Lifespan extension in Caenorhabditis elegans by complete removal of food

Tammi L. Kaeberlein, Erica D. Smith, Mitsuhiro Tsuchiya, K. Linnea Welton, James H. Thomas, Stanley Fields, Brian K. Kennedy, Matt Kaeberlein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

206 Scopus citations


A partial reduction in food intake has been found to increase lifespan in many different organisms. We report here a new dietary restriction regimen in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, based on the standard agar plate lifespan assay, in which adult worms are maintained in the absence of a bacterial food source. These findings represent the first report in any organism of lifespan extension in response to prolonged starvation. Removal of bacterial food increases lifespan to a greater extent than partial reduction of food through a mechanism that is distinct from insulin/IGF-like signaling and the Sir2-family deacetylase, SIR-2.1. Removal of bacterial food also increases lifespan when initiated in postreproductive adults, suggesting that dietary restriction started during middle age can result in a substantial longevity benefit that is independent of reproduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-494
Number of pages8
JournalAging Cell
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Caloric restriction
  • Calorie restriction
  • Dietary restriction
  • Lifespan
  • Stress resistance
  • Worms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cell Biology

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