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Animal models of frailty: current applications in clinical research

Authors Kane AE, Hilmer SN, Mach J, Mitchell SJ, de Cabo R, Howlett SE

Received 23 August 2016

Accepted for publication 23 September 2016

Published 26 October 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 1519—1529

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S105714

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Alice E Kane,1 Sarah N Hilmer,2–4 John Mach,2–4 Sarah J Mitchell,5 Rafael de Cabo,5 Susan E Howlett1

1Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada; 2Kolling Institute of Medical Research and Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, 3Department of Clinical Pharmacology, 4Department of Aged Care, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia; 5National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD, USA

Abstract: The ethical, logistical, and biological complications of working with an older population of people inherently limits clinical studies of frailty. The recent development of animal models of frailty, and tools for assessing frailty in animal models provides an invaluable opportunity for frailty research. This review summarizes currently published animal models of frailty including the interleukin-10 knock-out mouse, the mouse frailty phenotype assessment tool, and the mouse clinical frailty index. It discusses both current and potential roles of these models in research into mechanisms of frailty, interventions to prevent/delay frailty, and the effect of frailty on outcomes. Finally, this review discusses some of the challenges and opportunities of translating research findings from animals to humans.

Keywords: mouse models, frailty index, frailty phenotype, IL-10 knock-out

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