A new study reveals that naked mole rats are non-aging mammals with a risk of dying that could stay at about 1 in 10,000 for their whole lives. Scientists said that these rodents do not conform to the Gompertzian mortality law, which states that the risk of individual dying increases as he gets older.
The findings of the study were published in eLife. Researchers from Calico Life Sciences LLC in the United States conducted the study. The scientists confirm that naked mole rat is an exceptional model for biogerontology, which is a field of science that studies about aging and how to slow the aging process.
Naked mole rat is also called sand puppy or desert mole rat and found to some regions in East Africa. Most of the rodents have an average lifespan of four years. On the other hand, naked mole rats could live up to 30 years. They are also known for the resistance to cancer and oxygen deprivation.
In the study, the scientists examined the data on 3,299 naked mole rats. The information includes the date of birth and date of death of the rats together with evidence whether the rat was killed in an experiment or given away.
The analysis of data showed that after the naked mole rats reached their sexual maturity at 6-months-old, their chance of death was about one in 10,000 for the rest of their life. They also did not show an increase in vulnerability as the other living things experience as they age.
The scientists are trying to figure out the reason why these rodents could have long lives. They think that the 30-year lifespan of the rodents could be the result of the increasing rate of their DNA repair together with the high levels of molecular chaperones. These help the DNA fold and unfold properly. However, they think that more data is essential to guarantee this association, according to Inverse.
Further studies of these longest-lived rodents could help the scientists understand longevity. They could teach them more on how to enhance survival. By studying these naked mole rats, the scientists might indicate that the rodents have a delayed-aging mechanism that let them survive for decades.