Aging is characterized by progressive, degenerative changes in many tissues. To elucidate the relationships among degenerative changes in Caenorhabditis elegans, we developed methods to measure age-related changes quantitatively and analyzed correlations among these changes by using a longitudinal study. The age-related declines of pharyngeal pumping and body movement were positively correlated with each other and lifespan. These findings suggest that the declines of pharyngeal pumping and body movement cause a decline in survival probability or that a shared regulatory system mediates the declines in pharyngeal pumping, body movement, and survival probability. Furthermore, measurements of these processes can be used to predict lifespan and detect premature aging. The declines of physiological processes were measured in daf-2, age-1, daf-16, eat-2, and clk-1 mutants that have altered lifespans. Each mutant strain displayed changes in one or more age-related declines, but the correlations among age-related changes were similar to WT. These measurements were used to generate a system of four stages that describes the aging process and is useful for the analysis of genetic and environmental effects on aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8084-8089
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 21 2004


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