Public and private mechanisms of life extension in Caenorhabditis elegans

Mol Genet Genomics. 2007 Jun;277(6):601-17. doi: 10.1007/s00438-007-0225-1. Epub 2007 Mar 16.


Model organisms have been widely used to study the ageing phenomenon in order to learn about human ageing. Although the phylogenetic diversity between vertebrates and some of the most commonly used model systems could hardly be greater, several mechanisms of life extension are public (common characteristic in divergent species) and likely share a common ancestry. Dietary restriction, reduced IGF-signaling and, seemingly, reduced ROS-induced damage are the best known mechanisms for extending longevity in a variety of organisms. In this review, we summarize the knowledge of ageing in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and compare the mechanisms of life extension with knowledge from other model organisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology*
  • Longevity / physiology*
  • Models, Animal