2Department of Biochemistry and Toxicology, Faculty of Biology and Animal Breeding, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Lublin, Poland; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
3Department of Zoology, Museum Zoological/Laboratory, Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Lublin, Poland; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
4Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Lublin, Poland; E-mail: email@example.com
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received May 22, 2014; Revision received June 26, 2014
We examined the influence of caffeine on honeybee lifespan, Nosema resistance, key enzyme activities, metabolic compound concentrations, and total DNA methylation levels. Caffeine slowed age-related metabolic tendencies. Bees that consumed caffeine lived longer and were not infested with Nosema spp. Caffeine-treated workers had higher protein concentrations. The levels increased with aging but they then decreased in older bees. Caffeine increased the activities of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, GPx, CAT, GST), AST, ALT, ALP, neutral proteases, and protease inhibitors, and the concentrations of uric acid, triglycerides, cholesterol, glucose, and Ca2+. Acidic and alkaline protease activities were lower in the bees treated with caffeine. Creatinine and Mg2+ concentrations were higher in the caffeine-treated workers but only up to 14 days of age. Caffeine significantly decreased DNA methylation levels in older bees. The compound could be considered as a natural diet supplement increasing apian resistance to stress factors. Our studies will enhance possibilities of using Apis mellifera as a model organism in gerontological studies.
KEY WORDS: honeybee, caffeine, vitality, antioxidant, proteolysis, DNA methylation