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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 596240, 9 pages
Research Article

Supplemental Cellular Protection by a Carotenoid Extends Lifespan via Ins/IGF-1 Signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans

Department of Health Science, Daito Bunka University School of Sports and Health Science, Iwadono 560, Higashi-matsuyama, Saitama 355-8501, Japan

Received 1 June 2011; Revised 8 August 2011; Accepted 9 August 2011

Academic Editor: Consuelo Borras

Copyright © 2011 Koumei Yazaki et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Astaxanthin (AX), which is produced by some marine animals, is a type of carotenoid that has antioxidative properties. In this study, we initially examined the effects of AX on the aging of a model organism C. elegans that has the conserved intracellular pathways related to mammalian longevity. The continuous treatments with AX (0.1 to 1 mM) from both the prereproductive and young adult stages extended the mean lifespans by about 16–30% in the wild-type and long-lived mutant age-1 of C. elegans. In contrast, the AX-dependent lifespan extension was not observed even in a daf-16 null mutant. Especially, the expression of genes encoding superoxide dismutases and catalases increased in two weeks after hatching, and the DAF-16 protein was translocated to the nucleus in the AX-exposed wild type. These results suggest that AX protects the cell organelle mitochondria and nucleus of the nematode, resulting in a lifespan extension via an Ins/IGF-1 signaling pathway during normal aging, at least in part.