Research Paper Volume 11, Issue 6 pp 1850—1873
Longitudinal assessment of health-span and pre-death morbidity in wild type Drosophila
- 1 Laboratory of Experimental Physiology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
- 2 Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469, USA
- 3 Cell Biology Department, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
- 4 Institute of Developmental Biology and Neurobiology, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany
Received: September 30, 2018 Accepted: March 20, 2019 Published: March 27, 2019https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.101880
How to Cite
Copyright: Gaitanidis et al. This is an open‐access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The increase in human life expectancy is accompanied by age-related cognitive and motor disability, thus raising the demand for strategies toward healthy aging. This requires understanding the biology of normal aging and late-life functional phenotypes. Genetic model organisms, such as Drosophila melanogaster, can help identifying evolutionary conserved mechanisms underlying aging. Longitudinal assessment of motor performance of more than 1000 individual flies revealed age-related motor performance decline and specific late-life motor disabilities. This allows defining heath- and ill-span and scoring late-life quality of individual flies. As in mammals, including humans, onset, duration, severity, and progression dynamics of decline are heterogenic and characterized by both, progressive worsening and sudden late-life events. Flies either become increasingly incapacitated by accumulating disability over multiple days prior to death, or they escape disability until few hours prior to death. Both late-life trajectories converge into a terminal stage characterized by stereotypical signs of functional collapse and death within 3 hours. Drosophila can now be used to evaluate life prolonging manipulations in the context of late-life quality. High sugar diet increases lifespan and late-life quality, whereas lifespan prolonging antioxidant supplementation has either no, or negative effects on late-life quality, depending on base diet and gender.