The metabolome as a biomarker of mortality risk in the common marmoset

Jessica M. Hoffman, Corinna Ross, Vi Linh Tran, Daniel E.L. Promislow, Suzette Tardif, Dean P. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Recently, the common marmoset has been proposed as a non-human primate model of aging. Their short lifespan coupled with pathologies that are similar to humans make them an ideal model to understand the genetic, metabolic, and environmental factors that influence aging and longevity. However, many of the underlying physiological changes that occur with age in the marmoset are unknown. Here, we attempt to determine if individual metabolites are predictive of future death and to recapitulate past metabolomic results after a change in environment (move across the country) was imposed on a colony of marmosets. We first determined that low levels of tryptophan metabolism metabolites were associated with risk of death in a 2-year follow-up in the animals, suggesting these metabolites may be used as future biomarkers of mortality. We also discovered that betaine metabolism and methionine metabolism are associated with aging regardless of environment for the animals, or of metabolomic assay technique. These two metabolic pathways are therefore of particular interest to examine as future targets for health and lifespan extending interventions. Many of the pathways associated with age in our first study of marmoset metabolomics were not found to have significant age effects in our second study, suggesting more work is needed to understand the reproducibility of large scale metabolomic studies in mammalian models. Overall, we were able to show that while several metabolomics markers show promise in understanding health and lifespan relationships with aging, it is possible that choice of technique for assay and reproducibility in these types of studies are still issues that need to be examined further.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere22944
JournalAmerican Journal of Primatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • aging
  • longevity
  • marmoset
  • metabolomics
  • sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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