Sex differences in the effect of dietary restriction on life span and mortality rates in female and male Drosophila melanogaster.
ABSTRACT Dietary restriction (DR) has been shown to increase life span in taxonomically diverse animal species. In this study we tested for sex differences in the response of life span to graded severity of DR in Drosophila melanogaster. In both sexes, life span peaked at an intermediate food concentration and declined on either side. However, the magnitude of the response and the food concentration that minimized adult mortality differed significantly between the sexes. Female life span peaked at a food concentration 60% of the standard laboratory diet compared to a concentration of 40% for males. Moreover, female flies subject to DR lived up to 60% longer than did starved or fully fed females, whereas males subjected to DR lived only up to 30% longer. Analysis of age-specific mortality rates showed that DR extended life span by decreasing baseline mortality rates in both sexes, and to a greater extent in females. The differences in the response to DR in female and male Drosophila may be due to previously documented sex differences in sensitivity of life span to insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 signalling or in nutrient/energy demand and allocation/utilization.
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ABSTRACT: Diet effects on age-dependent mortality patterns are well documented in a large number of animal species, but studies that look at the effects of nutrient availability on late-life mortality plateaus are lacking. Here, we focus on the effect of dietary protein content (low, intermediate, and high) on mortality trajectories in late life in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. According to the two theories that are mainly implicated in explaining the deceleration of mortality rate in late life (the heterogeneity/frailty theory and the Hamiltonian theory), we predict, in general, the occurrence of late-life mortality deceleration under most circumstances, independent of sex and dietary regime. However, the heterogeneity theory of late life is more flexible in allowing no mortality deceleration to occur under certain circumstances compared with the Hamiltonian theory. We applied a novel statistical approach based on Bayesian inference of age-specific mortality rates and found a deceleration of late-life mortality rates on all diets in males but only on the intermediate (standard) diet in females. The difference in mortality rate deceleration between males and females on extreme diets suggests that the existence of mortality plateaus in late life is sex and diet dependent and, therefore, not a universal characteristic of large enough cohorts.The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 10/2013; · 4.31 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Log-rank tests are sometimes used to analyse longevity data when other tests should be preferred. When the experimental design involves more than one factor, some authors perform several log-rank tests with the same data, which increases the risk to wrongly conclude that a difference among groups does exist and does not allow to test interactions. When analysing the effect of a single factor with more than two groups, some authors also perform several tests (e.g. comparing a control group to each of the experimental groups), because post hoc analysis is not available with log-rank tests. These errors prevent to fully appreciate the longevity results of these articles and it would be easy to overcome this problem by using statistical methods devoted to one-way or multi-way designs, such as Cox's models, analysis of variance, and generalised linear models.Biogerontology 05/2014; · 3.01 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Ageing and the resulting increased likelihood mortality are the inescapable fate of organisms because selection pressures on genes that exert their function late in life is weak, promoting the evolution of genes that enhance early-life reproductive performance at the same time as sacrificing late survival. Heat shock proteins (HSP) are known to buffer various environmental stresses and are also involved in protein homeostasis and longevity. The characteristics of genes for HSPs (hsp) imply that they affect various life-history traits, which in turn affect longevity; however, little is known about the effects of hsp genes on life-history traits and their interaction with longevity. In the present study, the effects of hsp genes on multiple fitness traits, such as locomotor activity, total fecundity, early fecundity and survival time, are investigated in Drosophila melanogaster Meigen using RNA interference (RNAi). In egg-laying females, RNAi knockdown of six hsp genes (hsp22, hsp23, hsp67Ba, hsp67Bb, hsp67Bc and hsp27-like) does not shorten survival but rather increases it. Knockdown of five of those genes on an individual basis reduces early-life reproduction, suggesting that several hsp genes mediate the trade-off between early reproduction and late survival. The data indicate a positive effect of hsp genes on early reproduction and also negative effects on survival time, supporting the antagonistic pleiotropic effects predicted by the optimality theory of ageing.Physiological Entomology 08/2014; · 1.43 Impact Factor