R H Houtkooper, et al., The Metabolic Footprint of Aging in Mice. Sci Rep, 2011. 1(134.


Houtkooper et al.

Metabolon results led to:
- Specific metabolic deficiencies with aging that may provide new targets for intervention
-An improved understanding of the metabolic alterations in aging

Key metabolomic observations:
- Glucose/glycolysis/glycogen metabolites indicative of increased hepatic glucose production without commensurate full oxidation
- Increased muscle and plasma fatty acids with reduced plasma acyl-carnitines suggesting impaired muscle fatty acid catabolism


Accompanying aging are an array of ailments including cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, and metabolic diseases. Understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of this process is a first step in devising interventions to disrupt pathological aspects of aging. Thus, investigators compared metabolic parameters of young and old mice. Metabolomics revealed a precise and unique signature of aging whereby carbon excess was evident in the muscle and liver in the form of free fatty acids and glucose/glycolysis/glycogen metabolites. These signatures, suggest specific metabolic deficiencies with aging that result in carbon excess including a reduction in the ability to conjugate and use fatty acids in muscle and a reduced capacity to oxidatively consume glucose in the liver with accompanying hepatic glucose production. This comprehensive profile of aging in the mouse provides potential new targets to investigate and biomarkers to consider for gauging human aging.

Download Publication