Sex differences in survival and mitochondrial bioenergetics during aging in Drosophila

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The goal of this study is to test the role of mitochondria and of mitochondrial metabolism in determining the processes that influence aging of female and male Drosophila. We observe that Drosophila simulans females tended to have shorter lifespan, higher levels of hydrogen peroxide production and significantly lower levels of catalase but not superoxide dismutase compared to males. In contrast, mammalian females tend to be longer lived, have lower rates of reactive oxygen species production and higher antioxidant activity. In both Drosophila and mammals, mitochondria extracted from females consume a higher quantity of oxygen when provided with adenosine diphosphate and have a greater mtDNA copy number than males. Combined, these data illustrate important similarities between the parameters that influence aging and mitochondrial metabolism in Drosophila and in mammals but also show surprising differences.

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