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Invertebrate Reproduction & Development

Mahadev Murthy, Jeffrey L Ram
Invertebrate model systems, such as nematodes and fruit flies, have provided valuable information about the genetics and cellular biology involved in aging. However, limitations of these simple, genetically tractable organisms suggest the need for other model systems, some of them invertebrate, to facilitate further advances in the understanding of mechanisms of aging and longevity in mammals, including humans. This paper introduces 10 review articles about the use of invertebrate model systems for the study of aging by authors who participated in an 'NIA-NIH symposium on aging in invertebrate model systems' at the 2013 International Congress for Invertebrate Reproduction and Development...
January 30, 2015: Invertebrate Reproduction & Development
Heidi A Tissenbaum
Over a century ago, the zoologist Emile Maupas first identified the nematode, Rhabditis elegans, in the soil in Algiers. Subsequent work and phylogenic studies renamed the species Caenorhabditis elegans or more commonly referred to as C. elegans; (Caeno meaning recent; rhabditis meaning rod; elegans meaning nice). However, it was not until 1963, when Sydney Brenner, already successful from his work on DNA, RNA, and the genetic code, suggested the future of biological research lay in model organisms. Brenner believed that biological research required a model system that could grow in vast quantities in the lab, were cheap to maintain and had a simple body plan, and he chose the nematode C...
January 30, 2015: Invertebrate Reproduction & Development
Heinrich Jasper
The gastrointestinal tract, due to its role as a digestive organ and as a barrier between the exterior and interior milieus, is critically impacted by dietary, environmental, and inflammatory conditions that influence health and lifespan. Work in flies is now uncovering the multifaceted molecular mechanisms that control homeostasis in this tissue, and establishing its central role in health and lifespan of metazoans. The Drosophila intestine has thus emerged as a productive, genetically accessible model to study various aspects of the pathophysiology of aging...
January 30, 2015: Invertebrate Reproduction & Development
Roma Munday, Delany Rodriguez, Alessandro Di Maio, Susannah Kassmer, Brian Braden, Daryl A Taketa, Adam Langenbacher, Anthony De Tomaso
What mechanisms underlie aging? One theory, the wear-and-tear model, attributes aging to progressive deterioration in the molecular and cellular machinery which eventually lead to death through the disruption of physiological homeostasis. The second suggests that life span is genetically programmed, and aging may be derived from intrinsic processes which enforce a non-random, terminal time interval for the survivability of the organism. We are studying an organism that demonstrates both properties: the colonial ascidian, Botryllus schlosseri...
January 30, 2015: Invertebrate Reproduction & Development
Anthony J Bellantuono, Diane Bridge, Daniel E Martínez
Hydra represents a unique model system for the study of senescence, with the opportunity for the comparison of non-aging and induced senescence. Hydra maintains three stem cell lineages, used for continuous tissue morphogenesis and replacement. Recent work has elucidated the roles of the insulin/IGF-1 signaling target FoxO, of Myc proteins, and of PIWI proteins in Hydra stem cells. Under laboratory culture conditions, Hydra vulgaris show no signs of aging even under long-term study. In contrast, Hydra oligactis can be experimentally induced to undergo reproduction-associated senescence...
January 30, 2015: Invertebrate Reproduction & Development
Ayelet Voskoboynik, Irving L Weissman
The decline of tissue regenerative potential with the loss of stem cell function is a hallmark of mammalian aging. We study Botryllus schlosseri, a colonial chordate which exhibits robust stem cell-mediated regeneration capacities throughout life. Larvae, derived by sexual reproduction and chordate development, metamorphose to clonal founders that undergo weekly formation of new individuals by budding from stem cells. Individuals are transient structures which die through massive apoptosis, and successive buds mature to replicate an entire new body...
January 30, 2015: Invertebrate Reproduction & Development
Robert Arking
Curcumin feeding of Drosophila larvae or young adults inhibits TOR and other known longevity genes and induces an extended health span in a normal-lived Ra strain adult. Combining larval curcumin feeding with an adult dietary restriction (DR) diet does not yield an additive effect. The age-specific mortality rate is decreased and is comparable with that of genetically selected long-lived La animals. Feeding Ra adults with the drug their whole life, or only during the senescent span, results in a weak negative effect on median longevity with no increase in maximum lifespan...
January 30, 2015: Invertebrate Reproduction & Development
Andrea G Bodnar
Sea urchins exhibit a very different life history from humans and short-lived model animals and therefore provide the opportunity to gain new insight into the complex process of aging. Sea urchins grow indeterminately, regenerate damaged appendages, and reproduce throughout their lifespan. Some species show no increase in mortality rate at advanced ages. Nevertheless, different species of sea urchins have very different reported lifespans ranging from 4 to more than 100 years, thus providing a unique model to investigate the molecular, cellular, and physiological mechanisms underlying both lifespan determination and negligible senescence...
January 30, 2015: Invertebrate Reproduction & Development
Szymon Tomczyk, Kathleen Fischer, Steven Austad, Brigitte Galliot
Cnidarian Hydra polyps escape senescence, most likely due to the robust activity of their three stem cell populations. These stem cells continuously self-renew in the body column and differentiate at the extremities following a tightly coordinated spatial pattern. Paul Brien showed in 1953 that in one particular species, Hydra oligactis, cold-dependent sexual differentiation leads to rapid aging and death. Here, we review the features of this inducible aging phenotype. These cellular alterations, detected several weeks after aging was induced, are characterized by a decreasing density of somatic interstitial cell derivatives, a disorganization of the apical nervous system, and a disorganization of myofibers of the epithelial cells...
January 30, 2015: Invertebrate Reproduction & Development
Terry W Snell, Rachel K Johnston, Kristin E Gribble, David B Mark Welch
Comparative biogerontology has much to contribute to the study of aging. A broad range of aging rates has evolved to meet environmental challenges, and understanding these adaptations can produce valuable insights into aging. The supra Phylum Lophotrochozoa is particularly understudied and has several groups that have intriguing patterns of aging. Members of the lophotrochozoan phylum Rotifera are particularly useful for aging studies because cohort life tables can be conducted with them easily, and biochemical and genomic tools are available for examining aging mechanisms...
January 1, 2015: Invertebrate Reproduction & Development
William R Jeffery
The use of the tunicate Ciona intestinalis as a model system to study the relationship between regeneration and aging is reviewed. Ciona has powerful regeneration capacities, which fade with age. Some additional benefits are-, a relatively short life span, the ability to study regeneration in vitro, the close phylogenetic relationship between tunicates and vertebrates, and the host of molecular tools already established in this system. The neural complex (NC), the oral siphon (OS), and the oral siphon pigment organs (OPO) have high capacities for regeneration...
January 2015: Invertebrate Reproduction & Development
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