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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 1982 Sep;1(2):159-65.

Antioxidants, metabolic rate and aging in Drosophila.


In line with the (metabolic) rate-of-living theory of aging, previous work from this laboratory showed that the life-prolonging effect of the antioxidant thiazolidine carboxylic acid (TCA) in Drosophila was paralleled by a similar reduction of the oxygen consumption rate of the flies. To assess the generality of this phenomenon, several life-prolonging antioxidants were dietarily administered to the flies (in standard medium with 1% w/v of tocopherol-stripped corn oil) and their effects on metabolic rate and life span were determined. Respiration rate of groups of continuously agitated flies was measured in the Gilson respirometer. The studied antioxidants were as follows: (the numbers in parentheses are consecutively the antioxidant concentration in the medium in % wt/vol.; mean life span in days; and metabolic rate in microliter O2/mg fly per 24 h): vitamin E (0.4; 46.3; 58.5); 2,4-dinitrophenol (0.1; 45.7; 66.2); nordihydroguaiaretic acid (0.5; 45.6; 69.1); thiazolidine carboxylic acid (0.3; 53.1; 55.8); and control with no antioxidant added (0; 40.7; 73.3). All of these antioxidants at the tested concentrations reduced oxygen consumption rate and increased mean life span; there was a significant negative linear correlation (r = -0.87) between mean life span and metabolic rate. These data suggest that some antioxidants may inhibit respiration rate in addition to their protective effect against free radical-induced cellular damage.

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