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. 1987 Jan;184(1):113-7.
doi: 10.3181/00379727-184-42454.

Correction of a Glutathione Deficiency in the Aging Mosquito Increases Its Longevity

Correction of a Glutathione Deficiency in the Aging Mosquito Increases Its Longevity

J P Richie Jr et al. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. .

Abstract

The decrease of tissue glutathione (GSH) concentrations in different senescent organisms gave rise to our hypothesis that a glutathione deficiency is a biochemical cause of the aging process. A rigorous test of this notion would be the correction of the deficiency and concomitant increase in life span. To this end, adult mosquitoes were fed magnesium thiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid, and their GSH levels and life spans were determined. The GSH levels increased 50-100% (P less than 0.005) regardless of the age when feeding was initiated or whether the feeding period extended over 2 days or the entire life span. Also the median life spans increased 30-38% over control values (P less than 0.005). The responses were specific for the thiazolidine carboxylate moiety, because MgCl2 had no effect. These findings confirm the GSH deficiency hypothesis and demonstrate a specific biochemical mechanism of aging that can be nutritionally modified.

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