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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2006 Nov;85(3):620-8. Epub 2006 Dec 5.

Beneficial effects of natural antioxidants EGCG and alpha-lipoic acid on life span and age-dependent behavioral declines in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Maryland, 20 N. Pine St, PH501, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


Oxidative stress has been associated with both the aging process and the development of age-dependent tissue degenerative pathologies. Beneficial effects of antioxidant therapies to abrogate the deleterious consequences of elevated free radicals are implicated in disease prevention and cost-effective strategy. Previous data have shown protective effects of the polyphenol green tea constituent epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and a classic natural antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid (LA) against oxidative stress and aging. In this study, EGCG and alpha-lipoic acid were applied to model Caenorhabditis elegans, and their ability to modulate the life span and several age-associated behavioral declines were examined, including: pharyngeal pumping, chemotaxic behavior and amyloid beta-associated pathological behavior. It was demonstrated that both antioxidants attenuated the levels of hydrogen peroxide in C. elegans, but their effects on age-dependent decline in behaviors were different. EGCG, but not alpha-lipoic acid, attenuated the rate of decline in pharyngeal pumping behavior in C. elegans. In contrast, alpha-lipoic acid, but not EGCG, extended mean and maximal life span in C. elegans. Both EGCG and alpha-lipoic acid were able to facilitate the chemotaxis index and this effect was additive. Furthermore, EGCG, but not alpha-lipoic acid, moderately alleviated an Abeta-induced pathological behavior in a transgenic C. elegans strain. These results indicate that natural antioxidants can protect against age-dependent behavioral declines. Other protective mechanisms, in addition to their antioxidant properties, may underlie their differential beneficial effects on aging and physiological behaviors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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