Rates of behavior and aging specified by mitochondrial function during development

Andrew Dillin, Ao Lin Hsu, Nuno Arantes-Oliveira, Joshua Lehrer-Graiwer, Honor Hsin, Andrew G. Fraser, Ravi S. Kamath, Julie Ahringer, Cynthia Kenyon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

813 Scopus citations


To explore the role of mitochondrial activity in the aging process, we have lowered the activity of the electron transport chain and adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP) synthase with RNA interference (RNAi) in Caenorhabditis elegans. These perturbations reduced body size and behavioral rates and extended adult life-span. Restoring messenger RNA to near-normal levels during adulthood did not elevate ATP levels and did not correct any of these phenotypes. Conversely, inhibiting respiratory-chain components during adulthood only did not reset behavioral rates and did not affect life-span. Thus, the developing animal appears to contain a regulatory system that monitors mitochondrial activity early in life and, in response, establishes rates of respiration, behavior, and aging that persist during adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2398-2401
Number of pages4
Issue number5602
StatePublished - 20 Dec 2002


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