Event Title

Investigation of Potential Caloric Restriction in a Long-Lived C.Elegans Mutant, inx-16

Location

Science Center, Bent Corridor

Start Date

10-28-2016 5:30 PM

End Date

10-28-2016 6:00 PM

Poster Number

53

Abstract

Humans have long sought the secret to long life. In our lab, we investigate factors affecting aging in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), a small nematode with short lifespan and powerful genetics. In a wide array of animals, lower caloric intake leads to enhanced lifespan. Lower feeding results in metabolic alterations that shift energy use away from reproductive processes and into self-preservation. In C. elegans, caloric restriction induces delayed development, reduced body size, fewer progeny, and longer lifespan. We have a mutant that displays many of the caloric restriction traits. This mutant lacks a component of an intestinal gap junction called innexin-16. We are investigating whether this mutant has caloric restriction at the physiologic and molecular level. We hypothesize that the innexin-16 mutant is calorically restricted due to a defect in nutrient absorption. We have been able to isolate the step in digestion likely affected in the mutant. The animals’ ingestion rates were investigated using a functional measure of the organ analogous to the human mouth and stomach, the C. elegans pharynx. innexin-16 mutants have normal food intake in this assay. Yet these animals seem to be deficient in body fat. inx-16 mutants have less body fat storage than wildtype as indicated by a body fat staining procedure. Our results are consistent with inx-16 mutants being incapable of properly absorbing the nutrients they ingest. We suspect this is due to an intestinal defect and are currently developing tools to investigate this possibility.

Major

Biology

Project Mentor(s)

Maureen Peters, Biology

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Oct 28th, 5:30 PM Oct 28th, 6:00 PM

Investigation of Potential Caloric Restriction in a Long-Lived C.Elegans Mutant, inx-16

Science Center, Bent Corridor

Humans have long sought the secret to long life. In our lab, we investigate factors affecting aging in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), a small nematode with short lifespan and powerful genetics. In a wide array of animals, lower caloric intake leads to enhanced lifespan. Lower feeding results in metabolic alterations that shift energy use away from reproductive processes and into self-preservation. In C. elegans, caloric restriction induces delayed development, reduced body size, fewer progeny, and longer lifespan. We have a mutant that displays many of the caloric restriction traits. This mutant lacks a component of an intestinal gap junction called innexin-16. We are investigating whether this mutant has caloric restriction at the physiologic and molecular level. We hypothesize that the innexin-16 mutant is calorically restricted due to a defect in nutrient absorption. We have been able to isolate the step in digestion likely affected in the mutant. The animals’ ingestion rates were investigated using a functional measure of the organ analogous to the human mouth and stomach, the C. elegans pharynx. innexin-16 mutants have normal food intake in this assay. Yet these animals seem to be deficient in body fat. inx-16 mutants have less body fat storage than wildtype as indicated by a body fat staining procedure. Our results are consistent with inx-16 mutants being incapable of properly absorbing the nutrients they ingest. We suspect this is due to an intestinal defect and are currently developing tools to investigate this possibility.