, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 47–65 | Cite as

Echinacoside, a phenylethanoid glycoside from Cistanche deserticola, extends lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans and protects from Aβ-induced toxicity

  • Wei Chen
  • Hong-Ru Lin
  • Cong-Min Wei
  • Xiao-Hua Luo
  • Meng-Lu Sun
  • Zhen-Zhou Yang
  • Xin-Yan Chen
  • Hong-Bing Wang
Research Article


Cistanche deserticola has been found to exert protection against aging and age-related diseases, but mechanisms underlying its longevity effects remain largely unclear. Here, the multicellular model organism Caenorhabditis elegans was employed to identify lifespan extending and protective effects against β-amyloid (Aβ) induced toxicity by echinacoside (ECH), a phenylethanoid glycoside isolated from C. deserticola. Our results showed that ECH extends the mean lifespan of worms and increases their survival under oxidative stress. Levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species and fat accumulation were also significantly suppressed by ECH. Moreover, ECH-mediated lifespan extension was found to be dependent on mev-1, eat-2, daf-2, and daf-16, but not sir-2.1 or hsf-1 genes. Furthermore, ECH triggered DAF-16 nuclear localization and upregulated two of its downstream targets, sod-3 and hsp-16.2. In addition, ECH significantly improved the survival of CL4176 worms in response to proteotoxic stress induced by Aβ protein aggregation. Collectively, these findings suggested that reactive oxygen species scavenging, dietary restriction, and insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling pathways could be partly involved in ECH-mediated lifespan extension. Thus, ECH may target multiple longevity mechanisms to extend lifespan and have a potency to prevent Alzheimer’s disease progression.

Graphical Abstract


Echinacoside Lifespan extension Anti-oxidation β-amyloid 



The authors thank the CGC Center (Minneapolis, MN, USA) and Prof. J. Fei at Tongji University for providing the worm culture. Financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation (Grant no. 31670347, 81001369 and 31170327), Shanghai Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (No. 15401901000) is gratefully acknowledged.

Supplementary material

10522_2017_9738_MOESM1_ESM.docx (271 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 270 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center for Translational Medicine, Shanghai East Hospital, School of Life Sciences and TechnologyTongji UniversityShanghaiChina

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