The mouse age phenome knowledgebase and disease-specific inter-species age mapping

Nophar Geifman, Eitan Rubin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Similarities between mice and humans lead to generation of many mouse models of human disease. However, differences between the species often result in mice being unreliable as preclinical models for human disease. One difference that might play a role in lowering the predictivity of mice models to human diseases is age. Despite the important role age plays in medicine, it is too often considered only casually when considering mouse models. Methods: We developed the mouse-Age Phenotype Knowledgebase, which holds knowledge about age-related phenotypic patterns in mice. The knowledgebase was extensively populated with literature-derived data using text mining techniques. We then mapped between ages in humans and mice by comparing the age distribution pattern for 887 diseases in both species. Results: The knowledgebase was populated with over 9800 instances generated by a text-mining pipeline. The quality of the data was manually evaluated, and was found to be of high accuracy (estimated precision >86%). Furthermore, grouping together diseases that share similar age patterns in mice resulted in clusters that mirror actual biomedical knowledge. Using these data, we matched age distribution patterns in mice and in humans, allowing for age differences by shifting either of the patterns. High correlation (r2>0.5) was found for 223 diseases. The results clearly indicate a difference in the age mapping between different diseases: age 30 years in human is mapped to 120 days in mice for Leukemia, but to 295 days for Anemia. Based on these results we generated a mice-to-human age map which is publicly available. Conclusions: We present here the development of the mouse-APK, its population with literature-derived data and its use to map ages in mice and human for 223 diseases. These results present a further step made to bridging the gap between humans and mice in biomedical research.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere81114
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
StatePublished - 3 Dec 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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