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1.  Age-related cataract in dogs: a biomarker for life span and its relation to body size 
Age  2010;33(3):451-460.
Clinical data from 72 dog breeds of varying size and life expectancy were grouped according to breed body mass and tested for prevalence at ages 4 to 5, ages 7 to 10, and lifetime incidence of non-hereditary, age-related cataract (ARC). The incidence of ARC was found to be directly related to the relative life expectancies in the breed groups: The smallest dog breeds had a lower ARC prevalence between ages 4 and 5 than mid-size breeds and these, in turn, a lower prevalence than the giant breeds. A similar sequence was evident for ages 7 to 10 and for overall lifetime incidence of ARC. These differences became more significant when comparing small and giant breeds only. We could also confirm the inverse relationship between body size and life expectancy in these same sets of dog breeds. Our results show that body size, life expectancy, and ARC incidence are interrelated in dogs. Given that ARC has been shown to be at least partially caused by oxidative damage to lens epithelial cells and the internal lens, we suggest that it can be considered not only as a general biomarker for life expectancy in the canine and possibly other species, but also for the systemic damages produced by reactive oxygen species. This suggests new approaches to examine the gene expression pathways affecting the above-noted linkages.
doi:10.1007/s11357-010-9158-4
PMCID: PMC3168595  PMID: 20607428
Dog; Age-related cataract; Breeds; Size; Life span
2.  Connecting serum IGF-1, body size, and age in the domestic dog 
Age  2010;33(3):475-483.
Many investigations in recent years have targeted understanding the genetic and biochemical basis of aging. Collectively, genetic factors and biological mechanisms appear to influence longevity in general and specifically; reduction of the insulin/IGF-1 signaling cascade has extended life span in diverse species. Genetic alteration of mammals for life extension indicates correlation to serum IGF-1 levels in mice, and IGF-1 levels have been demonstrated as a physiological predictor of frailty with aging in man. Longevity and aging data in the dog offer a close measure of the natural multifactorial longevity interactions of genetic influence, IGF-1 signaling, and environmental factors such as exposure, exercise, and lifestyle. The absence of genetic alteration more closely represents the human longevity status, and the unique species structure of the canine facilitates analyses not possible in other species. These investigations aimed to measure serum IGF-1 in numerous purebred and mixed-breed dogs of variable size and longevity in comparison to age, gender, and spay/neuter differences. The primary objective of this investigation was to determine plasma IGF-1 levels in the adult dog, including a wide range of breeds and adult body weight. The sample set includes animals ranging from just a few months of age through 204 months and ranging in size from 5 to 160 lb. Four groups were evaluated for serum IGF-1 levels, including intact and neutered males, and intact and spayed females. IGF-1 loss over time, as a function of age, decreases in all groups with significant differences between males and females. The relationship between IGF-1 and weight differs depending upon spay/neuter status, but there is an overall increase in IGF-1 levels with increasing weight. The data, currently being interrogated further for delineation of IGF-1 receptor variants and sex differences, are being collected longitudinally and explored for longevity associations previously unavailable in non-genetically modified mammals.
doi:10.1007/s11357-010-9182-4
PMCID: PMC3168604  PMID: 20865338
Longevity; IGF-1; Canine; Aging; Insulin signaling
4.  Mutations in the α-Tubulin 67C Gene Specifically Impair Achiasmate Segregation in Drosophila melanogaster 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1999;147(6):1137-1144.
Drosophila melanogaster oocytes heterozygous for mutations in the α-tubulin 67C gene (αtub67C) display defects in centromere positioning during prometaphase of meiosis I. The centromeres do not migrate to the poleward edges of the chromatin mass, and the chromatin fails to stretch during spindle lengthening. These results suggest that the poleward forces acting at the kinetochore are compromised in the αtub67C mutants. Genetic studies demonstrate that these mutations also strongly and specifically decrease the fidelity of achiasmate chromosome segregation. Proper centromere orientation, chromatin elongation, and faithful segregation can all be restored by a decrease in the amount of the Nod chromokinesin. These results suggest that the accurate segregation of achiasmate chromosomes requires the proper balancing of forces acting on the chromosomes during prometaphase.
PMCID: PMC2168102  PMID: 10601329
chromosome; kinesin; meiosis; centromeres; meiotic spindle

Results 1-4 (4)