X-Message-Number: 10705
Date: Fri, 6 Nov 1998 12:26:00 -0800 (PST)
From: Doug Skrecky <>
Subject: flies live longer with acetylcysteine

  Brack C.  Bechter-Thuring E.  Labuhn M.
  Laboratory of Molecular Gerontology, University of Basel, Switzerland.
  N-acetylcysteine slows
  down ageing and increases the life span of Drosophila
  Cellular & Molecular Life Sciences.  53(11-12):960-6, 1997 Dec.
  Ageing can be defined as the time-dependent decline of physiological
  functions of an organism. The molecular causes for the ageing process are
  multiple, involving both genetic and environmental factors. It has been
  proposed that antioxidants may positively influence the ageing process,
  protecting the organism against free radical-induced damage. Here we show
  that the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has a
  life-extending effect on Drosophila melanogaster. Dietary uptake of NAC
  results in a dose-dependent increase in median and maximum life span. Flies
  fed on 1 mg/ml NAC food live 16.6% longer; at 10 mg/ml, life span increases
  by 26.6%. We have examined the effect of NAC treatment on protein and RNA
  levels: we observe an NAC-dependent increase in absolute amounts of total RNA
  and ribosomal RNA, but no differences in protein levels. The NAC effect on
  longevity may involve differential expression of specific mRNA genes, as
  suggested by RNA finger-printing experiments.

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