Naked Mole Rats: successful ageing through enhanced vascular structure and function?


Experimental colonies are scarce and very valuable of naked mole rats (NMRs), which age remarkably. The basis of prolonged ageing may be endothelial basement membrane hyaluronan repeats. After initial immuno- histo-chemistry, sampled pan-arterially, the student will test hypotheses that altered glycocalyx, endothelial and extracellular matrix gene expression & proteomic results underlie slower arterial stiffening, examined in-vivo in Y2-3 and ex-vivo if time/ skills allow. Work involves time with our collaborating French Inserm lab. on inflammatory/coagulation gene expression. Delicate in-vivo measurement of arterial function telemetrically requires placing catheters dextrously. The project offers international links via a unique animal model


Tian X, Azpurua J, Hine C, Vaidya A, Myakishev-Rempel M, Ablaeva J, Mao Z, Nevo E, Gorbunova V, Seluanov A. High-molecular-mass hyaluronan mediates the cancer resistance of the naked mole rat. Nature. 2013 Jul 18;499(7458):346-9. doi: 10.1038/nature12234.


Lagrange J, Faulkes CG, Paul D. Taylor PD, Lacolley P, Regnault V, J Cruickshank JK. Limited arterial structure remodeling and maintained expression of anticoagulant factors are indicators of limited early vascular aging in naked mole-rat. Artery Research 2016; 13;I; Artery 2015 meeting abstracts.


Coen CW, Kalamatianos T, Oosthuizen MK, Poorun R, Faulkes CG, Bennett NC. Sociality and the telencephalic distribution of corticotrophin-releasing factor, urocortin 3, and binding sites for CRF type 1 and type 2 receptors: A comparative study of eusocial naked mole-rats and solitary Cape mole-rats. J Comp Neurol. 2015 Nov 1;523(16):2344-71.


Grimes KM, Voorhees A, Chiao YA, Han HC, Lindsey ML, Buffenstein R. Cardiac function of the naked mole-rat: ecophysiological responses to working underground. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2014 Mar 1;306(5):H730-7


Yu C, Li Y, Holmes A, Szafranski K, Faulkes CG, Coen CW, Buffenstein R, Platzer M, de Magalhães JP, Church GM. RNA sequencing reveals differential expression of mitochondrial and oxidation reduction genes in the long-lived naked mole-rat when compared to mice. PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e26729. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026729.

Biological Areas:



Animal disease, health and welfare
Molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology