Current mechanistic theories of aging would predict that many species of birds, given their unusually high metabolic rates, body temperatures, and blood sugar levels, should age more rapidly than mammals of comparable size. On the contrary, many avian species display unusually long life spans. This finding suggests that cells and tissues from some avian species may enjoy unusually robust and/or unique protective mechanisms against fundamental aging processes, including a relatively high resistance to oxidative stress. We therefore compared the sensitivities of presumptively homologous epithelial somatic cells derived from bird and mouse kidneys to various forms of oxidative stress. When compared to murine cells, we found enhanced resistance of avian cells from three species (budgerigars, starlings, canaries) to 95% oxygen, hydrogen peroxide, paraquat, and γ-radiation. Differential resistance to 95% oxygen was demonstrated with both replicating and quiescent cultures. Hydrogen peroxide was shown to induce DNA single- strand breaks. There were fewer breaks in avian cells than in mouse cells when similarly challenged.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences|
|State||Published - 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology