Institute for Aging Research

Healthy Aging Physiology Core

Director: Nir Barzilai, MD 

The Healthy Aging Physiology Core represents a new direction in aging research to determine the physiology of healthy lifespan that may be independent of actual lifespan.

Physiologically, aging is characterized by changes in body fat distribution, decreases in lean body mass, exercise capacity, cardiac function, cognitive and functional performance, all associated with a decline in glucose homeostasis. Extension of lifespan by genetic manipulation of hormonal and metabolic pathways in lower organism is common, and certain pro-longevity interventions delay most (e.g., caloric restriction; CR) or some (e.g. humanin, resveratrol) of the changes in these parameters. These changes, which are typical also in human aging, have been specifically demonstrated in aging rodents using several technologies, some of which are unique and were developed at Einstein.

The HAPC provides the following services: 

  1. Cardiac function and resistance and behavioral and cognitive functional assessments
  2. Intellectual expertise specific to the design, implementation and interpretation of studies targeting the understanding of metabolic/behavioral consequences and mechanisms that are specific for aging
  3. Leadership and personnel to advise or assist investigators in the performance of in vivo assessments using state of the art technologies 

The HAPC’s goals are as follows: 

  1. To advise investigators in the design of metabolic studies relevant to the control of glucose homeostasis and insulin action in aging rodents such as oral or intraperitoneal glucose tolerance or insulin tolerance tests.
  2. To provide specialized surgical procedures in aging rodents such as jugular, carotid, intracerebro- ventricular and hypothalamic catheterization of rats and mice. When experts perform these procedures, rodents will recover and be awake, unstressed and ready for blood sampling (for levels of substrates, hormones and native or external peptides, or for clamp studies).
  3. To make available to investigators specialized measurements of whole body and tissue-specific metabolic parameters such as glucose sensitivity and insulin action in aging rodent models including but not limited to insulin, pancreatic and hyperglycemic clamp studies, and to assist in data interpretation.
  4. To make available to investigators specialized imaging modalities (i.e., microCT and NMR) for quantification of rodent adipose tissue distribution; liver and muscle glycogen; and, intrahepatic and intramyocellular lipids.
  5. To provide analysis of whole body energy balance in aging rodents including carbohydrate/fatty acid oxidation, energy expenditure, feeding behavior, and locomotor activity using specialized metabolic chambers (calorimetry).
  6. To provide exercise capacity assessments in aging rodents including utilization of running wheel (spontaneous) or treadmill (scheduled) exercise.
  7. To perform quantitative and qualitative analyses of cardiac function in aging rodents including cardiac resistance to ischemia reperfusion injury. 
  8. To perform behavioral/functional assessments in aging rodents including cognitive function, affective function; motor coordination and motor learning; sensory function; and global functional assessment.
  9. To gather all information above in order to define normative values for aging as well the relationship between all these measurements, including their time course.


Type of service E-NSC member rate Actual costs
Calorimeter $50 $100
Calorimetry analysis $15 $30
qNMR $2/mouse $4/mouse
Clamp surgery $50 $100
Inserting ICV or intra hypothalamic catheter $100 $200
Food reward/ week $25 $50
Clamp assay:  with radioisotope $75 $150
 Clamp assay: without radioisotope $25 $50
Clamp data analysis $15 $30
Body Composition $5 $10
Micro CT scan $50 $100
Exercise session (includes analysis for wheel running) $30 $60
Myocardial ischemia-reperfusion $200 $400
Echocardiographic assessment $50 $100
Hemodynamic assessment $100 $200
Implantation of blood pressure transmitters $550 $700
Behavioral Assays (depending on type of assay) $50-$150 $150-$300
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