, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 513–529

Fasting can protect young and middle-aged Drosophila melanogaster flies against a severe cold stress

Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10522-013-9458-z

Cite this article as:
Le Bourg, É. Biogerontology (2013) 14: 513. doi:10.1007/s10522-013-9458-z


Flies were starved with water before being subjected to various severe stresses (heat, cold, fungal infection, hydrogen peroxide) immediately after starvation or after a delay. Starvation of young and middle-aged flies increased resistance to a long cold stress (0 °C for up to 48 h), mainly if there was a 2–6 h delay between starvation and the cold stress, but positive effects in old flies were hardly observed. No positive effect was observed on resistance to the other stresses and starvation rather decreased resistance to them. It thus seems that fasting increases frailty but also puts at play mechanisms increasing resistance to cold. Starvation also increased learning scores but this could be linked to decreased positive phototaxis tendencies, and not to a better learning ability. Starvation appears to be a mild stress with limited hormetic effects, but studying the mechanisms of these effects is of interest because fasting is maybe of therapeutic value in human beings.


Fasting Heat stress Cold stress Oxidative stress Fungal infection Learning Phototaxis Drosophila melanogaster 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre de Recherches sur la Cognition AnimaleUMR CNRS 5169 Université Paul-SabatierToulouse 9France

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