DO-SRS imaging of diet regulated metabolic activities in Drosophila during aging processes

Aging Cell. 2022 Apr;21(4):e13586. doi: 10.1111/acel.13586. Epub 2022 Mar 7.


Lipid metabolism plays crucial roles during aging processes, but how it is regulated by diets and how it interplays with aging still remain unclear. We proposed a new optical imaging platform by integrating heavy water (D2 O) probing with stimulated Raman scattering (DO-SRS) microscopy, for the first time, to directly visualize and quantify lipid metabolism regulated by different diets and insulin signaling pathway in Drosophila fat body during aging. We found that calorie restriction, low protein diet, and (moderately) high protein and high sucrose diets enhanced lipid turnover in flies at all ages, while (moderately) high fructose and glucose diets only promoted lipid turnover in aged flies. The measured lipid turnover enhancements under diverse diets were due to different mechanisms. High protein diet shortened the lifespan while all other diets extended the lifespan. Downregulating the insulin signaling pathway enhanced lipid turnover, which is likely related to lifespan increase, while upregulating insulin signaling pathway decreased lipid turnover that would shorten the lifespan. Our study offers the first approach to directly visualize spatiotemporal alterations of lipid turnover in aging Drosophila in situ, for a better understanding of the interconnections between lipid metabolism, diets, and aging.

Keywords: DO-SRS; Drosophila; aging; diet; fatbody; heavy water; metabolism; stimulated Raman scattering.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Diet
  • Diet, Protein-Restricted
  • Drosophila melanogaster* / metabolism
  • Drosophila*
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Lipids
  • Longevity / physiology


  • Insulin
  • Lipids