Mouse models of accelerated aging are more abundant than models of retarded aging. However, they are also more prone to artifacts—it is relatively easy to generate sick mice, some of which may only coincidentally show symptoms that resemble aging phenotypes (146). In addition, some mouse models have a shortened life span because they develop a single age-related disease—for example, the cancer-prone mouse models discussed earlier (111,120-122). Single disease models are not discussed here. Rather, a few models are discussed in which multiple aging phenotypes and diseases develop at an accelerated rate. None of these models precisely phenocopy normal aging, but they do show segmental premature aging— that is, the accelerated appearance of some, albeit not all, features of normal aging. These models have validated the importance of cellular processes in organismal aging, and provided insights into the physiology of aging and certain age-related disease.
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