Serotonin and dopamine modulate aging in response to food od
An organism’s ability to perceive and respond to changes in its environment is crucial for its health and survival. Here they reveal how the most well-studied longevity intervention, dietary restriction, acts in-part through a cell non-autonomous signaling pathway that is inhibited by the presence of attractive smells. Using an intestinal reporter for a key gene induced by dietary restriction but suppressed by attractive smells, they identify three compounds that block food odor effects in C. elegans, thereby increasing longevity as dietary restriction mimetics. These compounds clearly implicate serotonin and dopamine in limiting lifespan in response to food odor. They further identified a chemosensory neuron that likely perceives food odor, an enteric neuron that signals through the serotonin receptor 5-HT1A/SER-4, and a dopaminergic neuron that signals through the dopamine receptor DRD2/DOP-3. Aspects of this pathway are conserved in D. melanogaster. Thus, blocking food odor signaling through antagonism of serotonin or dopamine receptors is a plausible approach to mimic the benefits of dietary restriction.