Research Paper Volume 14, Issue 21 pp 8661—8687

Krill oil protects dopaminergic neurons from age-related degeneration through temporal transcriptome rewiring and suppression of several hallmarks of aging

Tanima SenGupta1,2,4, , Yohan Lefol1, , Lisa Lirussi2, , Veronica Suaste3,4, , Torben Luders1, , Swapnil Gupta2, , Yahyah Aman1,2, , Kulbhushan Sharma2, , Evandro Fei Fang1,2, , Hilde Nilsen1,2,3, ,

  • 1 Institute of Clinical Medicine, Department of Clinical Molecular Biology, University of Oslo, Oslo N-0318, Norway
  • 2 Section of Clinical Molecular Biology, Akershus University Hospital, Nordbyhagen N-1474, Norway
  • 3 Department of Microbiology, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo N-0424, Norway
  • 4 Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, Oslo N-0318, Norway

Received: July 28, 2022       Accepted: October 27, 2022       Published: November 9, 2022
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2022 SenGupta 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.


There is accumulating evidence that interfering with the basic aging mechanisms can enhance healthy longevity. The interventional/therapeutic strategies targeting multiple aging hallmarks could be more effective than targeting one hallmark. While health-promoting qualities of marine oils have been extensively studied, the underlying molecular mechanisms are not fully understood. Lipid extracts from Antarctic krill are rich in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids choline, and astaxanthin. Here, we used C. elegans and human cells to investigate whether krill oil promotes healthy aging. In a C. elegans model of Parkinson´s disease, we show that krill oil protects dopaminergic neurons from aging-related degeneration, decreases alpha-synuclein aggregation, and improves dopamine-dependent behavior and cognition. Krill oil rewires distinct gene expression programs that contribute to attenuating several aging hallmarks, including oxidative stress, proteotoxic stress, senescence, genomic instability, and mitochondrial dysfunction. Mechanistically, krill oil increases neuronal resilience through temporal transcriptome rewiring to promote anti-oxidative stress and anti-inflammation via healthspan regulating transcription factors such as SNK-1. Moreover, krill oil promotes dopaminergic neuron survival through regulation of synaptic transmission and neuronal functions via PBO-2 and RIM-1. Collectively, krill oil rewires global gene expression programs and promotes healthy aging via abrogating multiple aging hallmarks, suggesting directions for further pre-clinical and clinical explorations.


PD: Parkinson’s disease; DA: Dopaminergic neurons; AD: Alzheimer’s disease; NDDs: Neurodegenerative diseases; C. elegans: Caenorhabditis elegans.