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Interventions Testing Program (ITP)

NIA's ITP is a multi-institutional study investigating treatments with the potential to extend lifespan and delay disease and dysfunction in mice. Such treatments include:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Foods
  • Diets
  • Dietary supplements
  • Plant extracts
  • Hormones
  • Peptides
  • Amino acids
  • Chelators
  • Redox agents
  • Other agents or mixtures of agents

Priority consideration will be given to the treatments that are easily obtainable, reasonably priced, and can be delivered in the diet (preferred) or water. Interventions that require labor intensive forms of administration, such as daily injections or gavage, are not feasible within the design of the ITP.

Collaborating Partners

Although the mice involved in this study will be housed at the University of Michigan, the Jackson Laboratories, and the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio, the project is designed to involve collaborations with investigators at any university, institute, or other organization that has ideas about pharmacological interventions that might decelerate aging and wishes to test these in a lifespan study of mice. An introduction to the logic and rationale for the ITP can be found in Warner, et al. (Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, 115: 199–207, 2000). It is likely that the ITP will accept 4–5 different interventions for testing in the first year of the program and add 4–5 more in each subsequent year.

Intervention Sponsors

The ITP invites scientists to recommend interventions they believe are worth testing. Each intervention has a "sponsor," whose responsibilities include:

  • Providing a rationale for the choice of intervention
  • Making recommendations about proper dose and timing of the intervention
  • Proposing methods for documenting the intervention has the expected biochemical and/or physiological effects
  • Proposing methods to assay the compound in the food and in the mouse serum to ensure the compound is stable and reaches expected blood serum levels.

It is imperative that sponsors provide firm recommendations on bullets 2 through 4. The ITP is depending on the involvement of the sponsor, the expert in that particular field, to help finalize the testing protocol.

Study Results

If the intervention is selected for inclusion in the ITP study, its sponsor will be asked to help analyze the resulting data set and to prepare coauthored publications. The testing protocol should provide sufficient statistical power to detect lifespan increases (or decreases) in the 10–15 percent range. In addition, compounds are tested to determine if they have effects on a range of late-life traits, potentially including studies of immune function, hormonal and metabolic profiles, and behavioral outcomes.

Data Publication and Further Investigation

Because a major goal of the project is to provide critical tests of anti-aging approaches, all data is published, including negative results (e.g., a particular agent lacks efficacy or has toxic side effects). In addition, the multisite strategy provides replication for any agent that decelerates aging or inhibits late-life diseases in mice. The multisite strategy would initiate further investigation of the intervention(s) and their congeners. For additional information, see Frequently Asked Questions.

Submission, Deadline, and Review

To propose interventions for testing, use the ITP Application Form for Sponsors of Longevity Intervention Proposals. Submit the completed information to Dr. Nancy Nadon ( All nominations will be reviewed by the Access Panel and prioritized by the Steering Committee.

Compounds In Testing

Click here to see the tables of various compounds in testing.

Page last updated Sep 26, 2008