Life and death: metabolic rate, membrane composition, and life span of animals.

  title={Life and death: metabolic rate, membrane composition, and life span of animals.},
  author={A. J. Hulbert and R. Pamplona and Rochelle Buffenstein and William A. Buttemer},
  journal={Physiological reviews},
  volume={87 4},
Maximum life span differences among animal species exceed life span variation achieved by experimental manipulation by orders of magnitude. The differences in the characteristic maximum life span of species was initially proposed to be due to variation in mass-specific rate of metabolism. This is called the rate-of-living theory of aging and lies at the base of the oxidative-stress theory of aging, currently the most generally accepted explanation of aging. However, the rate-of-living theory of… 

Explaining longevity of different animals: is membrane fatty acid composition the missing link?

Membrane fatty acid composition is a little appreciated but important correlate of the rate of aging of animals and the determination of their longevity.

From bivalves to birds : oxidative stress and longevity

There is a consistent positive correlation between rates of ROS formation and antioxidant levels among most animals examined so far for these traits, and the consensus of these studies is that ROS and antioxidants levels are inversely related to MLSP.

Membrane lipid unsaturation as physiological adaptation to animal longevity

The physiological mechanisms underlying the structural adaptation of cellular membranes to oxidative stress are described and explained and the meaning of this adaptive mechanism is explained, and the state of the art about the link between membrane composition and longevity of animal species is reviewed.

Regulation of Membrane Unsaturation as Antioxidant Adaptive Mechanism in Long-lived Animal Species

The physiological mechanisms underlying the structural adaption of cellular membranes to oxidative stress are described, the meaning of this adaptive mechanism is explained, and the state of the art about the link between membrane composition and longevity of animal species is reviewed.

Membrane lipids and maximum lifespan in clownfish

Results denote that the magnitude (and sometimes the direction) of the differences observed in membrane lipid composition and peroxidation index with MLSP cannot explain alone the diversity in longevity found among fishes.

Exceptionally old mice are highly resistant to lipoxidation-derived molecular damage

Low lipid oxidation susceptibility and maintenance of adult-like protein lipoxidative damage could be key mechanisms for longevity achievement.

Comparative studies of oxidative stress and mitochondrial function in aging.

There is need for more thorough and controlled investigations with more unconventional animal models for a deeper understanding of the role of oxidative stress in longevity, and the pitfalls and limitations of these investigations are discussed.

Metabolic rate and membrane fatty acid composition in birds: a comparison between long-living parrots and short-living fowl

All birds had lower n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid content in mitochondrial membranes compared to those of the corresponding tissue, and irrespective of reliance on flight for locomotion, both pectoral and leg muscle had an almost identical membrane fatty acid composition in all birds.

The extreme longevity of Arctica islandica is associated with increased peroxidation resistance in mitochondrial membranes

It is demonstrated that the PI also decreases with increasing longevity in marine bivalves and that it decreases faster in the mitochondrial membrane than in other membranes in general, which can partly explain this species’ extreme longevity.



On the importance of fatty acid composition of membranes for aging.

  • A. Hulbert
  • Biology
    Journal of theoretical biology
  • 2005

Membrane Fatty Acid Unsaturation, Protection against Oxidative Stress, and Maximum Life Span

The physiological meaning of these findings and the effects of experimental manipulations such as dietary stress, caloric restriction, and endocrine control in relation to aging and longevity are discussed.

Rate of generation of oxidative stress-related damage and animal longevity.

  • G. Barja
  • Biology
    Free radical biology & medicine
  • 2002

The links between membrane composition, metabolic rate and lifespan.

  • A. Hulbert
  • Biology, Chemistry
    Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology
  • 2008

Effect of age and metabolic rate on lipid peroxidation in the housefly, Musca domestica L.

Superoxide dismutase: correlation with life-span and specific metabolic rate in primate species.

The ratio of superoxide dismutase specific activity to specific metabolic rate of the tissue or of the whole adult organism was found to increase with increasing maximum lifespan potential for all the species, suggesting that longer-lived species have a higher degree of protection against by-products of oxygen metabolism.

Minireview: the role of oxidative stress in relation to caloric restriction and longevity.

Recent reports of caloric restriction and longevity are reviewed, focusing on mitochondrial oxidative stress and the proposed mechanisms leading to an extended longevity in calorie-restricted animals.

Peroxide-producing potential of tissues: inverse correlation with longevity of mammalian species.

  • R. Cutler
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1985
Kinetic analysis of the data indicates that the amount of peroxidizable substrate was the major factor determining the rate of autoxidation, and the hypothesis that aging may be caused in part by oxygen radicals initiating peroxidation reactions is supported.

Oxidation-resistant membrane phospholipids can explain longevity differences among the longest-living rodents and similarly-sized mice.

Naked mole-rat peroxidation indices, calculated from muscle and liver mitochondrial membranes, concur with those predicted by MLS rather than by body size, suggesting that membrane phospholipid composition is an important determinant of longevity.

Is the mitochondrial free radical theory of aging intact?

Comparative studies consistently show that long-lived mammals and birds have low rates of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and low levels of oxidative damage in their mitochondrial DNA, which is consistent with the predictions of the mitochondrial free radical theory of aging.