A cross-sectional study of functional and metabolic changes during aging through the lifespan in male mice

Michael A. Petr, Irene Alfaras, Melissa Krawcyzk, Woei Nan Bair, Sarah J. Mitchell, Christopher H. Morrell, Stephanie A. Studenski, Nathan L. Price, Kenneth W. Fishbein, Richard G. Spencer, Morten Scheibye-Knudsen, Edward G. Lakatta, Luigi Ferrucci, Miguel A. Aon, Michel Bernier, Rafael de Cabo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Aging is associated with distinct phenotypical, physiological, and functional changes, leading to disease and death. The progression of aging-related traits varies widely among individuals, influenced by their environment, lifestyle, and genetics. In this study, we conducted physiologic and functional tests cross-sectionally throughout the entire lifespan of male C57BL/6N mice. In parallel, metabolomics analyses in serum, brain, liver, heart, and skeletal muscle were also performed to identify signatures associated with frailty and age-dependent functional decline. Our findings indicate that declines in gait speed as a function of age and frailty are associated with a dramatic increase in the energetic cost of physical activity and decreases in working capacity. Aging and functional decline prompt organs to rewire their metabolism and substrate selection and toward redox-related pathways, mainly in liver and heart. Collectively, the data provide a framework to further understand and characterize processes of aging at the individual organism and organ levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere62952
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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