Sex differences in oxidative stress resistance in relation to longevity in Drosophila melanogaster
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Gender differences in lifespan and aging are known across species. Sex differences in longevity within a species can be useful to understand sex-specific aging. Drosophila melanogaster is a good model to study the problem of sex differences in longevity since females are longer lived than males. There is evidence that stress resistance influences longevity. The objective of this study was to investigate if there is a relationship between sex differences in longevity and oxidative stress resistance in D. melanogaster. We observed a progressive age-dependent decrease in the activity of SOD and catalase, major antioxidant enzymes involved in defense mechanisms against oxidative stress in parallel to the increased ROS levels over time. Longer-lived females showed lower ROS levels and higher antioxidant enzymes than males as a function of age. Using ethanol as a stressor, we have shown differential susceptibility of the sexes to ethanol wherein females exhibited higher resistance to ethanol-induced mortality and locomotor behavior compared to males. Our results show strong correlation between sex differences in oxidative stress resistance, antioxidant defenses and longevity. The study suggests that higher antioxidant defenses in females may confer resistance to oxidative stress, which could be a factor that influences sex-specific aging in D. melanogaster.
KeywordsLongevity Ethanol Aging Free radicals Antioxidant enzymes
The first and second authors thank Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, for the financial support under INSPIRE fellowship program. Thanks are also due to The Chairperson, Department of Zoology, University of Mysore, Mysuru, for the facilities.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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