Heat-induced longevity extension in Drosophila. I. Heat treatment, mortality, and thermotolerance

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 1997 Jan;52(1):B48-52. doi: 10.1093/gerona/52a.1.b48.


Survival data were collected on a total of 28,000 Drosophila melanogaster adults in order to investigate mortality patterns and induced physiological responses after a mild thermal stress. A brief, nonlethal heat treatment extends adult life span at normal temperatures by an average of 2 days (64), compared to nontreated controls of the same genotypes. Life expectancy is extended as a demographic consequence of reduced age-specific mortality over a period of up to several weeks after the heat treatment. Heat treatment also increases tolerance to subsequent, more severe thermal stress. Observations on single-sex populations suggest that heat-induced longevity extension is independent of the suppression of reproductive activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acclimatization*
  • Animals
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Longevity*
  • Mortality
  • Reference Values
  • Stress, Physiological / etiology
  • Stress, Physiological / physiopathology