Correction of a glutathione deficiency in the aging mosquito increases its longevity

Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1987 Jan;184(1):113-7. doi: 10.3181/00379727-184-42454.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Aedes
  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Glutathione / physiology*
  • Longevity / drug effects
  • Thiazoles / pharmacology*
  • Thiazolidines


  • Thiazoles
  • Thiazolidines
  • thiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid
  • Glutathione