Maternal effects on lifespan

Axel Kowald a-kowald at
Fri Jan 21 07:25:50 EST 1994

In article <2hklspINNe50 at>,
cummins at (Jim Cummins) wrote:

> Sorry  to be a bore on this topic, but it occurred to me last night
> that if life span is indeed maternally inherited in part, then  there
> may be an association between maternal age at conception and the life
> expectancy of offspring.  The thinking behind this is related to female

Well, I don't know about those effects for humans, but for yeast a similar
effect exists. Egilmez & Jazwinski (J. Bact., 171,37-42, 1989) showed that
the generation times (cell doubling times) increased for old yeast cells.
The interesting bit is that daughters from old mother cells had initially
the same long generation times as the mother. However, after 3-4 divisions
the generation times of the daughters decreased to the normal generation
time for young cells.

So it seems, there is some kind of maternally inherited effect. Egilmez &
Jazwinski suggest some kind of substance which gets transmitted from mother
to daughter and is then either diluted or degraded.

Axel Kowald
School of Biological Sciences
University of Manchester
England 			Tel +44-61-2755652			Fax +44-61-2755654

More information about the Ageing mailing list