Reproduction and longevity: secrets revealed by C. elegans

UMMS Affiliation

Program in Gene Function and Expression; Program in Molecular Medicine



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Aging; Animals; Caenorhabditis elegans; development; Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins; Cell Lineage; Disorders of Sex Development; Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental; Genitalia; Germ Cells; Gonads; Insulin; Insulin-Like Growth Factor I; Intestines; Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins; Longevity; Models, Biological; Receptor, Insulin; Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta; Reproduction; Signal Transduction; Transcription Factors; Transforming Growth Factor beta


Genetics and Genomics


What is the relationship between reproduction and longevity? Evolutionary biology suggests that reproduction exacts a cost in somatic maintenance, a cost that reduces longevity. The frequent occurrence of this tradeoff between life span and fecundity, both due to experimental manipulations as well as natural variation, suggest that the mechanism might be conserved during evolution. Until recently, little was known about the mechanistic details of how reproduction might regulate life span. Here we discuss recent advances in our understanding of the regulation of life span by reproductive signaling, focusing on studies using Caenorhabditis elegans.

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Citation: Trends Cell Biol. 2007 Feb;17(2):65-71. Epub 2006 Dec 21. Link to article on publisher's site

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