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Genetic and RNAi Analysis of C. Elegans Aging
Wednesday, December 3, 2003,
3:00:00 PM Time displayed is Eastern Time, Washington DC Local
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In C. elegans, a network of pathways important for lifespan regulation is starting to emerge. The worm insulin receptor gene regulates whether the animal lives a short life focused on reproduction or instead lives a long life focused on survival and energy storage. Defects in response to insulin also induce a dramatic 2 to 3 fold increase in lifespan. As in humans, insulin in the worm regulates metabolism. This is reminiscent of the increase in mouse and rat lifespan that is induced by low calorie diets, which reduce insulin levels. In both cases, a decline in insulin responses and the ensuing shift in metabolism may slow the aging process by decreasing the production of free radicals.