Reproduction, Fat Metabolism, and Life Span: What Is the Connection?
ABSTRACT Reduced reproduction is associated with increased fat storage and prolonged life span in multiple organisms, but the underlying regulatory mechanisms remain poorly understood. Recent studies in several species provide evidence that reproduction, fat metabolism, and longevity are directly coupled. For instance, germline removal in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans promotes longevity in part by modulating lipid metabolism through effects on fatty acid desaturation, lipolysis, and autophagy. Here, we review these recent studies and discuss the mechanisms by which reproduction modulates fat metabolism and life span. Elucidating the relationship between these processes could contribute to our understanding of age-related diseases including metabolic disorders.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Hugo Aguilaniu, Nov 23, 2014
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ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress has been suggested as a mechanism underlying the costs of reproduction and life history trade-offs. Reproductive activities may lead to high production of pro-oxidants, whose activity can generate oxidative damage when not countered by adequate antioxidant defenses. Because inter-individual differences in the efficiency of the antioxidant system are influenced by an individual’s diet, food availability experienced during reproduction may affect the females’ antioxidant status and, in birds, their ability to transfer antioxidants into their eggs. Moreover, a female’s ability to cope with oxidative stress has been suggested to influence pigment deposition in the eggshell, suggesting a possible signaling function of eggshell maculation. Here we performed a food supplementation experiment in a natural population of great tits (Parus major) in order to investigate how nutritional conditions experienced during the egg laying period affect the female’s oxidative status and egg investment and how maternal oxidative status and egg antioxidant protection relate to eggshell pigmentation. We show that food-supplemented females had lower oxidative damage levels (ROMs) than non-food-supplemented females. Furthermore, a female’s ROMs levels were negatively associated with the levels of yolk antioxidant protection in her eggs, but this negative association was only significant in non-food-supplemented females. This suggests that oxidative stress experienced during reproduction influences the allocation of antioxidants into the eggs. Moreover, we observed a positive relationship between eggshell pigment distribution and maternal and yolk antioxidant protection, suggesting that eggshell pigmentation is a cue of female (and offspring) quality.Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 03/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00265-015-1893-1 · 3.05 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Many diets and nutritional advice are circulating, often based on short- or medium-term clinical trials and primary outcomes, like changes in LDL cholesterol or weight. It remains difficult to assess which dietary interventions can be effective in the long term to reduce the risk of aging-related disease and increase the (healthy) lifespan. At the same time, the scientific discipline that studies the aging process has identified some important nutrient-sensing pathways that modulate the aging process, such as the mTOR and the insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling pathway. A thorough understanding of the aging process can help assessing the efficacy of dietary interventions aimed at reducing the risk of aging-related diseases. To come to these insights, a synthesis of biogerontological, nutritional, and medical knowledge is needed, which can be framed in a new discipline called 'nutrigerontology'. © 2014 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.Aging cell 12/2014; 14(1). DOI:10.1111/acel.12284 · 5.94 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: One of the most common environmental stressors is a shortage or suboptimal quality of food, thus all animals deal with periods of starvation. In the present study we examine variation in starvation resistance, longevity and body lipid content and the correlations between traits along an environmental gradient using isofemale lines recently derived from natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster from South America. The use of isofemale lines and controlled rearing laboratory conditions allows us to investigate within and among population components of genetic variation and the potential associations among starvation resistance, longevity and body lipid content. All these traits were analyzed separately in females and males, improving our understanding of sexual dimorphism. Our results revealed significant differences among populations in starvation resistance and longevity. Actually, the opposing latitudinal cline detected for starvation resistance suggests that natural selection played an essential role in shaping the pattern of geographic variation in this trait. Moreover, we also detected a positive relationship between starvation resistance and body lipid content in both sexes, providing evidence for a physiological and/or evolutionary association between these traits. Conversely, starvation resistance was not correlated with longevity indicating that these traits might be enabled to evolve independently. Finally, our study reveals that there is abundant within population genetic variation for all traits that may be maintained by sex-specific effects.Evolutionary Biology 12/2013; 40(4). DOI:10.1007/s11692-013-9235-6 · 3.27 Impact Factor