Is life span extension in single gene long-lived Caenorhabditis elegans mutants due to hypometabolism?
– Van Voorhies WA Exp Gerontol 2003 Jun;38(6):615-8. The nematode C. elegans is widely used in aging research largely because of the identification of numerous gene mutations that significantly increase worm longevity. While model organisms such as C. elegans can provide important insights into aging it is also important to consider the limitations of these systems. For example, ectothermic (poikilothermic) organisms are able to tolerate a much larger metabolic depression than humans and considering only chronological longevity when assaying for long-lived mutants provides a limited perspective on the mechanisms by which longevity is increased. In order to provide true insight into the aging process additional physiological processes, such as metabolic rate, must also be assayed. Currently it is controversial when long-lived C. elegans mutants retain normal metabolic function. Resolving this issue requires accurately measuring the metabolic rate of C. elegans under conditions that mini