Meeting Abstract

P3.168  Friday, Jan. 6  The aging and senescence of Drosophila from different behavioral regimes. LANE, S.J.; MANCINELLI, G.E.; MARTINEZ, E.E.; SANDOE, L.H.; KOPKE, D.L.; ELEKONICH, M.M.; ROBERTS, S.P.*; Central Michigan Univ; Central Michigan Univ; Central Michigan Univ; Central Michigan Univ; Central Michigan Univ; Univ of Nevada Las Vegas; Central Michigan Univ rober2sp@cmich.edu

The effects of behavioral costs on physiological performance and senescence may be profound in volant insects, which during flight have among the highest metabolic rates ever measured. Indeed, previous studies have shown that natural and experimental limitation of flight behavior in insects extends lifespan and slows the age-related loss of antioxidant capacity and accumulation of oxidative damage in flight muscles. In this study, we manipulated the lifetime flight behavior of Drosophila melanogaster. Specifically, 5-day old adult flies were separated into three life-long treatments: (A) those not allowed to fly (no flight), (B) those allowed – but not induced – to fly (voluntary flight), and (C) those mechanically stimulated to perform over 100 flight bouts per day (induced flight). Consistent with the oxidative stress model of aging, preliminary results show that Drosophila prevented from flying lived longer than those allowed or stimulated to fly. Flight capacity, measured as the ability to fly in a hypodense gas mixture (21% O2, 39.5% N2, 39.5% He; 0.81 g l-1), decreased with age in all treatment groups, but decreased earliest in flies from the no-flight treatment. Extended longevity in flies from the no-flight treatment suggests that oxidative damage accrues more slowly in this treatment group. However, early loss of flight capacity in the no-flight group indicates that disuse effects are the primary determinant of the age-dependent decay of flight capacity in this group. Additional experiments are ongoing to compare age-dependent oxidative damage, flight muscle ultra-structure, flight kinematics, immune function, reproduction and metabolic capacity among the treatment groups.