, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 78–88 | Cite as

Review of cell aging in Drosophila and mouse

  • J. Miquel
  • A. C. Economos
  • K. G. Bensch
  • H. Atlan
  • J. E. JohnsonJr.


In this review we evaluate Minot’s hypothesis that cellular aging and death of metazoan animals are the result of cell differentiation. The fine structural data suggest that aging in Drosophila is reflected in cytoplasmic organelle loss with accompanying age pigment accumulation. Apparently, a progressive disorganization of fixed postmitotic cells plays a key role in the aging process of fruit flies. In aging mice, electron microscopic studies suggest that primary senescent deterioration takes place also in fixed postmitotic cells. Intermitotic cells appear to undergo only minimal changes, while many fast dividing cells are not affected by aging. We conclude that Minot’s hypothesis is consistent with reviewed evidence on cellular aging mechanisms in Drosophila and mouse. Theoretical support for the hypothesis is derived from a systems analysis of organism-environment interaction and the consequences of cellular organization in flies and mice.


Cell Differentiation Microscopic Study Aging Process Electron Microscopic Study Minimal Change 
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Copyright information

© American Aging Association, Inc. 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Miquel
    • 1
  • A. C. Economos
    • 2
  • K. G. Bensch
    • 3
  • H. Atlan
    • 4
  • J. E. JohnsonJr.
    • 5
  1. 1.Biomedical Research DivisionNASA, Ames Research CenterMoffett Field
  2. 2.Biological SciencesSan Jose State UniversitySan Jose
  3. 3.Stanford University School of MedicineStanford
  4. 4.Faculte de Medecine, Broussais Hotel DieuParis 6eFrance
  5. 5.National Institute on AgingNIH, Baltimore City HospitalsBaltimore

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