Research Papers: Gerotarget (Focus on Aging):

Rapamycin preserves gut homeostasis during Drosophila aging

Xiaolan Fan, Qing Liang, Ting Lian, Qi Wu, Uma Gaur, Diyan Li, Deying Yang, Xueping Mao, Zhihua Jin, Ying Li and Mingyao Yang _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:35274-35283. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5895

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Xiaolan Fan1,*, Qing Liang1,*, Ting Lian1, Qi Wu1, Uma Gaur1, Diyan Li1, Deying Yang1, Xueping Mao1, Zhihua Jin2, Ying Li1 and Mingyao Yang1

1 Animal Genetic Resources Exploration and Innovation Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, P.R. China

2 School of Biotechnology and Chemical Engineering, Ningbo Institute of Technology, Zhejiang University, Zhejiang, P.R. China

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Mingyao Yang, email:

Keywords: Drosophila, gut homeostasis, intestinal stem cell, rapamycin, aging, Gerotarget

Received: September 15, 2015 Accepted: September 22, 2015 Published: September 29, 2015


Gut homeostasis plays an important role in maintaining the overall body health during aging. Rapamycin, a specific inhibitor of mTOR, exerts prolongevity effects in evolutionarily diverse species. However, its impact on the intestinal homeostasis remains poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that rapamycin can slow down the proliferation rate of intestinal stem cells (ISCs) in the aging guts and induce autophagy in the intestinal epithelium in Drosophila. Rapamycin can also significantly affect the FOXO associated genes in intestine and up-regulate the negative regulators of IMD/Rel pathway, consequently delaying the microbial expansion in the aging guts. Collectively, these findings reveal that rapamycin can delay the intestinal aging by inhibiting mTOR and thus keeping stem cell proliferation in check. These results will further explain the mechanism of healthspan and lifespan extension by rapamycin in Drosophila.

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