The dog is a unique species due to its wide variation among breeds in terms of size, morphology, behaviour and lifespan, coupled with a genetic structure that facilitates the dissection of the genetic architecture that controls these traits. Dogs and humans co-evolved and share recent evolutionary selection processes, such as adaptation to digest starch-rich diets. Many diseases of the dog have a human counterpart, and notably Alzheimer's disease, which is otherwise difficult to model in other organisms. Unlike laboratory animals, companion dogs share the human environment and lifestyle, are exposed to the same pollutants, and are faced with pathogens and infections. Dogs represented a very useful model to understand the relationship between size, insulin-like growth factor-1 genetic variation and lifespan, and have been used to test the effects of dietary restriction and immunotherapy for Alzheimer's disease. Very recently, rapamycin was tested in companion dogs outside the laboratory, and this approach where citizens are involved in research aimed at the benefit of dog welfare might become a game changer in geroscience.

The Companion Dog as a Unique Translational Model for Aging

Andrea Mazzatenta
;
Camillo Di Giulio;
2017

Abstract

The dog is a unique species due to its wide variation among breeds in terms of size, morphology, behaviour and lifespan, coupled with a genetic structure that facilitates the dissection of the genetic architecture that controls these traits. Dogs and humans co-evolved and share recent evolutionary selection processes, such as adaptation to digest starch-rich diets. Many diseases of the dog have a human counterpart, and notably Alzheimer's disease, which is otherwise difficult to model in other organisms. Unlike laboratory animals, companion dogs share the human environment and lifestyle, are exposed to the same pollutants, and are faced with pathogens and infections. Dogs represented a very useful model to understand the relationship between size, insulin-like growth factor-1 genetic variation and lifespan, and have been used to test the effects of dietary restriction and immunotherapy for Alzheimer's disease. Very recently, rapamycin was tested in companion dogs outside the laboratory, and this approach where citizens are involved in research aimed at the benefit of dog welfare might become a game changer in geroscience.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/722963
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