Sex differences in the effect of dietary restriction on life span and mortality rates in female and male Drosophila melanogaster.

Department of Biology, University College London, Darwin Building, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom.
The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences (Impact Factor: 4.98). 02/2004; 59(1):3-9. DOI: 10.1093/gerona/59.1.B3
Source: PubMed

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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