Chronic circadian misalignment results in reduced longevity and large-scale changes in gene expression in Drosophila.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Circadian clocks are found in nearly all organisms, from bacteria to mammals, and ensure that behavioral and physiological processes occur at optimal times of day and in the correct temporal order. It is becoming increasingly clear that chronic circadian misalignment (CCM), such as occurs in shift workers or as a result of aberrant sleeping and eating schedules common to modern society, has profound metabolic and cognitive consequences, but the proximate mechanisms connecting CCM with reduced organismal health are unknown. Furthermore, it has been difficult to disentangle whether the health effects are directly induced by misalignment or are secondary to the alterations in sleep and activity levels that commonly occur with CCM. Here, we investigated the consequences of CCM in the powerful model system of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. We subjected flies to daily 4-h phase delays in the light-dark schedule and used the Drosophila Activity Monitoring (DAM) system to continuously track locomotor activity and sleep while simultaneously monitoring fly lifespan. RESULTS:Consistent with previous results, we find that exposing flies to CCM leads to a ~?15% reduction in median lifespan in both male and female flies. Importantly, we demonstrate that the reduced longevity occurs independent of changes in overall sleep or activity. To uncover potential molecular mechanisms of CCM-induced reduction in lifespan, we conducted whole body RNA-sequencing to assess differences in gene transcription between control and misaligned flies. CCM caused progressive, large-scale changes in gene expression characterized by upregulation of genes involved in response to toxic substances, aging and oxidative stress, and downregulation of genes involved in regulation of development and differentiation, gene expression and biosynthesis. CONCLUSIONS:Many of these gene expression changes mimic those that occur during natural aging, consistent with the idea that CCM results in premature organismal decline, however, we found that genes involved in lipid metabolism are overrepresented among those that are differentially regulated by CCM and aging. This category of genes is also among the earliest to exhibit CCM-induced changes in expression, thus highlighting altered lipid metabolism as a potentially important mediator of the negative health consequences of CCM.
Project description:We investigated the consequences of chronic circadian misalignment (CCM) in the powerful model system of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. We subjected flies to daily 4-hr phase delays in the light-dark schedule and used the Drosophila Activity Monitoring (DAM) system to continuously track locomotor activity and sleep while simultaneously monitoring fly lifespan. Consistent with previous results, we find that exposing flies to CCM leads to a ~15% reduction in median lifespan in both male and female flies. Importantly, we demonstrate that the reduced longevity occurs independent of changes in overall sleep or activity. To uncover potential molecular mechanisms of CCM-induced reduction in lifespan, we conducted whole body RNA-sequencing to assess differences in gene transcription between control and misaligned flies. CCM caused progressive, large-scale changes in gene expression characterized by upregulation of genes involved in response to toxic substances, aging and oxidative stress, and downregulation of genes involved in regulation of development and differentiation, gene expression and biosynthesis. Many of these gene expression changes mimic those that occur during natural aging, consistent with the idea that CCM results in premature organismal decline, however, we found that genes involved in lipid metabolism are overrepresented among those that are differentially regulated by CCM and aging. This category of genes is also among the earliest to exhibit CCM-induced changes in expression, thus highlighting altered lipid metabolism as a potentially important mediator of the negative health consequences of CCM. Overall design: Humidity and temperature-controlled incubators were used to expose male and female iso31 flies to either a 24-hour schedule (LD 12:12; control group), or a 28-hour schedule (LD 14:14; chronic circadian misalignment (CCM) group) for 2 or 3 weeks. Flies were fed 5% sucrose/ 2% agar food. 10 male and 10 female flies were collected for each sample (3 CCM and 3 control samples at each time point; 12 total) and total RNA was extracted at ZT0-3
Project description:Light is necessary for life, but prolonged exposure to artificial light is a matter of increasing health concern. Humans are exposed to increased amounts of light in the blue spectrum produced by light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which can interfere with normal sleep cycles. The LED technologies are relatively new; therefore, the long-term effects of exposure to blue light across the lifespan are not understood. We investigated the effects of light in the model organism, Drosophila melanogaster, and determined that flies maintained in daily cycles of 12-h blue LED and 12-h darkness had significantly reduced longevity compared with flies maintained in constant darkness or in white light with blue wavelengths blocked. Exposure of adult flies to 12 h of blue light per day accelerated aging phenotypes causing damage to retinal cells, brain neurodegeneration, and impaired locomotion. We report that brain damage and locomotor impairments do not depend on the degeneration in the retina, as these phenotypes were evident under blue light in flies with genetically ablated eyes. Blue light induces expression of stress-responsive genes in old flies but not in young, suggesting that cumulative light exposure acts as a stressor during aging. We also determined that several known blue-light-sensitive proteins are not acting in pathways mediating detrimental light effects. Our study reveals the unexpected effects of blue light on fly brain and establishes Drosophila as a model in which to investigate long-term effects of blue light at the cellular and organismal level.
Project description:Declines in sleep amount and quality-characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and an inability to sleep at night-are common features of aging. Sleep dysfunction is also associated with age-related ailments and diseases, suggesting that sleep is functionally relevant to the aging process. Metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs)-which are critical regulators of neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity-have been implicated in both age-related disease and sleep regulation. Therefore, in this study, we examined the sleep and aging effect of complete genetic loss of mGluR signaling in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetic knockdown of the sole Drosophila mGluR-known as DmGluRA-reduced daytime wakefulness and nighttime sleep, recapitulating age-related sleep changes that occur across species. Furthermore, loss of DmGluRA significantly reduced lifespan and exacerbated age-related sleep loss in older flies. Thus, we identify DmGluRA as a novel regulator of sleep whose loss results in an age-relevant sleep phenotype that is associated with shortened lifespan. This is the first evidence that mGluR signaling regulates sleep/wake in a manner that is relevant to the aging process.
Project description:Physiological studies show that aging affects both sleep quality and quantity in humans, and sleep complaints increase with age. Along with knowledge about the negative effects of poor sleep on health, understanding the enigmatic relationship between sleep and aging is important. Because human sleep is similar to Drosophila (fruit fly) sleep in many ways, we addressed the effects of aging on sleep in this model organism.Baseline sleep was recorded in five different Drosophila genotypes raised at either 21°C or 25°C. The amount of sleep recovered was then investigated after a nighttime of sleep deprivation (12 h) and after chronic sleep deprivation (3 h every night for multiple nights). Finally, the effects of aging on arousal, namely, sensitivity to neuronal and mechanical stimuli, were studied.We show that fly sleep is affected by age in a manner similar to that of humans and other mammals. Not only do older flies of several genotypes have more fragmented sleep and reduced total sleep time compared to young flies, but older flies also fail to recover as much sleep after sleep deprivation. This suggests either lower sleep homeostasis and/or a failure to properly recover sleep. Older flies also show a decreased arousal threshold, i.e., an increased response to neuronal and mechanical wake-promoting stimuli. The reduced threshold may either reflect or cause the reduced recovery sleep of older flies compared to young flies after sleep deprivation.Further studies are certainly needed, but we suggest that the lower homeostatic sleep drive of older flies causes their decreased arousal threshold.
Project description:Sleep deprivation has been shown to negatively impact health outcomes, leading to decreased immune responses, memory loss, increased activity of stress and inflammatory pathways, weight gain, and even behavioral changes. These observations suggest that sleep deprivation substantially interferes with important physiological functions, including metabolic pathways of energy utilization. Many of those phenotypes are correlated with age, suggesting that disrupted sleep may interfere with the aging process. However, little is known about how sleep disruption affects aging and longevity. Here, we investigate this relationship using eight representative fruit fly lines from the Sleep Inbred Panel (SIP). The SIP consists of 39 inbred lines that display extreme short- and long-sleep patterns, and constitutes a crucial Drosophila community resource for investigating the mechanisms of sleep regulation. Our data show that flies with short-sleep periods have ?16% longer life span, as well as reduced aging rate, compared to flies with long-sleep. In contrast, disrupting normal circadian rhythm reduces fly longevity. Short-sleep SIP flies moreover show slight metabolic differences to long-sleep lines, and to flies with disrupted circadian rhythm. These data suggest that the inbred SIP lines engage sleep mechanisms that are distinct from the circadian clock system.
Project description:Despite limited regenerative capacity as we age, cardiomyocytes maintain their function in part through compensatory mechanisms, e.g., Vinculin reinforcement of intercalated discs in aged organisms. This mechanism, which is conserved from flies to non-human primates, creates a more crystalline sarcomere lattice that extends lifespan, but systemic connections between the cardiac sarcomere structure and lifespan extension are not apparent. Using the rapidly aging fly system, we found that cardiac-specific Vinculin-overexpression [Vinculin heart-enhanced (VincHE)] increases heart contractility, maximal cardiac mitochondrial respiration, and organismal fitness with age. Systemic metabolism also dramatically changed with age and VincHE; steady state sugar concentrations, as well as aerobic glucose metabolism, increase in VincHE and suggest enhanced energy substrate utilization with increased cardiac performance. When cardiac stress was induced with the complex I inhibitor rotenone, VincHE hearts sustain contractions unlike controls. This work establishes a new link between the cardiac cytoskeleton and systemic glucose utilization and protects mitochondrial function from external stress.
Project description:One of the most consistent behavioral changes that occurs with age in humans is the loss of sleep consolidation. This can be quite disruptive and yet little is known about its underlying basis. To better understand the effects of aging on sleep:wake cycles, we sought to study this problem in Drosophila melanogaster, a powerful system for research on aging and behavior. By assaying flies of different ages as well as monitoring individual flies constantly over the course of their lifetime, we found that the strength of sleep:wake cycles decreased and that sleep became more fragmented with age in Drosophila. These changes in sleep:wake cycles became faster or slower with manipulations of ambient temperature that decreased or increased lifespan, respectively, demonstrating that they are a function of physiological rather than chronological age. The effect of temperature on lifespan was not mediated by changes in overall activity level or sleep amount. Flies treated with the oxidative stress-producing reagent paraquat showed a breakdown of sleep:wake cycles similar to that seen with aging, leading us to propose that the accumulation of oxidative damage with age contributes to the changes in rhythm and sleep. Together, these findings establish Drosophila as a valuable model for studying age-associated sleep fragmentation and breakdown of rhythm strength, and indicate that these changes in sleep:wake cycles are an integral part of the physiological aging process.
Project description:The FDA approved drug rapamycin can prolong lifespan in diverse species and delay the onset of age-related disease in mammals. However, a number of fundamental questions remain unanswered regarding the mechanisms by which rapamycin modulates age-related pathophysiology and lifespan. Alterations in the gut microbiota can impact host physiology, metabolism and lifespan. While recent studies have shown that rapamycin treatment alters the gut microbiota in aged animals, the causal relationships between rapamycin treatment, microbiota dynamics and aging are not known. Here, using Drosophila as a model organism, we show that rapamycin-mediated alterations in microbiota dynamics in aged flies are associated with improved markers of intestinal and muscle aging. Critically, however, we show that the beneficial effects of rapamycin treatment on tissue aging and lifespan are not dependent upon the microbiota. Indeed, germ-free flies show delayed onset of intestinal barrier dysfunction, improved proteostasis in aged muscles and a significant lifespan extension upon rapamycin treatment. In contrast, genetic inhibition of autophagy impairs the ability of rapamycin to mediate improved gut health and proteostasis during aging. Our results indicate that rapamycin-mediated modulation of the microbiota in aged animals is not causally required to slow tissue and organismal aging.
Project description:Chemosensation is a potent modulator of organismal physiology and longevity. In Drosophila, loss of recognition of diverse tastants has significant and bidirectional life-span effects. Recently published results revealed that when flies were unable to taste water, they increased its internal generation, which may have subsequently altered life span. To determine whether similar adaptive responses occur in other contexts, we explored the impact of sensory deficiency of other metabolically important molecules. Trehalose is a major circulating carbohydrate in the fly that is recognized by the gustatory receptor Gr5a. Gr5a mutant flies are short lived, and we found that they specifically increased whole-body and circulating levels of trehalose, but not other carbohydrates, likely through upregulation of de novo synthesis. dILP2 transcript levels were increased in Gr5a mutants, a possible response intended to reduce hypertrehalosemia, and likely a contributing factor to their reduced life span. Together, these data suggest that compensatory physiological responses to perceived environmental scarcity, which are designed to alleviate the ostensive shortage, may be a common outcome of sensory manipulation. We suggest that future investigations into the mechanisms underlying sensory modulation of aging may benefit by focusing on direct or indirect consequences of physiological changes that are designed to correct perceived disparity with the environment.
Project description:A functional decline in tissue stem cells and mitochondrial dysfunction have each been linked to aging and multiple aging-associated pathologies. However, the interplay between energy homeostasis, stem cells, and organismal aging remains poorly understood. Here, we report that expression of the single-subunit yeast alternative NADH dehydrogenase, ndi1, in Drosophila intestinal stem and progenitor cells delays the onset of multiple markers of intestinal aging and extends lifespan. In addition, expression of ndi1 in the intestine increases feeding behavior and results in organismal weight gain. Consistent with increased nutrient uptake, flies expressing ndi1 in the digestive tract display a systemic reduction in the activity of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a key cellular energy sensor. Together, these results demonstrate that ndi1 expression in the intestinal epithelium is an effective strategy to delay tissue and organismal aging.