Institute of Healthy Ageing


New report by Yuan Zhao and Ann Gilliat in Nature Communications describes causes of death in ageing C. elegans

26 May 2017

A new study from David Gems' lab describes a major life-limiting pathology in C. elegans, thereby providing insight into the mechanisms underlying lifespan determination in this organism.

For several decades, numerous research groups have studied how manipulation of a wide variety of genes can affect C. elegans lifespan, as a route to understanding the ageing process. Yet the mechanisms of ageing itself remain poorly understood. In a different approach this new study focuses on the actual causes of death in ageing populations and the mechanisms leading up to them. It demonstrates that C. elegans exhibit two different types of death that are differentially affected by treatments that increase lifespan. Analysis of such differential effects (or mortality deconvolution) allows the complex shapes of survival curves and mortality profiles to be explained. This study begins to bridge the gap between genetics and lifespan by means of analysis of the senescent pathologies that determine lifespan.

The paper is available at http://rdcu.be/sNIZ

For more information, see the press release about this study.