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Pathology is a critical aspect of preclinical aging studies

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Author(s): Warren Ladiges | Yuji Ikeno | Denny Liggitt | Piper M. Treuting

Journal: Pathobiology of Aging & Age-related Diseases
ISSN 2001-0001

Volume: 3;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: pathology | aging | mouse | histopathology grading | lifespan | health span

ABSTRACT
Experimental design for mouse aging studies has historically involved lifespan, but it is now clear that survival data without pathology data limit the information that can be obtained on aging animals. This limitation becomes more serious when interventions of any sort are implemented. Pathology gives an insight into the health of an animal by revealing lesions not readily observable in the live animal. As such, it is a snapshot of disease conditions at the time of death. Therefore, a long-term goal is to establish pathology information as an essential component of studies involving health span and lifespan of aging animals. Given that pathology assessment is essential to help define the progression of lesions associated with aging, the real challenge is including it in aging studies because there is currently a lack of specialized expertise and resources. An increase in the level and scope of pathology assessment of tissues from old mice involved in aging studies is needed. A focus on the correlation of pathology data with longitudinal and cross-sectional lifespan data and health span physiology data can be established by enhancing standard histologic assessment of lesions observed in tissues from old mice. An environment for the development and integration of pathology data into aging studies of mice is needed to encourage more pathologists and other scientists to specialize in pathology of aging, and establish relevant standards to compare with other species including humans. Such results will have an important positive impact on aging studies because of the significant empowerment on data analyses and interpretation.
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