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The Neuroprotector Benzothiazepine CGP37157 Extends Lifespan in C. elegans Worms

  • García-Casas, Paloma1
  • Arias-del-Val, Jessica1
  • Alvarez-Illera, Pilar1
  • Wojnicz, Aneta2
  • de los Ríos, Cristobal2
  • Fonteriz, Rosalba I.1
  • Montero, Mayte1
  • Alvarez, Javier1
  • 1 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Biology and Molecular Genetics (IBGM), University of Valladolid and CSIC, Valladolid , (Spain)
  • 2 Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Instituto Teófilo Hernando, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria la Princesa (IP), Hospital Universitario de la Princesa, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), Madrid , (Spain)
Published Article
Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Jan 17, 2019
DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2018.00440
  • Neuroscience
  • Original Research


The benzothiazepine CGP37157 has shown neuroprotective effects in several in vitro models of excitotoxicity involving dysregulation of intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis. Although its mechanism of neuroprotection is unclear, it is probably related with some of its effects on Ca2+ homeostasis. CGP37157 is a well-known inhibitor of the mitochondrial Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (mNCX). However, it is not very specific and also blocks several other Ca2+ channels and transporters, including voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, plasma membrane Na+/Ca2+ exchanger and the Ca2+ homeostasis modulator 1 channel (CALHM1). In the present work, we have studied if CGP37157 could also induce changes in life expectancy. We now report that CGP37157 extends C. elegans lifespan by 10%–15% with a bell-shaped concentration-response, with high concentrations producing no effect. The effect was even larger (25% increase in life expectancy) in worms fed with heat-inactivated bacteria. The worm CGP37157 concentration producing maximum effect was measured by high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) and was close to the IC50 for inhibition of the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger. CGP37157 also extended the lifespan in eat-2 mutants (a model for caloric restriction), suggesting that caloric restriction is not involved in the mechanism of lifespan extension. Actually, CGP37157 produced no effect in mutants of the TOR pathway (daf15/unc24) or the insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) pathway (daf-2), indicating that the effect involves these pathways. Moreover, CGP37157 was also ineffective in nuo-6 mutants, which have a defect in the mitochondrial respiratory chain complex I. Since it has been described that neuroprotection by this compound in cell cultures is abolished by mitochondrial inhibitors, this suggests that life extension in C. elegans and neuroprotection in cell cultures may share a similar mechanism involving mitochondria.

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