The prolongation of the lifespan of rats by repeated oral administration of 
a b s t r a c t
Countless studies showed that fullerene (C60) and derivatives could have many potential biomedical
applications. However, while several independent research groups showed that C60 has no acute or subacute
toxicity in various experimental models, more than 25 years after its discovery the in vivo fate and
the chronic effects of this fullerene remain unknown. If the potential of C60 and derivatives in the
biomedical field have to be fulfilled these issues must be addressed. Here we show that oral administration
of C60 dissolved in olive oil (0.8 mg/ml) at reiterated doses (1.7 mg/kg of body weight) to rats not
only does not entail chronic toxicity but it almost doubles their lifespan. The effects of C60-olive oil
solutions in an experimental model of CCl4 intoxication in rat strongly suggest that the effect on lifespan
is mainly due to the attenuation of age-associated increases in oxidative stress. Pharmacokinetic studies
show that dissolved C60 is absorbed by the gastro-intestinal tract and eliminated in a few tens of hours.
These results of importance in the fields of medicine and toxicology should open the way for the many
possible -and waited for- biomedical applications of C60 including cancer therapy, neurodegenerative
disorders, and ageing.