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Reproductive Suicide: Similar Mechanisms of Aging in C. elegans and Pacific Salmon

Gems, David, Kern, Carina C., Nour, Joseph, Ezcurra, Marina (2021) Reproductive Suicide: Similar Mechanisms of Aging in C. elegans and Pacific Salmon. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, 9 . Article Number 688788. E-ISSN 2296-634X. (doi:10.3389/fcell.2021.688788) (KAR id:91095)

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In some species of salmon, reproductive maturity triggers the development of massive pathology resulting from reproductive effort, leading to rapid post-reproductive death. Such reproductive death, which occurs in many semelparous organisms (with a single bout of reproduction), can be prevented by blocking reproductive maturation, and this can increase lifespan dramatically. Reproductive death is often viewed as distinct from senescence in iteroparous organisms (with multiple bouts of reproduction) such as humans. Here we review the evidence that reproductive death occurs in C. elegans and discuss what this means for its use as a model organism to study aging. Inhibiting insulin/IGF-1 signaling and germline removal suppresses reproductive death and greatly extends lifespan in C. elegans, but can also extend lifespan to a small extent in iteroparous organisms. We argue that mechanisms of senescence operative in reproductive death exist in a less catastrophic form in iteroparous organisms, particularly those that involve costly resource reallocation, and exhibit endocrine-regulated plasticity. Thus, mechanisms of senescence in semelparous organisms (including plants) and iteroparous ones form an etiological continuum. Therefore understanding mechanisms of reproductive death in C. elegans can teach us about some mechanisms of senescence that are operative in iteroparous organisms.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3389/fcell.2021.688788
Uncontrolled keywords: aging, C. elegans, programmatic aging, reproductive death, semelparity, senescent pathology
Subjects: Q Science > QP Physiology (Living systems)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Biosciences
Depositing User: Marina Ezcurra
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2021 15:58 UTC
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2022 23:13 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Ezcurra, Marina:
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