Anti-aging effect of polysaccharide from Bletilla striata on nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

Pharmacogn Mag. 2015 Jul-Sep;11(43):449-54. doi: 10.4103/0973-1296.160447.


Background: Polysaccharide isolated from Bletilla striata, a well-known traditional Chinese medicine (Bletilla striata polysaccharide [BSP]) has been found to play important roles in endothelial cells proliferation, inducible nitric oxide stimulation, wound healing acceleration and other processes. Recent studies found that B. striata has anti-oxidative properties, however, potential anti-aging effects of BSP in whole organisms has not been characterized.

Objective: To investigate whether BSP has anti-aging effects on Caenorhabditis elegans.

Materials and methods: After treatment with BSP, the lifespan, locomotion ability, and stress resistance of C. elegans was determined. To provide insight into the underlying mechanism for the anti-aging effect of BSP, we measured its effect on bacterial growth, brood size of C. elegans, and the insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling pathway.

Results: After BSP treatment, the lifespan of C. elegans was extended, and its locomotion ability and stress resistance were increased. BSP was found to have no effect on bacterial growth or on reproduction of C. elegans, However, mRNA levels of age-1 and hcf-1 were reduced after BSP treatment. Additionally, we observed that BSP did not extend the lifespan of daf-16 mutant animals.

Conclusion: BSP produces an anti-aging effect on C. elegans through the insulin/IGF signaling pathway and holds promise for future development as a functional food.

Keywords: Anti-aging; Bletilla striata polysaccharide; Caenorhabditis elegans; lifespan; stress resistance.