Blueberry possesses greater antioxidant capacity than most other fruits and vegetables. The present study investigated the lifespan-prolonging activity of blueberry extracts in fruit flies and explored its underlying mechanism. Results revealed that blueberry extracts at 5mg/ml in diet could significantly extend the mean lifespan of fruit flies by 10%, accompanied by up-regulating gene expression of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and Rpn11 and down-regulating Methuselah (MTH) gene. Intensive H(2)O(2) and Paraquat challenge tests showed that lifespan was only extended in Oregon-R wild type flies but not in SOD(n108) or Cat(n1) mutant strains. Chronic Paraquat exposure shortened the maximum survival time from 73 to 35days and decreased the climbing ability by 60% while blueberry extracts at 5mg/ml in diet could significantly increase the survival rate and partially restore the climbing ability with up-regulating SOD, CAT, and Rpn11. Furthermore, gustatory assay demonstrated that those changes were not due to the variation of food intake between the control and the experimental diet containing 5mg/ml blueberry extracts. It was therefore concluded that the lifespan-prolonging activity of blueberry extracts was at least partially associated with its interactions with MTH, Rpn11, and endogenous antioxidant enzymes SOD and CAT.
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