Calorie restriction extends life span in organisms ranging from yeast to mammals. Here, we report that calorie restriction for either 3 or 12 months induced endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) expression and 3¶,5¶-cyclic guanosine monophosphate formation in various tissues of male mice. This was accompanied by mitochondrial biogenesis, with increased oxygen consumption and adenosine triphosphate production, and an enhanced expression of sirtuin 1. These effects were strongly attenuated in eNOS null-mutant mice. Thus, nitric oxide plays a fundamental role in the processes induced by calorie restriction and may be involved in the extension of life span in mammals.
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