, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 109–120 | Cite as

Natural plant hormones cytokinins increase stress resistance and longevity of Caenorhabditis elegans

  • Alena Kadlecová
  • Tomáš Jirsa
  • Ondřej Novák
  • Jan Kammenga
  • Miroslav Strnad
  • Jiří VollerEmail author
Research Article


Cytokinins are phytohormones that are involved in many processes in plants, including growth, differentiation and leaf senescence. However, they also have various activities in animals. For example, kinetin and trans-zeatin can reduce levels of several aging markers in human fibroblasts. Kinetin can also protect mice against oxidative and glyoxidative stress, and prolong fruit flies’ lifespan. Additionally, several cytokinins are currently used in cosmetics. To extend knowledge of the breadth of cytokinins’ activities, we examined effects of natural cytokinin bases on the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that kinetin, para-topolin and meta-topolin prolonged the lifespan of C. elegans. Kinetin also protected the organism against oxidative and heat stress. Furthermore, our results suggest that presence of reactive oxygen species, but not DAF-16 (the main effector of the insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling pathway), is required for the beneficial effects of kinetin. Ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometric analysis showed that kinetin is unlikely to occur naturally in C. elegans, but the worm efficiently absorbs and metabolizes it into kinetin riboside and kinetin riboside-5′-monophosphate.


Cytokinin Kinetin Topolin Zeatin Phytohormones Aging Caenorhabditis elegans 



Strains used in this study were provided by the CGC, which is funded by the NIH Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (P40 OD010440). The authors are grateful to Hana Martínková for her help with phytohormone analyses. This study was supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic (National Program for Sustainability I, grant nos. LO1204 and LO1304; INTER-COST LTC17 project code LTC17072). This article is based upon work from COST Action BM1408, supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology).

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 76 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Growth Regulators, Centre of the Region Haná for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research, Institute of Experimental Botany ASCRPalacký UniversityOlomoucCzech Republic
  2. 2.Laboratory of NematologyWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Clinical and Molecular Pathology, Institute of Molecular and Translational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and DentistryPalacký UniversityOlomoucCzech Republic

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