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Front Aging Neurosci. 2018 Jul 16;10:211. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2018.00211. eCollection 2018.

Low Concentrations of Caffeine and Its Analogs Extend the Lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans by Modulating IGF-1-Like Pathway.

Du X1,2,3, Guan Y1,2,3, Huang Q1,2,3, Lv M1,2,3, He X1,2,3, Yan L4, Hayashi S5,6, Fang C1,2,6,7,8, Wang X1,2,6,8,9, Sheng J1,2,6,8.

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Key Laboratory of Pu-erh Tea Science, Ministry of Education, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming, China.
Tea Research Center of Yunnan, Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Kunming, China.
College of Food Science and Technology, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming, China.
Pu'er Institute of Pu-erh Tea, Pu'er, China.
Department of Microbiology, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Japan.
China-Japan Joint Center for Bioresource Research and Development, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming, China.
College of Veterinary Medicine, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming, China.
State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Bio-Resources in Yunnan, Kunming, China.
College of Science, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming, China.


Caffeine has been reported to delay aging and protect aging-associated disorders in Caenorhabditis elegans. However, the effects of low concentration of caffeine and its analogs on lifespan are currently missing. Herein, we report that at much lower concentrations (as low as 10 μg/ml), caffeine extended the lifespan of C. elegans without affecting food intake and reproduction. The effect of caffeine was dependent on IGF-1-like pathway, although the insulin receptor homolog, daf-2 allele, e1371, was dispensable. Four caffeine analogs, 1-methylxanthine, 7-methylxanthine, 1,3-dimethylxanthine, and 1,7-dimethylxanthine, also extended lifespan, whereas 3-methylxanthine and 3,7-dimethylxanthine did not exhibit lifespan-extending activity.


C. elegans; IGF-1 pathway; caffeine; daf-2; lifespan

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