Aging Research Using Drosophila

As one of the most important model organisms, Drosophila has been widely used in aging biology, genetics and intervention studies in recent years, allowing rapid translation of results into mammalian models and extension to preventive medicine research.

Introduction of Aging Modeling in Drosophila

Aging is the phenomenon of declining or loss of function of cells, tissues, organs, etc. that occurs with the natural changes of time. It is a key factor in causing chronic diseases. Studies have found that aging is related to environmental influences, genetics and other factors. Therefore, an important purpose of studying the biology of aging is to achieve medical intervention.

Drosophila is one of the first model organisms used to study the genetics of aging and environmental interventions. First, the mechanisms of aging include nutrient-dependent signaling pathways that are significantly conserved. Numerous studies have shown that Drosophila can be used to detect key longevity and aging genes in pathways including the insulin signaling pathway (IIS), mTOR and AMPK pathway, as well as the protein kinase GCN2, amino acid signaling kinase mTOR, and FOXO transcription factor. Secondly, it is possible to understand the potential molecular mechanisms and therapeutic effects of aging-related diseases, such as diet, stress, circadian rhythm, etc., through increasingly sophisticated experimental designs.

Comparative depiction of the IIS pathway regulatory components and their evolutionary conservation in mammals and in DrosophilaFig.1 Comparative depiction of the IIS pathway regulatory components and their evolutionary conservation in mammals and in Drosophila (Evangelakou et al. 2019)

Drosophila Application in Aging Study

Aging is a complex pathophysiological process of damage repair imbalance involving multiple mechanisms, such as increased oxidative stress, stem cell depletion, changes in intercellular communication, reduced gene stability, telomere ablation, epigenetic alterations, loss of proteostasis, dysregulation of nutrient metabolism and mitochondrial dysfunction. Drosophila has been used for functional aging studies at the organ and tissue levels, and to some extent can advance the study of anti-aging mechanisms in mammals and translational medicine.

Aging Biomarkers - Systemic molecular markers of aging found in Drosophila include protein carbonylation, lipid peroxidation, protein aggregation, and advanced glycosylation end products (AGE). Thus, methods for quantitative and qualitative assessment of the aging process can be developed.

Dysbiosis in The Aging Gut - The gut is the digestive and nutrient absorption organ, and plays a key role in dietary regulation of the rate of aging. Studies have shown that the Drosophila gut model can be used to study the relationship between inflammation, stem cell dysregulation and barrier dysfunction and changes in aging.

Cardiac Aging - Cardiac failure is an important manifestation of aging in clinical practice. Many genes controlling heart development show highly conserved between Drosophila and mammals. The adult Drosophila heart model is often used to study the gene function and regulatory mechanisms of heart rate dysfunction and reduced stress capacity due to aging.

Muscle Aging -The quantity and quality of muscle cells decline with age, affecting energy metabolism. Drosophila muscle tissue has a relatively high capacity for lipid oxidation, similar to mammalian skeletal muscle, associated with high power energy output. Therefore, it can be used to study the relationship between muscle aging and mitochondrial dysfunction and metabolic defects.

Brain Aging - Many neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease are associated with a decline in cellular metabolic function. However, it is technically difficult to treat the brain with anti-aging treatments. Relying on the research of the Drosophila brain model, the discovery of molecular mechanisms that interfere with the aging process can delay the onset of disease, which is important for translational medicine.

Overview of the physiological and genetic factors that dictate Drosophila agingFig.2 Overview of the physiological and genetic factors that dictate Drosophila aging (Piper et al. 2018)

Related Services

CD BioSciences offers a range of Drosophila-related services to help clients around the world address mechanisms of aging and facilitate therapeutic pathway development.

The general procedure for Drosophila aging studies is to establish appropriate aging models and design of intervention conditions. Genetic analysis is then performed by means of nucleic acid analysis, including GWAS, metabolomics, proteomics and lipidology to analyze relevant markers. In addition, we can also perform Drosophila epigenomics to improve the accuracy of the study.

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CD BioSciences is committed to advancing bioscience technology and basic research using Drosophila. With proven technologies and years of experience in the field of fruit fly, our PhD team conducts one-to-one technical consultancy and Drosophila-based integration services to our clients' projects. Please feel free to contact us starting your private project customization.


  • He Y, et al. (2014). Studying aging in Drosophila. Methods, 68(1), 129-133.
  • Piper MD, et al. (2018). Drosophila as a model for ageing. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Molecular Basis of Disease, 1864(9), 2707-2717.
  • Evangelakou Z, et al. (2019). Nutrigenomics as a tool to study the impact of diet on aging and age-related diseases: the Drosophila approach. Genes & nutrition, 14(1), 1-18.

For research use only. Not intended for any clinical use.

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