Published on Thu Apr 01 2021

A Hierarchical Process Model Links Behavioral Aging and Lifespan in C. elegans

Oswal, N., Martin, O. M. F., Stroustrup, S., Matusiak Bruckner, M. A., Stroustrup, N.

Aging involves a transition from youthful vigor to geriatric infirmity and death. We developed a new version of "the lifespan machine" that can measure age-associated changes in behavior and lifespan at high precision in large populations.

1
25
80
Abstract

Aging involves a transition from youthful vigor to geriatric infirmity and death. To study the relationship between youthful vigor and lifespan, we developed a new version of "the lifespan machine" that can simultaneously measure age-associated changes in behavior and lifespan at high precision in large populations. Across diverse interventions, we find that behavioral aging and lifespan are not parsimoniously explained as manifestations of a single underlying aging process. Instead, the correlation between youthful vigor and lifespan is better explained as the result of two partially independent aging processes that progress during adulthood under the influence of a shared, systemic factor. Our model provides a framework for separating the direct, targeted effects of lifespan-altering interventions from their broad, systemic effects--supporting future efforts in the rational design of clinical interventions in aging.