Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ., 28 November 2001
Vol. 2001, Issue 9, p. nw31
[DOI: 10.1126/sageke.2001.9.nw31]


Obituary: IdG1-030, Long-Lived Mouse

Richard A. Miller;2001/9/nw31

Key Words: IdG1-030 • mice • long-lived

Abstract: IdG1-030, the world's oldest normal lab mouse, died peacefully in his sleep on 15 November 2001, at the age of 1449 days, just 11 days shy of what would have been his fourth birthday.

Born and raised in a small plastic cage in Ann Arbor, Michigan, IdG1-030 was one of a set of quintuplets born to a mated pair whose own parents had romped, poor but free, in the barnyards of Moscow, Idaho. He was among the first volunteers for a National Institutes of Health-funded study to determine whether country mice might retain antiaging genes long ago lost by their effete town-and-gown cousins. IdG1-030 spent his entire life within 15 meters of his birthplace on shelf 4B, apparently content with a social circle consisting initially of three other males but then slowly shrinking, over the years, to a single idiosyncratic point. His devoted caretakers describe IdG1-030 as somewhat shy and certainly not prone to complaint, noting that he dealt with his late-life celebrity as the world's oldest living mouse with the same diffidence that typified his earlier, out-of-the-limelight career as just another research subject. His great age (roughly equivalent, at the end, to that of a 137-year-old human) did not, until the last day or two of his final illness, impair his zest for chewing wood chips or for doing pull-ups near the food hopper at the top of his cage.

Although encouraged by his friends and publicists to go for the international all-genotypes longevity record held by the longest lived Snell dwarf mouse (1451 days; see Flurkey et al.), IdG1-030 seemed to have no interest in comparing his own life history with that of puny dwarves or emaciated, calorically restricted rodents. He was clearly willing to accept an asterisk in the record books as the price for a life of ready access to all-you-can-eat meals and the robust enjoyment of a fully loaded anterior pituitary gland.

Although childless (and, indeed, a lifelong virgin), IdG1-030 is survived by nine half-nieces and -nephews, 19 half-grandnieces and -grandnephews, and 28 great half-grandnieces and -grandnephews, all of them currently working in the research field.

--Richard A. Miller

Citation: R. A. Miller, Obituary: IdG1-030, Long-Lived Mouse. Science's SAGE KE (28 November 2001),;2001/9/nw31

Science of Aging Knowledge Environment. ISSN 1539-6150