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Biogerontology. 2008 Oct;9(5):309-16. doi: 10.1007/s10522-008-9139-5. Epub 2008 Apr 14.

Reserpine can confer stress tolerance and lifespan extension in the nematode C. elegans.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences and Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur 208016, India.


Though the lifespan extension mechanism is partly understood from C. elegans to mice, a viable pharmacological intervention is not yet feasible. Here, we report that reserpine largely known as an antipsychotic-antihypertensive drug, can extend C. elegans lifespan. Chronic reserpine treatment from embryo stage or young adults extends the C. elegans lifespan robustly at 25 degrees C. Most importantly, the reserpine treated long lived worms are active (locomotion and pharyngeal pumping) for a long time thereby conferring high quality throughout life. Reserpine mediated lifespan extension is independent of the daf-16 pathway and partly requires serotonin. Reserpine treatment makes the worms highly thermotolerant. Thus, in addition to its known function, reserpine is able to provide stress tolerance and lifespan extension in C. elegans.

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