Swimming Exercise and Transient Food Deprivation in Caenorhabditis elegans Promote Mitochondrial Maintenance and Protect Against Chemical-Induced Mitotoxicity.
Exercise and caloric restriction improve health, including reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, neurological disease, and cancer. However, molecular mechanisms underlying these protections are poorly understood, partly due to the cost and time investment of mammalian long-term diet and exercise intervention studies. We subjected Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes to a 6-day, twice daily swimming exercise regimen, during which time the animals also experienced brief, transient food deprivation. Accordingly, we included a non-exercise group with the same transient food deprivation, a non-exercise control with ad libitum access to food, and a group that exercised in food-containing medium. Following these regimens, we assessed mitochondrial health and sensitivity to mitochondrial toxicants. Exercise protected against age-related decline in mitochondrial morphology in body-wall muscle. Food deprivation increased organismal basal respiration; however, exercise was the sole intervention that increased spare respiratory capacity and proton leak. We observed increased lifespan in exercised animals compared to both control and transiently food-deprived nematodes. Finally, exercised animals (and to a lesser extent, transiently food-deprived animals) were markedly protected against lethality from acute exposures to the mitotoxicants rotenone and arsenic. Thus, swimming exercise and brief food deprivation provide effective intervention in C. elegans, protecting from age-associated mitochondrial decline and providing resistance to mitotoxicant exposures.
Hartman, JH; Smith, LL; Gordon, KL; Laranjeiro, R; Driscoll, M; Sherwood, DR; Meyer, JN
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