Blueberry extract prolongs lifespan of Drosophila melanogaster

Exp Gerontol. 2012 Feb;47(2):170-8. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2011.12.001. Epub 2011 Dec 17.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Blueberry Plants / metabolism*
  • Catalase / genetics
  • Catalase / metabolism*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Down-Regulation
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster* / genetics
  • Endopeptidases / genetics
  • Endopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Herbicides / toxicity
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / toxicity
  • Longevity* / drug effects
  • Oxidants / toxicity
  • Paraquat / toxicity
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism
  • Superoxide Dismutase / deficiency
  • Superoxide Dismutase / genetics
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism*
  • Superoxide Dismutase-1
  • Up-Regulation


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Herbicides
  • Oxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • mth protein, Drosophila
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Catalase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Superoxide Dismutase-1
  • superoxide dismutase 2
  • Endopeptidases
  • Rpn11 protein, Drosophila
  • Paraquat