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Identifying common determinants of lifespan and ageing in model organisms

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>02/2002
<mark>Journal</mark>Mechanisms of Development
Issue number4
Number of pages2
Pages (from-to)441-442
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Genetic and environmental manipulations have revealed a number of determinants of lifespan in model organisms. For example, in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, an insulin/IGF signalling (IIS) pathway regulates the rate of ageing (Guarente and Kenyon, 2000), while in the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster, lifespan is inversely proportional to reproductive effort (Partridge and Barton, 1993). Calorie restriction (CR) increases lifespan in many species and lifespan increases induced by various means is accompanied by increased stress resistance. But, how many of these findings reflect general features of lifespan determination rather than idiosyncrasies of particular model organisms? And how are IIS, CR, reproductive effort and stress resistance related to each other in their effects on longevity?

To investigate these issues, we have compared lifespan determinants in C. elegans and Drosophila. We have evidence that in Drosophila, as in C. elegans, IIS regulates lifespan (Clancy et al., 2001), suggesting an evolutionarily conserved role for IIS in lifespan determination (Gems and Partridge, 2001). We are also examining interactions between CR and IIS, and the results are consistent with a role for IIS in the effect of CR on the lifespan in Drosophila. However, previous reports have suggested that in C.elegans, the effects of CR and IIS on lifespan involve different mechanisms (Lakowski and Hekimi, 1998; Vanfleteren and Braeckman, 1999).

Bibliographic note

Feb Identifying common determinants of lifespan and ageing in model organisms