Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) consumption has been traditionally related to a higher longevity in the human population. EVOO effects on health are often attributed to its unique mixture of phenolic compounds with tyrosol and hydroxityrosol being the most biologically active. Although these compounds have been extensively studied in terms of their antioxidant potential and its role in different pathologies, their actual connection with longevity remains unexplored. This study utilized the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate the possible effects of tyrosol in metazoan longevity.
The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has in recent years been proven to be a powerful in vivo model for testing antimicrobial compounds. We report here that the alkaloid compound Harmane (2-methyl-?-carboline) increases the lifespan of nematodes infected with a human pathogen, the Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 strain EDL933 and several other bacterial pathogens. This was shown to be unrelated to the weak antibiotic effect of Harmane. Using GFP-expressing E. coli EDL933, we showed that Harmane does not lower the colonization burden in the nematodes.
The C. elegans germline and somatic gonad are actively developing until the animal reaches adulthood, and then continue to undergo striking changes as the animal ages. Reported changes include a depletion of available sperm, a decrease in oocyte quality up till mid-life, a reduction in germline nuclei, a decrease in fertility, and an accumulation of DNA in the midbody of aging C. elegans. Here, we have focused on the aging gonad in old animals, and show in detail that the aging gonad undergoes a massive uterine growth composed of endoreduplicating oocytes, yolk, and expanses of chromatin.
The insulin signaling pathway regulates whole-body glucose homeostasis by transducing extracellular signals from the insulin receptor (IR) to downstream intracellular targets, thus coordinating a multitude of biological functions. Dysregulation of IR or its signal transduction is associated with insulin resistance, which may culminate in type 2 diabetes. Following initial stimulation of IR, insulin signaling diverges into different pathways, activating multiple substrates that have roles in various metabolic and cellular processes.
Numerous studies have shown that resistance to oxidative stress is crucial to stay healthy and to reduce the adverse effects of aging. Accordingly, nutritional interventions using antioxidant food-grade compounds or food products are currently an interesting option to help improve health and quality of life in the elderly. Live lactic acid bacteria (LAB) administered in food, such as probiotics, may be good antioxidant candidates. Nevertheless, information about LAB-induced oxidative stress protection is scarce.
A C. elegans neurosecretory signaling system regulates whether animals enter the reproductive life cycle or arrest development at the long-lived dauer diapause stage. daf-2, a key gene in the genetic pathway that mediates this endocrine signaling, encodes an insulin receptor family member. Decreases in DAF-2 signaling induce metabolic and developmental changes, as in mammalian metabolic control by the insulin receptor. Decreased DAF-2 signaling also causes an increase in life-span.
Best Practice & Research. Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
Research with invertebrates over the past 10 years has suggested that alterations in insulin and/or insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) signalling result in increased lifespan and retard ageing. In this chapter, we describe the current research in mammalian systems with respect to the role of insulin or IGF-I in ageing. Using rodent models of caloric restriction and genetic mouse models, e.g.
Recent results indicate that the longevity of both invertebrates and vertebrates can be altered through genetic manipulation and pharmacological intervention. Most of these interventions involve alterations of one or more of the following: insulin/IGF-I signaling pathway, caloric intake, stress resistance and nuclear structure. How longevity regulation relates to aging per se is less clear, but longevity increases are usually accompanied by extended periods of good health. How these results will translate to primate aging and longevity remains to be shown.