High glucose diets shorten lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans via ectopic apoptosis induction

  • Choi, Shin-Sik (Department of Food and Nutrition, College of Natural Science, Myongji University)
  • Received : 2011.03.11
  • Accepted : 2011.04.20
  • Published : 2011.06.30


Diets based on carbohydrates increase rapidly the blood glucose level due to the fast conversion of carbohydrates to glucose. High glucose diets have been known to induce many lifestyle diseases. Here, we demonstrated that high glucose diet shortened the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans through apoptosis induction. Control adult groups without glucose diet lived for 30 days, whereas animals fed 10 mg/L of D-glucose lived only for 20 days. The reduction of lifespan by glucose diet showed a dose-dependent profile in the concentration range of glucose from 1 to 20 mg/L. Aging effect of high glucose diet was examined by measurement of response time for locomotion after stimulating movement of the animals by touching. Glucose diet decreased the locomotion capacity of the animals during mid-adulthood. High glucose diets also induced ectopic apoptosis in the body of C. elegans, which is a potent mechanism that can explain the shortened lifespan and aging. Apoptotic cell corpses stained with SYTO 12 were found in the worms fed 10 mg/L of glucose. Mutation of core apoptotic regulatory genes, CED-3 and CED-4, inhibited the reduction of viability induced by high glucose diet, which indicates that these regulators were required for glucose-induced apoptosis or lifespan shortening. Thus, we conclude that high glucose diets have potential for inducing ectopic apoptosis in the body, resulting in a shortened lifespan accompanied with loss of locomotion capacity.


Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), Myongji University


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