N-Acetylcysteine extends lifespan of Drosophila via modulating ROS scavenger gene expression.


Department of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Inje University, Inje-ro 197, Gimhae, Gyeongnam, 50834, Republic of Korea. [Email]


N-Acetylcysteine (NAc) has been shown to play a diversity of favorable health-related roles (e.g., antioxidant, paracetamol antidote, mucolytics, neuroprotective agent). Having said that, here in this study, we evaluate the health-promoting properties of NAc, particularly its ability to modulate organismal longevity. We note that 1 mg/ml NAc prolonged the lifespan of Drosophila. Furthermore, it was observed that NAc increased the capability of these flies to resist environmental stresses measured by starvation and paraquat stress assays. In an effort to reveal cellular mechanisms behind this interesting phenomenon, qPCR was performed, uncovering that transcript levels of catalase and phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase-key enzymes to fend off reactive oxygen species (ROS) assaults, were up-regulated. Correspondingly, enzyme activities of catalase and glutathione peroxidase were increased as well. Combined, we hope our research helps broaden the spectrum of clinical application for NAc so that one may eventually determine if NAc is a potentially useful anti-aging agent by encouraging others to scrutinize the hidden health benefits of NAc.