ones Kass seeks to draw:

A society reshaped in these and related ways would be a very different place to live than any we have known before. It could offer exciting new possibilities for personal fulfillment, and for the edifying accumulation of individual and societal experience and wisdom. But it might also be less accommodating of full human lives, less welcoming of new and uninitiated members, and less focused on the purposes that reach beyond survival

Conversely, in affirming the unfolding of birth and growth, aging and death, might we not find access to something permanent, something beyond this “drama of time,” something that at once transcends and gives purpose to the processes of the earth, lifting us to a dignity beyond all disorder, decay, and death?

Tumors in animals

Monday, July 4th, 2005

My youngest brother has been reading “healthy eating” books, and was telling me that wild animals don’t get cancer. He wasn’t content with my correction and wanted some evidence. Fair enough. Looking around online, I found a few references and was reminded of the Laetrile nonsense.

Laetrile was a quack cancer cure popular in the 70’s. The tout was that sharks don’t get cancer, and that taking pills made from ground up shark cartilage would cure cancer. This paragraph give a summary of the Laetrile cure fad:

Crude shark cartilage extract is not a cure for cancer in humans
Promotion of cartilage extracts from sharks has had two negative outcomes: a decline in shark populations, and a diversion of patients from effective cancer treatment. The argument has been that sharks don’t get cancer. However, both malignant and benign neoplasms of sharks and their relatives were described by Gary Ostrander and associates at Johns Hopkins University (Maryland), Penn State College of Medicine, and Registry of Tumors in Lower Animals (Virginia). So far there is no evidence to support the use of crude cartilage nor any cartilage extract to reach and eradicate cancer cells. The authors see the use of shark cartilage extracts as another example of pseudoscience used in decision making where the facts are not considered. (Cancer Research 64: 8485-8491, 2004)

The reference to the Registry of Tumors in Lower Animals sounds intriguing so I looked it up. The collection is searchable online after registering, and I’ve included a link. The Registry includes many cases of cancer in wild animals.

Looking around a bit more, I find someone else has considerately done a search of the literature, and posted abstracts. I’ve includes them below (lost track of the original source). These reports come from journals indexed by Pubmed which indexes biomedical journals, so papers in ecological or field biology journals would be missed. As you can see, there are many reports describing cancer in wild animals. The list is long, but skimming shows that tumors in wild animals have been observed many times.

Next up, I’ll look into the notion you’ve gotten that microwaving your food makes it dangerous to eat.

Cesk Patol 1996 May;32(2):78-83

[Tumors in wildlife].

[Article in Czech]

Karpenko A, Bukovjan K.

Oddeleni patologie SZZ, Benesov u Prahy.

Wild animal tumours have not been much studied yet. Authors found six
mostly benign cases in Czech Republic in checking hunts between the years
1988 and 1993: Mature differentiated ovarian teratoma and apocrine skin
adenoma in field hare, intraductal mammary papillomatosis in a roe,
complex odontoma and pleomorphic mammary carcinoma (single malignancy in
the group) in fox. A soft tissue tumour in a fallow-buck’s neck could not
be histogenetically classified. A high structural equivalence of animal
and human tumours allows using ICD-O classification as a whole.

PMID: 9560906 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

J Vet Med Sci 1997 Aug;59(8):703-6

Spontaneous gastric carcinoid tumors in the striped field mouse (Apodemus

Oh SW, Chae C, Jang D.

Department of Veterinary Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul
National University, Suwon, Kyounggi-Do, Republic of Korea.

Gastric carcinoid tumors were found in seven of 135 striped field mice
(Apodemus agrarius) by routine histopathologic examination. All these
carcinoids occurred in mature striped field mice aged 72-100 weeks. Six
animals were females and only one was male. Only two of seven tumors were
detectable by gross examination. Grossly, tumors were located in the
fundus of the glandular stomach. All seven tumors were microscopically
single in the stomach and two mice exhibited extragastric metastasis.
Tumors from all the mice were characterized by densely packed sheets of
round to polygonal cells, subdivided into packets by a fine fibrovascular
stroma. The cytoplasm of all tumor cells from all the mice contained
argyrophil granules when stained by Grimelius and Sevier-Munger silver
procedures. All seven mice with gastric carcinoids exhibited positive
immunoreactivity to neuron specific enolase. Psammoma bodies,
concentrically laminated microcalcification, were characteristic findings
in gastric carcinoids from five mice. There were also a concomitant and
independent hepatocellular adenoma in one case and hepatocellular
carcinoma in two cases. The present cases provide the first description
of spontaneous gastric carcinoid tumors in the striped field mice.

PMID: 9300368 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Leukemia 1997 Apr;11 Suppl 3:170-1

Plasmacytoid leukemia of chinook salmon.

Kent ML, Eaton WD, Casey JW.

Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo,
B.C., Canada.

Plasmacytoid leukemia is a common disease of seawater pen-reared chinook
salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in British Columbia, Canada, but has
also been detected in wild salmon, in freshwater-reared salmon in United
States, and in salmon from netpens in Chile. The disease can be
transmitted under laboratory conditions, and is associated with a
retrovirus, the salmon leukemia virus. However, the proliferating
plasmablasts are often infected with the microsporean Enterocytozoon
salmonis, which may be an important co-factor in the disease.

PMID: 9209333 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Pathol Int 1996 Dec;46(12):919-32

Mouse mammary tumor virus and mammary tumorigenesis in wild mice.

Imai S.

Nara Prefectural Institute of Public Health, Japan.

The current knowledge of the distribution of the mouse mammary tumor
virus (MMTV) proviral genomes and the mechanism of mammary tumorigenesis
by MMTV in mice, with the main emphasis on Asian feral mice, is reviewed.
The relevant earlier discoveries on the mode of MMTV transmission are
summarized to provide an outline of the biology of MMTV. Finally, the
viral etiology of human breast cancer will be discussed.

Publication Types:
Review, academic

PMID: 9110343 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Adv Neurol 1991;56:473-9

Retroviral leukemia and lower motor neuron disease in wild mice: natural
history, pathogenesis, and genetic resistance.

Gardner MB.

Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis

Publication Types:
Review, tutorial

PMID: 1649545 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

J Wildl Dis 1985 Oct;21(4):386-90

Diseases diagnosed in wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) of the southeastern
United States.

Davidson WR, Nettles VF, Couvillion CE, Howerth EW.

Diagnostic findings are presented on 139 sick or dead wild turkeys
examined during the period 1972 through 1984. Turkeys originated from
eight southeastern states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, South
Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia) and included 31 turkeys
categorized as capture-related mortalities and 108 turkeys categorized as
natural mortalities. Frequent diagnoses (greater than or equal to 10% of
case accessions) in the natural mortality group were trauma, avian pox,
and histomoniasis. Less frequent diagnoses (less than or equal to 4% of
case accessions) included malnutrition/environmental stress syndrome,
coligranuloma-like condition, crop impaction, bumblefoot, organophosphate
toxicosis, infectious sinusitis, a lympho-proliferative disease,
salmonellosis, aspergillosis, toxoplasmosis, crop trichomoniasis, and

PMID: 4078973 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Acta Vet Scand 1985;26(1):61-71

Leukaemic neoplasia in free-living mammals in Denmark.

Elvestad K, Henriques UV.

PMID: 3839967 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Int J Cancer 1981 Aug 15;28(2):241-7

Natural killer cell activity in a population of leukemia-prone wild mice
(Mus musculus).

Scott JL, Pal BK, Rasheed S, Gardner MB.

Natural cell-mediated cytotoxicity against YAC-I targets was measured in
splenocytes from leukemia-prone wild mice trapped near Lake Casitas (LC)
in southern California. Cytotoxicity was mediated by cells that were
non-adherent to nylon wool, non-phagocytic and resistant to thy-1.2
antiserum plus complement. Natural MuLV viremia in LC mice did not impair
splenic cytotoxicity against TAC-I target cells, Cells infected with
amphotropic and ecotropic MuLV of wild mouse origin were not appreciably
lysed by LC splenic effectors. Although variable levels of cytotoxicity
were detected against TAC-1 by normal spleen cells, consistently low
levels of cytotoxicity against allogenic LC lymphoma, sarcoma and
carcinoma targets were found using the same splenocytes. These results
indicate that LC mice possess splenocytes with the characteristics of
natural killer (NK) cells as defined in inbred mice. The resistance of
LC-derived targets to lysis by LC NK cells suggests that NK cells may not
be involved in natural tumor immunosurveillance or that the development
of spontaneous tumors may involve escape from NK-mediated effector

PMID: 6274813 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Vet Pathol 1977 Nov;14(6):539-46

Gynecologic pathology in the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta). II. Findings in
laboratory and free-ranging monkeys.

DiGiacomo RF.

The most prevalent findings in reproductive tracts of 38 laboratory and
17 free-ranging Rhesus female monkeys were vaginitis, cervicitis,
metritis, pelvic endometriosis and uterine adenomyosis. Several monkeys
had cervical dysplasia and one had a serous cystadenoma. The findings in
the two groups were similar although prevalence for several diseases
differed. There was a significant relationship between the occurrence of
vaginitis, metritis, adenomyosis and endometriosis and gravidity, time
since last pregnancy, number of matings, hysterotomies, reproductive
ability and reproductive status.

PMID: 412291 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

J Wildl Dis 1999 Oct;35(4):804-7

Relating tumor score to hematology in green turtles with
fibropapillomatosis in Hawaii.

Work TM, Balazs GH.

U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resource Division, National Wildlife
Health Center, Honolulu Field Station, Hawaii 96850, USA.

The relationship between hematologic status and severity of tumor
affliction in green turtles (Chelonia mydas) with fibropapillomatosis
(FP) was examined. During 1 wk periods in July 1997 and July 1998, we
bled 108 free-ranging green turtles from Pala’au (Molokai, Hawaii, USA)
where FP is endemic. Blood was analyzed for hematocrit, estimated total
solids, total white blood cell (WBC) count and differential WBC count.
Each turtle was assigned a subjective tumor score ranging from 0 (no
visible external tumors) to 3 (heavily tumored) that indicated the
severity of FP. There was a progressive increase in monocytes and a
decrease in all other hematologic parameters except heterophils and total
numbers of white blood cells as tumor score increased. These data
indicate that tumor score can relate to physiologic status of green
turtles afflicted with FP, and that tumor score is a useful field monitor
of severity of FP in this species.

PMID: 10574546 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

J Wildl Dis 1999 Oct;35(4):753-62

Descriptive epidemiology of roe deer mortality in Sweden.

Aguirre AA, Brojer C, Morner T.

Department of Wildlife, The National Veterinary Institute, Uppsala, Sweden.

A retrospective epidemiologic study was conducted to examine causes of
mortality of 985 wild roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) submitted to the
National Veterinary Institute (SVA; Uppsala, Sweden) from January 1986 to
December 1995. Age, sex, body condition, and geographic distribution as
related to disease conditions are reported herein. The most common causes
of mortality in roe deer were trauma (19%), winter starvation (18%),
gastritis/enteritis (15%), bacterial infections (11%), parasitic
infection (11%), systemic diseases (11%), neoplasia (2%), congenital
disorders (1%), and miscellaneous causes (6%). Cause of death was not
determined in 6% of the cases. The distribution of causes of death
reported in this study differ from previous works in Sweden in that
infectious and parasitic diseases were more common than winter
starvation. The pathologic findings in studies like this do not
necessarily represent what is occurring in the natural environment, but
they do provide a good indication of distribution of diseases over time
as well as age and sex structure in relation to disease conditions.
Further research and more detailed studies are in progress to better
understand specific mortality factors as well as etiologies of certain
described diseases in roe deer in Sweden.

PMID: 10574535 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

J Zoo Wildl Med 1999 Mar;30(1):165-9

Herpesvirus-associated papillomas in koi carp (Cyprinus carpio).

Calle PP, McNamara T, Kress Y.

Wildlife Health Sciences, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, New York
10460-1099, USA.

From January through November 1994, 32% (7/22) of koi carp (Cyprinus
carpio) maintained in indoor aquariums developed proliferative cutaneous
lesions that consisted of single to multiple 2-10-mm whitish to pink
fleshy masses usually associated with fin rays. Although scaleless koi
were more commonly affected (3/6) than were normally scaled koi (4/16),
the difference in incidence rates was not significant (chi2 text, P >
0.05). Lesions typically resolved spontaneously in 1-3 wk, occasionally
persisted for >3 mo, and recurred in several fish after 2-5 mo. Fish were
otherwise asymptomatic. Wet mount preparations from lesions were densely
cellular and consisted of hyperplastic epidermal cells of normal
morphology without parasites or inflammatory cells. Histologically,
biopsies were consistent with papillomas and were characterized by a
marked benign epidermal hyperplasia without inclusion bodies or
inflammatory infiltrate. Transmission electron microscopic examination
revealed intranuclear and intracytoplasmic herpesvirus virions. Virus
isolation attempts were unsuccessful.

PMID: 10367660 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

J Wildl Dis 1999 Apr;35(2):392-4

Adenocarcinoma of the mammary gland in a red fox from Austria.

Janovsky M, Steineck T.

Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, University of Veterinary Medicine,
Vienna, Austria.

A mammary gland adenocarcinoma was diagnosed in an adult red fox (Vulpes
vulpes) which was shot in Austria in August 1995. Metastases were found
in the kidneys and liver. This is the first reported case of an
adenocarcinoma in a fox, and lack of mammary gland carcinoma in this
species may be age related.

PMID: 10231770 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Primate life spans

Monday, March 14th, 2005

Googling for AcePerl tutorials (there has to be a better way to use AcePerl than what I’ve been doing!) , I happened across a list of primate lifespans. List has 239 primates. The winners are the great apes, with some monkeys having lifespans nearly as long, at a guess not really different given the sparsity of the data. Would be interesting to plot lifespans on a phylogram.

The Life Spans of Nonhuman Primates

Species                                                   Life Span
Allenopithecus nigroviridis (Allen's Swamp Monkey)        28 yrs. (1)
Allocebus trichotis (Hairy-eared Dwarf Lemur)             NA
Alouatta belzebul (Red-handed Howler)                     NA
Alouatta caraya (Black-and-gold Howler)                   20 yrs. (2)
Alouatta coibensis (Coiba Island Howler)                  NA
Alouatta fusca (Brown Howler)                             NA
Alouatta palliata (Mantled Howler)                        20 yrs. (1)
Alouatta pigra (Black Howler)                             20 yrs. (1)
Alouatta sara (Bolivian Red Howler)                       NA
Alouatta seniculus (Red Howler)                           25 yrs. (1)
Aotus nigriceps (Southern Red-necked Night Monkey)        20 yrs. (1)
Aotus trivigratus (Northern Gray-necked Owl Monkey)       20 yrs. (1)
Arctocebus aureus (Golden Angwantibo)                     13 yrs. (3)
Arctocebus calabarensis (Angwantibo)                      11 yrs. (1)
Ateles belzebuth (White-bellied Spider Monkey)            20 yrs. (1)
Ateles chamek (Black-faced Spider Monkey)                 40 yrs. (3)
Ateles fusciceps (Brown-headed Spider Monkey)             24 yrs. (1)
Ateles geoffroyi (Black-handed Spider Monkey)             48 yrs. (3)
Ateles marginatus (White-whiskered Spider Monkey)         NA
Ateles paniscus (Black Spider Monkey)                     33 yrs. (1)
Avahi laniger (Woolly Lemur)                              NA
Brachyteles arachnoides (Woolly Spider Monkey or
    Muriqui)                                              30 yrs. (1)
Bunopithecus [Hylobates] hoolock (Hoolock                 42 yrs. (1)
    or White-browed Gibbo
Cacajao calvus (Bald Uacari)                              20.1 yrs. (1)
Cacajao melanocephalus (Black-headed Uacari)              18 yrs. (2)
Callicebus brunneus (Brown Titi Monkey)                   NA
Callicebus caligatus (Chestnut-bellied Titi Monkey)       NA
Callicebus cinerascens (Ashy Titi Monkey)                 NA
Callicebus cupreus (Red Titi Monkey)                      NA
Callicebus donacophilus (Bolivian Gray Titi Monkey)       NA
Callicebus dubius (Titi Monkey)                           NA
Callicebus hoffmannsi (Hoffman's Titi Monkey)             NA
Callicebus modestus (Titi Monkey)                         NA
Callicebus moloch (Dusky Titi Monkey)                     25 yrs. (2)
Callicebus oenanthe (Andean Titi Monkey)                  NA
Callicebus olallae (Beni Titi Monkey)                     NA
Callicebus personatus (Masked Titi Monkey)                NA
Callicebus torquatus (Collared Titi or Widow Monkey)      NA
Callimico goeldii (Goeldi's Monkey)                       17.9 yrs. (1)
Callithrix argentata (Bare-ear Marmoset)                  17 yrs. (2)
Callithrix aurita (Buffy Tufted-eared Marmoset)           NA
Callithrix flaviceps (Buffy-headed Marmoset)              NA
Callithrix geoffroyi (Geoffroy's Tufted-eared Marmoset)   NA
Callithrix humeralifer (Tassel-eared Marmoset)            15 yrs. (2)
Callithrix jacchus (Common Marmoset)                      11.7 yrs. (1)
Callithrix mauesi (Maues Marmoset)                        NA
Callithrix penicillata (Black Tufted-eared Marmoset)      NA
Callithrix pygmaea (Pygmy Marmoset)                       11.7 yrs. (1)
Callthrix kuhlii (Wied's Tufted-eared Marmoset)           NA
Callthrix nigriceps (Black-headed Marmoset)               NA
Cebus albifrons (White-fronted Capuchin)                  44 yrs. (1)
Cebus apella (Tufted or Brown Capuchin)                   40 yrs. (1)
Cebus capucinus (White-throated Capuchin)                 46.9 yrs. (1)
Cebus olivaceus (Weeper or Wedge-capped Capuchin)         NA
Cercocebus agilis (Agile Mangabey)                        NA
Cercocebus galeritus (Tana River Mangabey)                19 yrs. (1)
Cercocebus torquatus (White-collared Mangabey)            27 yrs. (1)
Cercocebus torquatus atys (Sooty Mangabey)                18 yrs. (1)
Cercopithecus campbelli (Campbell's Guenon)               25 yrs. (2)
Cercopithecus cephus (Mustached Guenon)                   22 yrs. (1)
Cercopithecus diana (Diana Monkey)                        34.8 yrs. (1)
Cercopithecus dryas (Dryas Guenon)                        NA
Cercopithecus erythrogaster (White-throated Guenon)       NA
Cercopithecus erythrotis (Red-eared Guenon)               NA
Cercopithecus hamlyni (Owl-faced Monkey)                  27 yrs. (2)
Cercopithecus lhoesti (L'Hoest's Monkey)                  NA
Cercopithecus mitis (Blue Monkey)                         20 yrs. (1)
Cercopithecus mona (Mona Monkey)                          22 yrs. (1)
Cercopithecus neglectus (De Brazza's Monkey)              22 yrs. (1)
Cercopithecus nictitans (Putty-nosed                      23 yrs. (2)
     or Greater Spot-nosed Guenon)
Cercopithecus petaurista (Lesser Spot-nosed Guenon)       19 yrs. (2)
Cercopithecus pogonias (Crowned Guenon)                   20 yrs. (1)
Cercopithecus preussi (Preuss's Monkey)                   NA
Cercopithecus sclateri (Sclater's Guenon)                 NA
Cercopithecus solatus (Sun-tailed Guenon)                 NA
Cercopithecus wolfi (Wolf's Guenon)                       NA
Cheirogaleus major (Greater Dwarf Lemur)                  8.8 yrs. (1)
Cheirogaleus medius (Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur)              19 yrs. (2)
Chiropotes albinasus (White-nosed Bearded Saki)           12 yrs. (2)
Chiropotes satanas (Bearded Saki)                         15 yrs. (1)
Chlorocebus aethiops (Vervet, Grivet, or Green Monkey)    31 yrs. (1)
Colobus angolensis (Angolan Black-and-white Colobus)      NA
Colobus guereza (Abyssinian, Guereza, or
    Eastern Black-and-white Colobus)                      22.2 yrs. (1)
Colobus polykomos (King or Western Black-and-white
    Colobus)                                              30.5 yrs. (1)
Colobus satanas (Black Colobus)                           NA
Colobus vellerosus (Geoffroy's or White-thighed
    Black-and-white colobus)                              NA
Daubentonia madagascariensis (Aye-aye)                    24 yrs. (2)
Erythrocebus patas (Patas Monkey)                         21.6 yrs. (1)
Eulemur coronatus (Crowned Lemur)                         NA
Eulemur fulvus (Brown Lemur)                              30.8 yrs. (1)
Eulemur macaco (Black Lemur)                              27.1 yrs. (1)
Eulemur mongoz (Mongoose Lemur)                           <26 yrs.  (4)
Eulemur rubriventer (Red-bellied Lemur)                   NA
Euoticus elegantulus (Southern Needle-clawed Bush Baby)   NA
Euoticus pallidus (Northern Needle-clawed Bush Baby)      NA
Galago alleni (Allen's Bush Baby)                         12 yrs. (1)
Galago gallarum (Somali Bush Baby)                        NA
Galago matschiei (Matschie's Bush Baby)                   NA
Galago moholi (Southern Lesser Bush Baby)                 16 yrs. (1)
Galago senegalensis (Northern Lesser Bush Baby)           16 yrs. (1)
Galagoides demidoff (Demidoff's Bush Baby)                13 yrs. (1)
Galagoides thomasi (Thomas's Bush Baby)                   NA
Galagoides zanzibaricus (Zanzibar Bush Baby)              16.5 yrs. (3)
Gorilla gorilla beringei (Mountain Gorilla)               40-50 yrs. (1)
Gorilla gorilla gorilla (Western Lowland Gorilla)         50 yrs. (1)
Gorilla gorilla graueri (Eastern Lowland Gorilla)         NA
Hapalemur aureus (Golden Bamboo Lemur)                    NA
Hapalemur griseus (Lesser Bamboo Lemur)                   17 yrs. (2)
Hapalemur simus (Greater Bamboo Lemur)                    NA
Hylobates agilis (Dark-handed or Agile Gibbon)            32 yrs. (1)
Hylobates klossi  (Kloss's Gibbon)                        NA
Hylobates lar (White-handed Gibbon)                       44 yrs. (1)
Hylobates moloch (Silvery Javan Gibbon)                   35 yrs. (1)
Hylobates muelleri (Mueller's Bornean Gray Gibbon)        47 yrs. (1)
Hylobates pileatus (Pileated or Capped Gibbon)            39 yrs. (1)
Indri indri (Indri)                                       NA
Kasi [Trachypithecus] vetulus (Purple-faced Leaf Monkey)  8 yrs. (4)
Kasi [Trachypithecus] johnii (Nilgiri Langur)             NA
Lagothrix flavicauda (Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey)        NA
Lagothrix lagotricha (Woolly Monkey)                      25.9 yrs. (1)
Lemur catta (Ring-tailed Lemur)                           27 yrs. (1)
Leontopithecus caissara (Black-faced Lion Tamarin)        NA
Leontopithecus chrysomelas (Golden-headed Lion Tamarin)   NA
Leontopithecus chrysopygus (Black Lion Tamarin)           NA
Leontopithecus rosalia (Golden Lion Tamarin)              24 yrs. (2)
Lepilemur dorsalis (Gray-backed Sportive Lemur)           NA
Lepilemur edwardsi (Milne-Edwards' Sportive Lemur)        NA
Lepilemur leucopus (White-footed Sportive Lemur)          NA
Lepilemur microdon (Small-toothed Sportive Lemur)         NA
Lepilemur mustelinus (Weasel Sportive Lemur)              NA
Lepilemur ruficaudatus (Red-tailed Sportive Lemur)        NA
Lepilemur septentrionalis (Northern Sportive Lemur)       NA
Lophocebus albigena (Gray-cheeked Mangabey)               32.6 yrs. (1)
Lophocebus aterrimus (Black Mangabey)                     32.7 yrs. (3)
Loris tardigradus (Slender Loris)                         15 yrs. (1)
Macaca arctoides (Stump-tailed Macaque)                   30 yrs. (1)
Macaca assamensis (Assamese Macaque)                      NA
Macaca cyclopis (Formosan Rock Macaque)                   NA
Macaca fascicularis (Long-tailed, Crab-eating or
    Cynomolgus Macaque)                                   37.1 yrs. (1)
Macaca fuscata (Japanese Macaque)                         33 yrs. (1)
Macaca maura (Celebes Moor Macaque)                       NA
Macaca mulatta (Rhesus Macaque)                           29 yrs. (1)
Macaca nemestrina (Pig-tailed Macaque)                    26.3 yrs. (1)
Macaca nigra (Celebes or Crested Black)                   18 yrs. (1)
Macaca ochreata (Booted Macaque)                          NA
Macaca radiata (Bonnet Macaque)                           30 yrs. (1)
Macaca silenus (Lion-tailed Macaque)                      38 yrs. (1)
Macaca sinica (Toque Macaque)                             30 yrs. (1)
Macaca sylvanus (Barbary Macaque)                         22 yrs. (1)
Macaca thibetana (Tibetan Macaque)                        20 yrs. (1)
Macaca tonkeana (Tonkean Macaque)                         NA
Mandrillus leucophaeus (Drill)                            46 yrs. (4)
Mandrillus sphinx (Mandrill)                              46.3 yrs. (1)
Microcebus coquereli (Coquerel's Dwarf Lemur)             15 yrs. (2)
Microcebus murinus (Gray Mouse Lemur)                     15.5 yrs. (1)
Microcebus myoxinus (Pygmy Mouse Lemur)                   NA
Microcebus rufus (Brown Mouse Lemur)                      NA
Miopithecus talapoin (Dwarf Guenon or Southern
    Talapoin Monkey)                                      27.7 yrs. (1)
Nasalis [Nasalis] larvatus (Proboscis Monkey)             21 yrs. (2)
Nomascus [Hylobates] leucogenys (Chinese
    White-cheeked Gibbon)                                 28 yrs. (1)
Nomascus [Hylobates] gabriellae (Golden-cheeked Gibbon)   46 yrs. (1)
Nycticebus coucang (Slow Loris)                           20 yrs. (1)
Nycticebus pygmaeus (Pygmy Loris)                         20 yrs. (1)
Otolemur crassicaudatus (Thick-tailed Greater Bush Baby)  15 yrs. (1)
Otolemur garnettii (Garnett's Greater Bush Baby)          15 yrs. (1)
Pan paniscus (Bonobo or Pygmy Chimpanzee)                 40 yrs. (1)
Pan troglodytes (Chimpanzee)                              53 yrs. (1)
Papio hamadryas anubis (Olive Baboon)                     30-45 yrs. (1)
Papio hamadryas cynocephalus (Yellow Baboon)              40 yrs. (1)
Papio hamadryas hamadryas (Hamadryas Baboon)              35.6 yrs. (1)
Papio hamadryas papio (Guinea Baboon)                     40 yrs. (1)
Papio hamadryas ursinus (Chacma Baboon)                   45 yrs. (1)
Perodicticus potto (Potto)                                26 yrs. (1)
Phaner furcifer (Fork-marked Lemur)                       12 yrs. (2)
Piliocolobus [Procolobus] pennantii (Pennant's Red
    Colobus)                                              NA
Piliocolobus [Procolobus] preussi (Preuss's Red Colobus)  NA
Piliocolobus [Procolobus] rufomitratus (Tana River
    Red Colobus)                                          NA
Piliocolobus [Procolobus] baduis (Western Red Colobus)    NA
Pithecia aequatorialis (Equatorial Saki)                  NA
Pithecia albicans (Buffy Saki)                            NA
Pithecia irrorata (Bald-faced Saki)                       NA
Pithecia monachus (Monk Saki)                             25 yrs. (2)
Pithecia pithecia (White-faced Saki)                      35 yrs. (3)
Pongo abelii (Sumatran Orangutan)                         >50 yrs. (1)
Pongo pygmaeus (Borneo Orangutan)                         59 yrs. (1)
Presbytis comata (Grizzled Leaf Monkey)                   NA
Presbytis femoralis (Banded Leaf Monkey)                  NA
Presbytis frontata (White-fronted Leaf Monkey)            NA
Presbytis hosei (Hose's Leaf Monkey)                      NA
Presbytis melalophos (Mitered Leaf Monkey)                16 yrs. (2)
Presbytis potenziani (Mentawai Island Leaf Monkey)        NA
Presbytis rubicunda (Maroon Leaf Monkey)                  NA
Presbytis thomasi (Thomas's Leaf Monkey)                  NA
Procolobus [Procolobus] verus (Olive Colobus)             NA
Propithecus diadema (Diademed Sifaka)                     20 yrs. (1)
Propithecus tattersalli (Golden-crowned Sifaka)           NA
Propithecus verreauxi (Verreaux's Sifaka)                 20 yrs. (2)
Pygathrix [Pygathrix] nemaeus (Red-shanked Douc Langur)   >30 yrs. (1)
Pygathrix [Pygathrix] nigripes (Black-shanked Douc
    Langur)                                               NA
Rhinopithecus [Pygathrix) roxellana
(Sichuan Golden Snub-nosed Monkey)                        NA
Rhinopithecus [Pygathrix] avunculus (Tonkin
    Snub-nosed Monkey)                                    NA
Rhinopithecus [Pygathrix] bieti (Black or Yunnan
    Snub-nosed Monkey)                                    NA
Rhinopithecus [Pygathrix] brelichi (Guizhou
    Snub-nosed Monkey)                                    NA
Saguinus bicolor (Bare-faced Tamarin)                     8 yrs. (1)
Saguinus fuscicollis (Saddleback Tamarin)                 24 yrs. (2)
Saguinus geoffroyi (Red-crested Tamarin)                  13 yrs. (1)
Saguinus imperator (Emperor Tamarin)                      17 yrs. (1)
Saguinus inustus (Mottled-face Tamarin)                   NA
Saguinus labiatus (Red-bellied Tamarin)                   NA
Saguinus leucopus (Silvery-brown Bare-faced Tamarin)      NA
Saguinus midas (Golden-handed Tamarin)                    13.2 yrs. (1)
Saguinus mystax (Mustached Tamarin)                       12-20 yrs. (1)
Saguinus nigricollis (Spix's Black-mantled Tamarin)       13.9 yrs. (1)
Saguinus oedipus (Cotton-top Tamarin)                     13.5 yrs. (1)
Saguinus tripartitus (Golden-mantled Saddleback Tamarin)  6 yrs. (1)
Saimiri boliviensis (Bolivian Squirrel Monkey)            NA
Saimiri oerstedii (Red-backed Squirrel Monkey)            NA
Saimiri sciureus (Common Squirrel Monkey)                 21 yrs. (1)
Saimiri ustus (Golden-backed Squirrel Monkey)             NA
Saimiri vanzolinii (Black Squirrel Monkey)                NA
Semnopithecus entellus (Hanuman Langur)                   20 yrs. (1)
Simias [Nasalis] concolor (Pig-tailed Langur)             NA
Symphalangus [Hylobates] syndactylus (Siamang)            35yrs. (1)
Tarsius bancanus (Western Tarsier)                        8-12 yrs. (1)
Tarsius pumilus (Pygmy Tarsier)                           NA
Tarsius spectrum (Spectral Tarsier)                       12 yrs. (1)
Tarsius syrichta (Phillippine Tarsier)                    13.5 yrs. (1)
Tarsius dianae (Dian's Tarsier)                           NA
Theropithecus gelada (Gelada Baboon)                      19.2 yrs. (1)
Trachypithecus [Trachypithecus] auratus (Ebony Langur)    NA
Trachypithecus [Trachypithecus] cristatus (Silvered
    Langur)                                               31 yrs. (3)
Trachypithecus [Trachypithecus] delacouri (Delacour's
    Langur)                                               NA
Trachypithecus [Trachypithecus] francoisi (Francois's
    Langur)                                               <20 yrs. (4)
Trachypithecus [Trachypithecus] geei (Golden Langur)      NA
Trachypithecus [Trachypithecus] obscurus (Dusky or
    Spectacled Leaf Monkey)                               NA
Trachypithecus [Trachypithecus] phayrei (Phayre's Leaf
    Monkey)                                               NA
Trachypithecus [Trachypithecus] pileatus (Capped Leaf
    Monkey)                                               NA
Varecia variegatus (Ruffed Lemur)                         19 yrs. (1)

Numbers in parenthesus following lifespans refer to the following references:

1. Rowe, Noel. The Pictorial Guide to Living Primates. Pogonias Press, East Hampton, New York, 1996.
2. Hakeem A., et al. Handbook of the Psychology of Aging. 4th ed. Birren, J.E., Schaie, K.W., Editors. San Diego:
Academic Press. 1996.
3. Nowak, R. Walker’s Primates of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, 1999.
4. American Association of Zoo Keepers Greater San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. Biological Values for Selected
Mammals. Topeka: AAZK. 1992. 3rd ed. Pgs: v, 481

*The data presented here is taken from the secondary sources listed above and users are advised to consult primary
sources before citing this information. According to Rowe (1996, p. 6), “Species life span is given in years and
measures the maximum amount of time between birth and death rather than an average.” However, life span
information varies, as might be expected, from source to source. Moreover, the information provided is drawn mainly
from reports on captive animals. While it is generally assumed that captive animals will live longer than animals in
the wild, because of the consistent care and support provided in laboratory or zoo settings, according to Hakeem
et al.:

“We have very little information on the longevity of primates in the wild,
because this requires sustained observations of wild populations for many
decades. One of our concerns in using life spans of captive animals was that
they might vary greatly from the species — maximum life span in the wild; one
might think that primates living in zoos would have longer maximum life spans
than those living in the wild. The few very long-term studies of primates
living under natural conditions indicate, however, that some individuals do live
into extreme old age in the wild. Long-term observational data suggest that
the maximum life spans for zoo-living and wild primates may be about the
same (p. 78-9).”

Anyone who would like to contribute verifiable information about nonhuman primate life spans — especially for those
where information is not provided (NA) — should contact Ray Hamel at

Information compiled by Derek Johnson.