X-Message-Number: 27596
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2006 17:27:27 -0800 (PST)
From: Doug Skrecky <>
Subject: resveratrol extends lifespan in fish

[Life long interventions in vertebrates are far less expensive and time
consuming when the short lived fish Nothobranchius furzeri is used in
place of mice.]

Posted: February 7, 2006
Natural Compound Prolongs Lifespan And Delays Onset Of Aging-related
Traits In A Short-lived Vertebrate
  By studying a particularly short-lived fish species, researchers have
been able to show that a natural compound previously shown to extend
lifespan in non-vertebrate organisms can also do so in at least one
vertebrate species. The findings, reported by Alessandro Cellerino of the
Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, and colleagues, support the potential
utility of the compound in human aging research.
  Researchers used this short-lived fish to test the effects of
resveratrol on aging-related physiological decay.
  The development of drugs able to retard the onset of aging-related
diseases and improve quality of life in the elderly is a growing focus of
aging research and public health in modern society. But the successful
development of drugs aimed at aging-related diseases needs to face the
challenge posed by the lifespan of the available animal models--mammalian
models for aging are relatively long-lived and aren't as easily studied
as shorter-lived species.
  Resveratrol is an organic compound naturally present in grapes--and
particularly enriched in red wine--and was previously shown to prolong
lifespan in non-vertebrate model organisms such as yeast, the worm
C. elegans, and the fruit fly Drosophila. However, until now, life-long
pharmacological trials were performed in the worm or fly model organisms
because of their very small size, very short natural lifespan, and
affordable cultivation costs. Laboratory mice, on the other hand, live
more than two years and are relatively expensive to maintain, making
large-scale, life-long pharmacological trials in mice unaffordable.
  Recently, a small fish species with a captive lifespan of only three
months was described by Cellerino and colleagues. In the new work, the
researchers used this short-lived fish to test the effects of resveratrol
on aging-related physiological decay. The researchers added resveratrol
to daily fish food and found that this treatment increased longevity and
also retarded the onset of aging-related decays in memory and muscular
  Resveratrol appears to be the first molecule to consistently cause life
extension across very different animal groups such as worms, insects, and
fish, and it could become the starting molecule for the design drugs for
the prevention of human aging-related diseases.

Current Biology
Volume 16, Issue 3 , 7 February 2006, Pages 296-300
Resveratrol Prolongs Lifespan and Retards the Onset of Age-Related
Markers in a Short-Lived Vertebrate
  Resveratrol, a natural phytoalexin found in grapes and red wine [1],
increases longevity in the short-lived invertebrates Caenorhabditis
elegans and Drosophila and exerts a variety of biological
effects in vertebrates, including protection from ischemia and
neurotoxicity. Its effects on vertebrate lifespan were
not yet known. The relatively long lifespan of mice, which live at least
2.5 years, is a hurdle for life-long pharmacological trials. Here,
the authors used the short-lived seasonal fish Nothobranchius furzeri
with a maximum recorded lifespan of 13 weeks in captivity. Short
lifespan in this species is not the result of spontaneous or targeted
genetic mutations, but a natural trait correlated with the necessity
to breed in an ephemeral habitat and tied with accelerated development
and expression of ageing biomarkers at a cellular level. Resveratrol was
added to the food starting in early adulthood and caused a dose-dependent
increase of median and maximum lifespan. In addition, resveratrol delays
the age-dependent decay of locomotor activity and cognitive performances
and reduces the expression of neurofibrillary degeneration in the
brain. These results demonstrate that food supplementation with
resveratrol prolongs lifespan and retards the expression of age-dependent
traits in a short-lived vertebrate.

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