Aging is associated with an increased incidence and severity of acute renal failure. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the increased susceptibility to injury remains undefined. These experiments were designed to investigate the influence of age on the response of the kidney to ischemic injury and to identify candidate genes that may mediate this response. Renal slices prepared from young (5 mo), aged ad libitum (aged-AL; 24 mo), and aged caloric-restricted (aged-CR; 24 mo) male Fischer 344 rats were subjected to ischemic stress (100% N2) for 0–60 min. As assessed by biochemical and histological evaluation, slices from aged-AL rats were more susceptible to injury than young counterparts. Importantly, caloric restriction attenuated the increased susceptibility to injury. In an attempt to identify the molecular pathway(s) underlying this response, microarray analysis was performed on tissue harvested from the same animals used for the viability experiments. RNA was isolated and the corresponding cDNA was hybridized to CodeLink Rat Whole Genome Bioarray slides. Subsequent gene expression analysis was performed using GeneSpring software. Using two-sample t-tests and a twofold cut-off, the expression of 92 genes was changed during aging and attenuated by caloric restriction, including claudin-7, kidney injury molecule-1 (Kim-1), and matrix metalloproteinase-7 (MMP-7). Claudin-7 gene expression peaked at 18 mo; however, increased protein expression in certain tubular epithelial cells was seen at 24 mo. Kim-1 gene expression was not elevated at 8 or 12 mo but was at 18 and 24 mo. However, changes in Kim-1 protein expression were only seen at 24 mo and corresponded to increased urinary levels. Importantly, these changes were attenuated by caloric restriction. MMP-7 gene expression was decreased at 8 mo, but an age-dependent increase was seen at 24 mo. Increased MMP-7 protein expression in tubular epithelial cells at 24 mo was correlated with the gene expression pattern. In summary, we identified genes changed by aging and changes attenuated by caloric restriction. This will facilitate investigation into the molecular mechanism mediating the age-related increase in susceptibility to injury.
Keywords: ischemia, microarray analysis