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Biogerontology. 2004;5(6):431-43.

Male Drosophila melanogaster flies exposed to hypergravity at young age are protected against a non-lethal heat shock at middle age but not against behavioral impairments due to this shock.

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Centre de Recherche sur la Cognition Animale, UMR CNRS 5169, Université Paul-Sabatier, 118 route de Narbonne, F-31062 Toulouse cedex 4, France.


Previous studies have shown that exposing flies to hypergravity (3 or 5 g) for two weeks at young age slightly increases longevity of male flies and survival time at 37 degrees C of both sexes, and delays an age-linked behavioral change. The present experiments tested whether hypergravity could also protect flies from a non-lethal 37 degrees C heat shock applied at young, middle or old age (2, 4 or 6 weeks of age). Various durations of exposure at 37 degrees C had similar deleterious effects on climbing activity, spontaneous locomotor activity and learning in flies that lived or not in hypergravity at young age. Therefore, hypergravity does not protect the behavior of flies from a deleterious non-lethal heat shock. Hypergravity increased longevity of virgin males and decreased that of mated ones; it also increased longevity of virgins at 25 degrees C, the usual rearing temperature, but not at 30 degrees C. Thus, the positive effect of hypergravity on longevity is observed only if flies are not subjected to living conditions decreasing longevity, like mating and high temperature. Finally, 4 weeks-old males that lived in hypergravity at young age lived slightly longer (+ 15%) after a non-lethal heat shock (60 or 90 min at 37 degrees C) than flies that always lived at 1 g, but this positive effect of hypergravity was not observed in females or in older males. Therefore, all these results show that hypergravity exposure can help male middle-aged flies recovering from a heat shock, but does not protect them from behavioral impairments linked to this shock: a mild stress occurring at young age can partially protect from a moderate stress at middle age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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