Effects of dietary restriction on mortality and age-related phenotypes in the short-lived fish Nothobranchius furzeri

Aging Cell. 2009 Apr;8(2):88-99. doi: 10.1111/j.1474-9726.2009.00455.x.


The short-lived annual fish Nothobranchius furzeri shows extremely short captive life span and accelerated expression of age markers, making it an interesting model system to investigate the effects of experimental manipulations on longevity and age-related pathologies. Here, we tested the effects of dietary restriction (DR) on mortality and age-related markers in N. furzeri. DR was induced by every other day feeding and the treatment was performed both in an inbred laboratory line and a longer-lived wild-derived line. In the inbred laboratory line, DR reduced age-related risk and prolonged maximum life span. In the wild-derived line, DR induced early mortality, did not reduce general age-related risk and caused a small but significant extension of maximum life span. Analysis of age-dependent mortality revealed that DR reduced demographic rate of aging, but increased baseline mortality in the wild-derived strain. In both inbred- and wild-derived lines, DR prevented the expression of the age markers lipofuscin in the liver and Fluoro-Jade B (neurodegeneration) in the brain. DR also improved performance in a learning test based on conditioning (active avoidance in a shuttle box). Finally, DR induced a paradoxical up-regulation of glial fibrillary acidic protein in the brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Caloric Restriction / methods*
  • Coloring Agents
  • Conditioning, Psychological / physiology
  • Fishes / physiology*
  • Fluoresceins
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Food Deprivation / physiology*
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / analysis
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism
  • Inbreeding
  • Learning / physiology
  • Lipofuscin / analysis
  • Lipofuscin / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Longevity / genetics*
  • Nerve Degeneration / etiology
  • Nerve Degeneration / metabolism
  • Nerve Degeneration / pathology
  • Neuroglia / metabolism
  • Organic Chemicals
  • Phenotype


  • Biomarkers
  • Coloring Agents
  • Fluoresceins
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Lipofuscin
  • Organic Chemicals
  • fluoro jade