May 30, 2006

The dietary restriction effect in C. elegans and humans: is the worm a one-millimeter human?

Biogerontology
Bart P BraeckmanJacques R Vanfleteren

Abstract

Dietary restriction (DR) lengthens life span in wide range of vertebrate and invertebrate species. The molecular mechanism by which DR increases life span and the universality of its effects (and hence its applicability to humans) are currently debated in gerontology. This article addresses these two problems from both an experimental perspective, using the nematode C. elegans as a model system, and a theoretical viewpoint, by appealing to recent mechanistic and evolutionary models of aging. Molecular mechanisms of aging are analysed by contrasting the rate of living/oxidative stress hypothesis with the metabolic stability/longevity hypothesis, a new model of aging which postulates that the robustness of metabolic networks, rather than metabolic rate per se, is the major determinant of aging. Studies of food-restricted worms are shown to be consistent with the metabolic stability/longevity hypothesis. The universality of the effects of DR is addressed in terms of directionality theory, an evolutionary model, which is based on the analytical fact that the robustness or the stability of demographic networks determines Darwinian fitness. Directionality theory, in conjunction with the metabolic stability hypothesis, predicts that D...Continue Reading

  • References42
  • Citations17

References

Mentioned in this Paper

Vertebrates
Calcinus elegans
Metabolic Process, Cellular
Cyartonema elegans
Geriatrics
Coleonyx elegans
Cestrum elegans
Clarkia unguiculata
Clathrulina elegans
Cardioglossa elegans

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