Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Genetics. 2012 Jul;191(3):989-1002. doi: 10.1534/genetics.112.140640. Epub 2012 May 2.

Age-specific variation in immune response in Drosophila melanogaster has a genetic basis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD 21250, USA.

Abstract

Immunosenescence, the age-related decline in immune system function, is a general hallmark of aging. While much is known about the cellular and physiological changes that accompany immunosenescence, we know little about the genetic influences on this phenomenon. In this study we combined age-specific measurements of bacterial clearance ability following infection with whole-genome measurements of the transcriptional response to infection and wounding to identify genes that contribute to the natural variation in immunosenescence, using Drosophila melanogaster as a model system. Twenty inbred lines derived from nature were measured for their ability to clear an Escherichia coli infection at 1 and 4 weeks of age. We used microarrays to simultaneously determine genome-wide expression profiles in infected and wounded flies at each age for 12 of these lines. Lines exhibited significant genetically based variation in bacterial clearance at both ages; however, the genetic basis of this variation changed dramatically with age. Variation in gene expression was significantly correlated with bacterial clearance ability only in the older age group. At 4 weeks of age variation in the expression of 247 genes following infection was associated with genetic variation in bacterial clearance. Functional annotation analyses implicate genes involved in energy metabolism including those in the insulin signaling/TOR pathway as having significant associations with bacterial clearance in older individuals. Given the evolutionary conservation of the genes involved in energy metabolism, our results could have important implications for understanding immunosenescence in other organisms, including humans.

PMID:
22554890
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3389989
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (3)Free text

Figure 1 
Figure 2 
Figure 3 
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk