The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an important model for studying the genetics of ageing, with over 50 life-extension mutations known so far. However, little is known about the pathobiology of ageing in this species, limiting attempts to connect genotype with senescent phenotype. Using ultrastructural analysis and visualization of specific cell types with green fluorescent protein, we examined cell integrity in different tissues as the animal ages.
Iron is essential for organisms. It is mainly utilized in mitochondria for biosynthesis of iron-sulfur clusters, hemes and other cofactors. Mitoferrin 1 and mitoferrin 2, two homologues proteins belonging to the mitochondrial solute carrier family, are required for iron delivery into mitochondria. Mitoferrin 1 is highly expressed in developing erythrocytes which consume a large amount of iron during hemoglobinization. Mitoferrin 2 is ubiquitously expressed, whose functions are less known.
The translation of genes encoded in the mitochondrial genome requires specific machinery that functions in the organelle. Among the many mutations linked to human disease that affect mitochondrial translation, several are localized to nuclear genes coding for mitochondrial aminoacyl-transfer RNA synthetases. The molecular significance of these mutations is poorly understood, but it is expected to be similar to that of the mutations affecting mitochondrial transfer RNAs.
Human TDP-43 represents the main component of neuronal inclusions found in patients with neurodegenerative diseases, especially frontotemporal lobar degeneration and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In vitro and in vivo studies have shown that the TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) Drosophila ortholog (TBPH) can biochemically and functionally overlap the properties of the human factor.
Apolipoprotein D (ApoD), a member of the Lipocalin family, is the gene most up-regulated with age in the mammalian brain. Its expression strongly correlates with aging-associated neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases. Two homologues of ApoD expressed in the Drosophila brain, Glial Lazarillo (GLaz) and Neural Lazarillo (NLaz), are known to alter longevity in male flies. However, sex differences in the aging process have not been explored so far for these genes.
The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
D-chiro-inositol, a member of the inositol family, and pinitol, a 3-methoxy analogue of D-chiro-inositol, have been proposed to have antidiabetic, antiinflammatory, anticancer and stamina enhancing effects. We found that supplementing the diet of Drosophila with D-chiro-inositol and pinitol extended adult longevity in both male and female flies. Life span extension was accompanied by protection against oxidative and starvation stresses, improvement in health span, and no reduction in fecundity.
Currently, there is concern about declining bee populations and the sustainability of pollination services. One potential threat to bees is the unintended impact of systemic insecticides, which are ingested by bees in the nectar and pollen from flowers of treated crops. To establish whether imidacloprid, a systemic neonicotinoid and insect neurotoxin, harms individual bees when ingested at environmentally realistic levels, we exposed adult worker bumble bees, Bombus terrestris L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), and honey bees, Apis mellifera L.
Larval feeding with curcumin induces an extended health span with significantly increased median and maximum longevities in the adult fly. This phenotype is diet insensitive and shows no additive effect on longevity when combined with an adult dietary restriction (DR) diet, suggesting that curcumin and DR operate via the same or overlapping pathways for this trait. This treatment significantly slows the aging rate so that it is comparable with that of genetically selected long lived animals.
Dietary restriction (DR) extends lifespan in man species and modulates evolutionary conserved signalling and metabolic pathways. Most of these studies were done in adult animals. Here we investigated fat phenotypes of C. elegans larvae and adults which were exposed to DR during development. This approach was named "developmental-DR" (dDR). Moderate as well as stringent dDR increased the triglyceride to protein ratio in L4 larvae and adult worms. This alteration was accompanied by a marked expansion of intestinal and hypodermal lipid droplets.