D-chiro-inositol and pinitol extend the life span of Drosophila melanogaster

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2013 Mar;68(3):226-34. doi: 10.1093/gerona/gls156. Epub 2012 Jul 25.


D-chiro-inositol, a member of the inositol family, and pinitol, a 3-methoxy analogue of D-chiro-inositol, have been proposed to have antidiabetic, antiinflammatory, anticancer and stamina enhancing effects. We found that supplementing the diet of Drosophila with D-chiro-inositol and pinitol extended adult longevity in both male and female flies. Life span extension was accompanied by protection against oxidative and starvation stresses, improvement in health span, and no reduction in fecundity. Pinitol increased the fly life span, both in dietary restriction and in ad libitum conditions, suggesting that pinitol increased life span in a manner that was independent of the dietary restriction pathway. Nuclear localization of dFOXO increased in D-chiro-inositol and pinitol-fed flies when compared with controls. Pinitol treatment significantly activated JNK and S6K, but not AKT, indicating that the activation of dFOXO by pinitol is acquired by the activation of S6K and JNK signaling. Hence, our study indicated that D-chiro-inositol and pinitol could be novel food-derived antiaging compounds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Female
  • Fertility / drug effects
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Inositol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Inositol / pharmacology*
  • Locomotion / drug effects
  • Longevity / drug effects*
  • MAP Kinase Kinase 4 / metabolism
  • Male
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Starvation
  • Stress, Physiological / drug effects


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • FOXO protein, Drosophila
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • pinitol
  • Inositol
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases
  • MAP Kinase Kinase 4