Animal aging

 Animal aging
Aging is defined as a gradual loss of physiological integrity of living organisms, leading to impaired function and increased vulnerability to their death. The time dependent accumulation of cellular damage is considered to be the general cause of aging.

We are particularly interested in understanding changes in communication between key regulatory molecules, cell to cell interaction, tissue to tissue communication that might contribute to progression of animal aging process in time and space dependent manner. We use comparative animal model systems to gain a better idea of how aging has evolved among different organisms.

In mouse, hypothalamus is a part of brain that controls energy metabolism, sexual activity and circadian rhythm through modulation of hormone release in vertebrates. Pancreatic islet is another important organ that controls glucose metabolism through insulin hormone secretion from β cells. Its communication with hypothalamus through hormonal regulation is a key mechanism that provides concerted coordination of metabolism control in mammals. C. elegans is an excellent model system for studying aging process due to short lifespan of 3 weeks and well-studied genetics. Identification of new components that could extend the lifespan of worm would shed light to aging controlling mechanisms applicable to other organisms.

N. furzeri, a short-lived fish, is considered as another promising aging model system. Relatively shorter lifespan of N. furzeri (3 to 6 months) and close resemblance to physiological changes along aging with that of the mammalian aging makes it a desirable organism for aging research. However, this upcoming organism needs quantitative analysis in aging process for stable use.

  – Understanding age-dependent regulation of spatial and temporal network dynamics in mouse hypothalamus and
pancreatic islets
– Identification of key regulatory molecules (microRNA, proteins, metabolites) that influence aging process or age
dependent regulation of appetite, circadian rhythm, and glucose metabolism
– Phenome-based aging quantification and RNAi-based screening of aging controlling genes using C. elegans
– Establishment of N. furzeri as a vertebrate model organism in aging research
 Member for these studies
Kim, Keetae
E-mail :
Kim, sunhee
E-mail :
Lee, Hye Hyeon
E-mail :
Jo, Jeong Hun
E-mail :
Hahm, jeong hoon
E-mail :
Danka M. Chand P.
E-mail :
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