The naked mole-rat as an animal model in biomedical research: current perspectives


The naked mole-rat (NMR) is a subterranean rodent that has gained significant attention from the biomedical research community in recent years as molecular mechanisms underlying its unusual biology start to be unraveled. With very low external mortality, NMRs have an unusually long lifespan while showing no signs of aging, such as neurodegeneration or cancer. Furthermore, living underground in large colonies (100 to 300 animals), results in comparatively high carbon dioxide and low oxygen levels, from which NMRs have evolved extreme resistance to both hypoxia and hypercapnia. In this paper we have summarized the latest developments in NMR research and its impact on biomedical research, with the aim of providing a sound background that will inform and inspire further investigations.