Age-related cellular changes in the long-lived bivalve A. islandica

Heike Gruber, Wiebke Wessels, Primrose Boynton, Jinze Xu, Stephanie Wohlgemuth, Christiaan Leeuwenburgh, Wenbo Qi, Steven N. Austad, Ralf Schaible, Eva E.R. Philipp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


One of the biggest challenges to studying causes and effects of aging is identifying changes in cells that are related to senescence instead of simply the passing of chronological time. We investigated two populations of the longest living non-colonial metazoan, Arctica islandica, with lifespans that differed sixfolds. Of four investigated parameters (nucleic acid oxidation, protein oxidation, lipid oxidation, and protein instability), only nucleic acid oxidation increased with age and correlated with relative lifespan. Nucleic acid oxidation levels increased significantly faster and were significantly higher in the shorter-lived than the longer-lived population. In contrast, neither protein oxidation, lipid oxidation, nor protein stability changed over time. Protein resistance to unfolding stress when treated with urea was significantly lower overall in the shorter-lived population, and lipid peroxidation levels were higher in the longer-lived population. With the exception of nucleic acid oxidation, damage levels of A. islandica do not change with age, indicating excellent cellular maintenance in both populations. Since correlations between nucleic acid oxidation and age have also been shown previously in other organisms, and nucleic acid oxidation accumulation rate correlates with relative age in both investigated populations, nucleic acid oxidation may reflect intrinsic aging mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number90
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 31 2015


  • Aging marker
  • Arctica islandica
  • Cellular maintenance
  • Longevity
  • Oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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