, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 69–80

Flies selected for longevity retain a young gene expression profile


    • Aarhus Centre for Environmental Stress Research (ACES), Department of Biological SciencesAarhus University
  • Peter Sørensen
    • Department of Genetics and Biotechnology, Danish Institute of Agricultural SciencesAarhus University
  • Volker Loeschcke
    • Aarhus Centre for Environmental Stress Research (ACES), Department of Biological SciencesAarhus University

DOI: 10.1007/s11357-010-9162-8

Cite this article as:
Sarup, P., Sørensen, P. & Loeschcke, V. AGE (2011) 33: 69. doi:10.1007/s11357-010-9162-8


We investigated correlated responses in the transcriptomes of longevity-selected lines of Drosophila melanogaster to identify pathways that affect life span in metazoan systems. We evaluated the gene expression profile in young, middle-aged, and old male flies, finding that 530 genes were differentially expressed between selected and control flies when measured at the same chronological age. The longevity-selected flies consistently showed expression profiles more similar to control flies one age class younger than control flies of the same age. This finding is in accordance with a younger gene expression profile in longevity-selected lines. Among the genes down-regulated in longevity-selected lines, we found a clear over-representation of genes involved in immune functions, supporting the hypothesis of a life-shortening effect of an overactive immune system, known as inflammaging. We judged the physiological age as the level of cumulative mortality. Eighty-four genes were differentially expressed between the control and longevity-selected lines at the same physiological age, and the overlap between the same chronological and physiological age gene lists included 40 candidate genes for increased longevity. Among these candidates were genes with roles in starvation resistance, immune response regulation, and several that have not yet been linked to longevity. Investigating these genes would provide new knowledge of the pathways that affect life span in invertebrates and, potentially, mammals.


MicroarrayAgingInflammagingCandidate genesDrosophila melanogasterLaboratory evolution

Supplementary material

11357_2010_9162_MOESM1_ESM.xls (562 kb)
ESM Table S1(XLS 561 kb)
11357_2010_9162_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (131 kb)
Fig. S2(PDF 130 kb)
11357_2010_9162_MOESM3_ESM.xls (283 kb)
ESM Table S3(XLS 283 kb)
11357_2010_9162_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (92 kb)
Fig. S4(PDF 92.1 kb)
11357_2010_9162_MOESM5_ESM.doc (43 kb)
ESM Table S5(DOC 43.0 kb)

Copyright information

© American Aging Association, Media, PA, USA 2010