Aging is an ongoing, deteriorative phenomenon resulting from the gradual decline in the functions of cells and tissues within an organism.
This decline is attributed to the accumulation of damage that interferes with normal cellular processes, ultimately leading to cell death. The role of mitochondria in the aging process has been a subject of speculation for many years.
In a recent study conducted by researchers Gloria Bonuccelli, Darren R. Brooks, Sally Shepherd, Federica Sotgia, and Michael P. Lisanti from the University of Salford, researchers set out to explore the involvement of mitochondria in the aging process.
Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) served as the organismal model for this investigation. The researchers subjected C. elegans to a range of mitochondrial inhibitors and then evaluated their survival outcomes.
“In our study, we assessed survival by evaluating worm lifespan, and we assessed aging markers by evaluating the pharyngeal muscle contraction, the accumulation of lipofuscin pigment, and ATP levels,” the authors noted.
The findings reveal that administering doxycycline, azithromycin (inhibitors targeting the small and large mitochondrial ribosomes, respectively), or a combination of both significantly increased the median lifespan of C. elegans.
Additionally, these treatments enhanced the pharyngeal pumping rate, reduced lipofuscin content, and lowered energy consumption (ATP levels) compared to untreated control worms. These results suggest that these drugs have an anti-aging effect.
Similarly, DPI, an inhibitor of mitochondrial complex I and II, demonstrated the ability to extend the median lifespan of treated worms. In contrast, exposing worms to vitamin C, a pro-oxidant, did not extend the lifespan of C. elegans and led to an increase in energy consumption, as evidenced by elevated ATP levels.
“Therefore, our longevity study reveals that mitochondrial inhibitors (i.e., mitochondria-targeting antibiotics) could abrogate aging and extend lifespan in 4,” the authors concluded.
Antibiotics that Target Mitochondria Extend Lifespan in C. elegans | Aging-US
Antibiotics that Target Mitochondria Extend Lifespan in C. elegans. Video Credit: Aging-US.
Bonuccelli, G., et al. (2023). Antibiotics that target mitochondria extend lifespan in C. elegans. Aging. doi.org/10.18632/aging.205229.