Evaluation of the lifespan extension effects of several Turkish medicinal plants in Caenorhabditis elegans
Research on longevity is important to both prolong lifespan and support healthy aging. Natural products are widely being utilized and used as new resources for drug molecules. Caenorhabditis elegans is an advantageous organism for longevity research and age-related diseases. In this study, we tested a number of plant extracts for their effects on C. elegans longevity. In lifespan assays, agesynchronized wild-type C. elegans specimens were treated with different concentrations of plant extracts. Plant extracts were prepared as either infusions or decoctions, similar to their traditional utilization. Hedera helix L. (Araliaceae) extended lifespan in worms in a concentration-dependent manner. The mean survival rates in the H. helix-treated groups were significantly higher, by 23.7% when applied at 1000 µg/mL, 16% when applied at 500 µg/mL, and 16% when applied at 250 µg/mL, compared to the control group. HPLC analysis identified chlorogenic acid as the major component of H. helix. Salvia verticillata L. (Lamiaceae) and Myrtus communis L. (Myrtaceae) treatments resulted in median lifespan extension. Maximum lifespan was extended in worms by Rubus sanctus Schreb. (Rosaceae) treatment. This study provided the first evidence demonstrating the possible lifespan-extending effects of a group of Turkish medicinal plants in an in vivo model, C. elegans.