Mitochondrial efficiency is increased in axenically cultured **Caenorhabditis elegans**
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Experimental gerontology. - Oxford
, p. 26-36
University of Antwerp
Culturing Caenorhabditis elegans in axenic medium leads to a twofold increase in lifespan and considering the similar phenotypical traits with dietary restricted animals, it is referred to as axenic dietary restriction (ADR). The free radical theory of aging has suggested a pivotal role for mitochondria in the aging process and previous findings established that culture in axenic medium increases metabolic rate. We asked whether axenic culture induces changes in mitochondrial functionality of C. elegans. We show that ADR induces increased electron transport chain (ETC) capacity, enhanced coupling efficiency and reduced leakiness of the mitochondria of young adult worms but not a decrease of ROS production capacity and in vivo H2O2 levels. The age-dependent increase in leak respiration and decrease in coupling efficiency is repressed under ADR conditions. Although ADR mitochondria experience a decrease in ETC capacity with age, they succeed to maintain highly efficient and well-coupled function compared to fully fed controls. This might be mediated by combination of a limited increase in supercomplex abundance and decreased individual CIV abundance, facilitating electron transport and ultimately leading to increased mitochondrial efficiency.