Research Paper Volume 15, Issue 21 pp 11720—11739

Parental age effect on the longevity and healthspan in Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans

Camille Lenzi1, , Alexis Piat2, , Pascal Schlich3, , Judith Ducau4, , Jean-Claude Bregliano4, , Hugo Aguilaniu5, , Anne Laurençon6, ,

  • 1 IM Projet, Neyron, France
  • 2 Caduceum, Lyon, France
  • 3 INRA, Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l’Alimentation (CSGA), Dijon, France
  • 4 IBDM, Parc Scientifique de Luminy, Marseille, France
  • 5 Instituto Serrapilheira, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
  • 6 Institut de Genomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon, UMR5242, Universite Claude Bernard-Lyon 1, Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, Lyon, France

Received: December 8, 2022       Accepted: September 18, 2023       Published: November 1, 2023
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2023 Lenzi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Several studies have investigated the effect of parental age on biological parameters such as reproduction, lifespan, and health; however, the results have been inconclusive, largely due to inter-species variation and/or modest effect sizes. Here, we examined the effect of parental age on the lifespan, reproductive capacity, and locomotor activity of genetic isogenic lines of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. We found that the progeny of successive generations of old parents had significantly shorter lifespans than the progeny of young parents in both species. Moreover, we investigated the fertility, fecundity, and locomotor activity of C. elegans. Interestingly, both the shorter lifespan and deteriorated healthspan of the progeny were significantly improved by switching to only one generation of younger parents. Collectively, these data demonstrate that the detrimental effect of older parental age on the longevity of the progeny can be reversed, suggesting the existence of a beneficial non–genetic mechanism.


SG: short generation; LG: long generation; LG.SG: long generations followed by short generation at reproductive time.