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Eliminating germline lengthens fly lifespan, Brown study shows
Date:4/23/2008

es, shows that when animals such as flies, worms and mice live longer when they produce or receive less insulin.

Yet, to their surprise, Flatt and Tatar found that when germline cells were eliminated, and flies lived longer, insulin-producing cells in the fly brain actually make more not less insulin. These results posed a paradox: How can flies be longer-lived when theyre making more of a life-shortening hormone? When the researchers studied the flies tissues, they discovered something intriguing: Even though the brains were making more insulin, the bodies were responding were responding as if there was less insulin present.

Tatar said the team found a possible explanation for the paradox. In reaction to the flies brains boosting insulin production, the insects gonads their ovaries or testes produce a protein that acts like a sponge, binding to the insulin and blocking its signals throughout the body. So the flies respond as if there is low, not high, insulin circulation inside their bodies.

This suggests that the gonad and the brain are in a synchronized hormonal feedback loop, Tatar said. Its not just the brain affecting the gonad but also the other way around.

We think that in mammals, a similar communication occurs between the brain and the gonad, communication which controls insulin signaling, Flatt said. And when insulin signaling is re-duced, the body goes into a state of high repair. The body becomes more stress resistant. Tissues protect themselves really well and that increases longevity.


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Contact: Wendy Lawton
Wendy_Lawton@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

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