Honors College Thesis


The Effects of Vitamin E on the Lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans Strains with Mitochondrial Mutations Public Deposited

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  • Although assays have been done on the effects of vitamin E alpha-tocopherol (ɑ-tocopherol) on the lifespan of wildtype C. elegans, none have been done on the effects of the vitamin on mutant strains with mitochondrial mutations. By using a mev-1 genetic mutant strain of C. elegans with higher levels of reactive oxygen species, the antioxidant effects of vitamin E on lifespan can be further elucidated. N2 wildtype and mev-1 strains were exposed to 200 μg/mL concentrations of ɑ-tocopherol. They were treated for different exposure times of 2 and 24 hours respectively, and were monitored for lifespan. The mev-1 strain exhibited a shorter mean lifespan than N2 wildtype in all treatment groups. N2 wildtype exhibited a mean lifespan increase in the 2 hour exposure with ɑ-tocopherol, but the result was not significant (p=0.89). The 2 hour mev-1 treatment group exhibited a 21.7% increase in lifespan compared to the 2 hour mev-1 control group (p=0.023). 24 hour treatment groups showed a general decrease in lifespan compared to the control groups, but the results were not significant. The ɑ-tocopherol appears to have a greater impact on mev-1 than N2 when the strain is exposed to ɑ-tocopherol for 2 hours. This result further supports a possible link between free radical damage and aging.
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