We have observed that berberine prolonged life span and improved viability of pupae and climbing activity of imagoes of wild-type Drosophila melanogaster maintained at 23°C. As a continuation of our studies of berberine effect on life span, we were interested to evaluate the effect of berberine of life span in flies maintained at a higher temperature (28°C) known to accelerate aging in wild type flies. Considering that genetically or pharmacologically induced deficiency of TRP conversion into KYN prolonged life span in a Drosophila model, we compared the effects of berberine, a powerful inhibitor of kynurenine (KYN) formation from tryptophan (TRP), on life span in wild type and in Drosophila melanogaster mutants (vermilion) with deficient TRP-KYN metabolism maintained at 23°C and 28°C. High (28°C) ambient temperature decreased life span in both wild type and vermilion flies. Aging accelerating effect of high temperature was more pronounced in Oregon than in vermilion flies (-60% vs. -40% decrease of mean life span, resp). Berberine attenuated the aging-accelerating effect of high temperature. Effect of berberine was more pronounced in Oregon (+46%) than in vermilion (+22%) flies. The obtained data suggested the possible involvement of TRP-KYN metabolism in the aging-acceleration effect of the high temperature and in protective effect of berberine.
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