Near-infrared light increases ATP, extends lifespan and improves mobility in aged Drosophila melanogaster

Biol Lett. 2015 Mar;11(3):20150073. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2015.0073.


Ageing is an irreversible cellular decline partly driven by failing mitochondrial integrity. Mitochondria accumulate DNA mutations and reduce ATP production necessary for cellular metabolism. This is associated with inflammation. Near-infrared exposure increases retinal ATP in old mice via cytochrome c oxidase absorption and reduces inflammation. Here, we expose fruitflies daily to 670 nm radiation, revealing elevated ATP and reduced inflammation with age. Critically, there was a significant increase in average lifespan: 100-175% more flies survived into old age following 670 nm exposure and these had significantly improved mobility. This may be a simple route to extending lifespan and improving function in old age.

Keywords: ATP; fly; inflammation; lifespan.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism*
  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Inflammation
  • Infrared Rays*
  • Locomotion / radiation effects
  • Longevity / radiation effects*
  • Male
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / radiation effects*


  • Adenosine Triphosphate