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1.  Resveratrol Metabolism in a Non-Human Primate, the Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus), Using Ultra-High-Performance Liquid Chromatography–Quadrupole Time of Flight 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91932.
The grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is a non-human primate used to study the ageing process. Resveratrol is a polyphenol that may increase lifespan by delaying age-associated pathologies. However, no information about resveratrol absorption and metabolism is available for this primate. Resveratrol and its metabolites were qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed in male mouse-lemur plasma (after 200−1 of oral resveratrol) by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC), coupled to a quadrupole-time-of-flight (Q-TOF) mass spectrometer used in full-scan mode. Data analyses showed, in MSE mode, an ion common to resveratrol and all its metabolites: m/z 227.072, and an ion common to dihydro-resveratrol metabolites: m/z 229.08. A semi-targeted study enabled us to identify six hydrophilic resveratrol metabolites (one diglucurono-conjugated, two monoglucurono-conjugated, one monosulfo-conjugated and two both sulfo- and glucurono-conjugated derivatives) and three hydrophilic metabolites of dihydro-resveratrol (one monoglucurono-conjugated, one monosulfo-conjugated, and one both sulfo- and glucurono-conjugated derivatives). The presence of such metabolites has been already detected in the mouse, rat, pig, and humans. Free resveratrol was measurable for several hours in mouse-lemur plasma, and its two main metabolites were trans-resveratrol-3-O-glucuronide and trans-resveratrol-3-sulfate. Free dihydro-resveratrol was not measurable whatever the time of plasma collection, while its hydrophilic metabolites were present at 24 h after intake. These data will help us interpret the effect of resveratrol in mouse lemurs and provide further information on the inter-species characteristics of resveratrol metabolism.
PMCID: PMC3963864  PMID: 24663435
2.  Caloric restriction or resveratrol supplementation and ageing in a non-human primate: first-year outcome of the RESTRIKAL study in Microcebus murinus 
Age  2010;33(1):15-31.
A life-long follow-up of physiological and behavioural functions was initiated in 38-month-old mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) to test whether caloric restriction (CR) or a potential mimetic compound, resveratrol (RSV), can delay the ageing process and the onset of age-related diseases. Based on their potential survival of 12 years, mouse lemurs were assigned to three different groups: a control (CTL) group fed ad libitum, a CR group fed 70% of the CTL caloric intake and a RSV group (200 mg/–1) fed ad libitum. Since this prosimian primate exhibits a marked annual rhythm in body mass gain during winter, animals were tested throughout the year to assess body composition, daily energy expenditure (DEE), resting metabolic rate (RMR), physical activity and hormonal levels. After 1 year, all mouse lemurs seemed in good health. CR animals showed a significantly decreased body mass compared with the other groups during long day period only. CR or RSV treatments did not affect body composition. CR induced a decrease in DEE without changes in RMR, whereas RSV induced a concomitant increase in DEE and RMR without any obvious modification of locomotor activity in both groups. Hormonal levels remained similar in each group. In summary, after 1 year of treatment CR and RSV induced differential metabolic responses but animals successfully acclimated to their imposed diets. The RESTRIKAL study can now be safely undertaken on a long-term basis to determine whether age-associated alterations in mouse lemurs are delayed with CR and if RSV can mimic these effects.
PMCID: PMC3063642  PMID: 20532988
Ageing; Food restriction; Resveratrol; Energy balance; Biomarkers; Doubly labelled water method
3.  Effects of Resveratrol on Daily Rhythms of Locomotor Activity and Body Temperature in Young and Aged Grey Mouse Lemurs 
In several species, resveratrol, a polyphenolic compound, activates sirtuin proteins implicated in the regulation of energy balance and biological clock processes. To demonstrate the effect of resveratrol on clock function in an aged primate, young and aged mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) were studied over a 4-week dietary supplementation with resveratrol. Spontaneous locomotor activity and daily variations in body temperature were continuously recorded. Reduction in locomotor activity onset and changes in body temperature rhythm in resveratrol-supplemented aged animals suggest an improved synchronisation on the light-dark cycle. Resveratrol could be a good candidate to restore the circadian rhythms in the elderly.
PMCID: PMC3745962  PMID: 23983895
4.  Effects of Chronic Calorie Restriction or Dietary Resveratrol Supplementation on Insulin Sensitivity Markers in a Primate, Microcebus murinus 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e34289.
The prevalence of diabetes and hyperinsulinemia increases with age, inducing metabolic failure and limiting lifespan. Calorie restriction (CR) without malnutrition delays the aging process, but its long-term application to humans seems difficult. Resveratrol (RSV), a dietary polyphenol, appears to be a promising CR mimetic that can be easily administered in humans. In this work, we hypothesized that both CR and RSV impact insulin sensitivity in a non-human primate compared to standard-fed control (CTL) animals. Four- to five-year-old male grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) were assigned to three dietary groups: a CTL group, a CR group receiving 30% fewer calories than the CTL and a RSV group receiving the CTL diet supplemented with RSV (200 mg·day−1·kg−1). Insulin sensitivity and glycemia were assessed using an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR index) evaluation after 21 or 33 months of chronic treatment. Resting metabolic rate was also measured to assess the potential relationships between this energy expenditure parameter and insulin sensitivity markers. No differences were found after a 21-month period of treatment, except for lower glucose levels 30 min after glucose loading in CR animals. After 33 months, CR and RSV decreased glycemia after the oral glucose loading without decreasing fasting blood insulin. A general effect of treatment was observed on the HOMA-IR index, with an 81% reduction in CR animals and 53% in RSV animals after 33 months of treatment compared to CTL. Chronic CR and dietary supplementation with RSV affected insulin sensitivity by improving the glucose tolerance of animals without disturbing their baseline insulin secretion. These results suggest that both CR and RSV have beneficial effects on metabolic alterations, although these effects are different in amplitude between the two anti-aging treatments and potentially rely on different metabolic changes.
PMCID: PMC3316613  PMID: 22479589
5.  Cognitive Performances Are Selectively Enhanced during Chronic Caloric Restriction or Resveratrol Supplementation in a Primate 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(1):e16581.
Effects of an 18-month treatment with a moderate, chronic caloric restriction (CR) or an oral supplementation with resveratrol (RSV), a potential CR mimetic, on cognitive and motor performances were studied in non-human primates, grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus).
Thirty-three adult male mouse lemurs were assigned to three different groups: a control (CTL) group fed ad libitum, a CR group fed 70% of the CTL caloric intake, and an RSV group (RSV supplementation of 200−−1) fed ad libitum. Three different cognitive tests, two motor tests, one emotional test and an analysis of cortisol level were performed in each group.
Compared to CTL animals, CR or RSV animals did not show any change in motor performances evaluated by rotarod and jump tests, but an increase in spontaneous locomotor activity was observed in both groups. Working memory was improved by both treatments in the spontaneous alternation task. Despite a trend for CR group, only RSV supplementation increased spatial memory performances in the circular platform task. Finally, none of these treatments induced additional stress to the animals as reflected by similar results in the open field test and cortisol analyses compared to CTL animals.
The present data provided the earliest evidence for a beneficial effect of CR or RSV supplementation on specific cognitive functions in a primate. Taken together, these results suggest that RSV could be a good candidate to mimic long-term CR effects and support the growing evidences that nutritional interventions can have beneficial effects on brain functions even in adults.
PMCID: PMC3031601  PMID: 21304942
6.  Impaired Control of Body Cooling during Heterothermia Represents the Major Energetic Constraint in an Aging Non-Human Primate Exposed to Cold 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(10):e7587.
Daily heterothermia is used by small mammals for energy and water savings, and seems to be preferentially exhibited during winter rather than during summer. This feature induces a trade-off between the energy saved during daily heterothermia and the energy cost of arousal, which can impact energy balance and survival under harsh environmental conditions. Especially, aging may significantly affect such trade off during cold-induced energy stress, but direct evidences are still lacking. We hypothesized that aging could alter the energetics of daily heterothermia, and that the effects could differ according to season. In the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), a non-human primate species which exhibits daily heterothermia, we investigated the effects of exposures to 25 and 12°C on body composition, energy balance, patterns of heterothermia and water turnover in adult (N = 8) and aged animals (N = 7) acclimated to winter-like or summer-like photoperiods.
Acclimation to summer prevented animals from deep heterothermia, even during aging. During winter, adult animals at 12°C and aged animals at 25°C exhibited low levels of energy expenditure with minor modulations of heterothermia. The major effects of cold were observed during winter, and were particularly pronounced in aged mouse lemurs which exhibited deep heterothermia phases. Body composition was not significantly affected by age and could not explain the age-related differences in heterothermia patterns. However, aging was associated with increased levels of energy expenditure during cold exposure, in concomitance with impaired energy balance. Interestingly, increased energy expenditure and depth of heterothermia phases were strongly correlated.
In conclusion, it appeared that the exhibition of shallow heterothermia allowed energy savings during winter in adult animals only. Aged animals exhibited deep heterothermia and increased levels of energy expenditure, impairing energy balance. Thus, an impaired control of the heterothermic process induced high energy costs in the aging mouse lemur exposed to cold.
PMCID: PMC2761491  PMID: 19851464
7.  The Grey Mouse Lemur Uses Season-Dependent Fat or Protein Sparing Strategies to Face Chronic Food Restriction 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(1):e8823.
During moderate calorie restriction (CR) the heterotherm Microcebus murinus is able to maintain a stable energy balance whatever the season, even if only wintering animals enter into torpor. To understand its energy saving strategies to respond to food shortages, we assessed protein and energy metabolisms associated with wintering torpor expression or summering torpor avoidance. We investigated body composition, whole body protein turnover, and daily energy expenditure (DEE), during a graded (40 and 80%) 35-day CR in short-days (winter; SD40 and SD80, respectively) and long-days (summer; LD40 and LD80, respectively) acclimated animals. LD40 animals showed no change in fat mass (FM) but a 12% fat free mass (FFM) reduction. Protein balance being positive after CR, the FFM loss was early and rapid. The 25% DEE reduction, in LD40 group was mainly explained by FFM changes. LD80 animals showed a steady body mass loss and were excluded from the CR trial at day 22, reaching a survival-threatened body mass. No data were available for this group. SD40 animals significantly decreased their FM level by 21%, but maintained FFM. Protein sparing was achieved through a 35 and 39% decrease in protein synthesis and catabolism (protein turnover), respectively, overall maintaining nitrogen balance. The 21% reduction in energy requirement was explained by the 30% nitrogen flux drop but also by torpor as DEE FFM-adjusted remained 13% lower compared to ad-libitum. SD80 animals were unable to maintain energy and nitrogen balances, losing both FM and FFM. Thus summering mouse lemurs equilibrate energy balance by a rapid loss of active metabolic mass without using torpor, whereas wintering animals spare protein and energy through increased torpor expression. Both strategies have direct fitness implication: 1) to maintain activities at a lower body size during the mating season and 2) to preserve an optimal wintering muscle mass and function.
PMCID: PMC2809095  PMID: 20098678
8.  Characterization of blood biochemical markers during aging in the Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus): impact of gender and season 
Hematologic and biochemical data are needed to characterize the health status of animal populations over time to determine the habitat quality and captivity conditions. Blood components and the chemical entities that they transport change predominantly with sex and age. The aim of this study was to utilize blood chemistry monitoring to establish the reference levels in a small prosimian primate, the Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus).
In the captive colony, mouse lemurs may live 10–12 years, and three age groups for both males and females were studied: young (1–3 years), middle-aged (4–5 years) and old (6–10 years). Blood biochemical markers were measured using the VetScan Comprehensive Diagnostic Profile. Because many life history traits of this primate are highly dependent on the photoperiod (body mass and reproduction), the effect of season was also assessed.
The main effect of age was observed in blood markers of renal functions such as creatinine, which was higher among females. Additionally, blood urea nitrogen significantly increased with age and is potentially linked to chronic renal insufficiency, which has been described in captive mouse lemurs. The results demonstrated significant effects related to season, especially in blood protein levels and glucose rates; these effects were observed regardless of gender or age and were likely due to seasonal variations in food intake, which is very marked in this species.
These results were highly similar with those obtained in other primate species and can serve as references for future research of the Grey Mouse Lemur.
PMCID: PMC3514280  PMID: 23131178
Aging; Blood biochemical markers; Grey Mouse Lemur; Microcebus murinus; Seasonality
9.  Resveratrol supplementation does not improve metabolic function in non-obese women with normal glucose tolerance 
Cell metabolism  2012;16(5):658-664.
Resveratrol has been reported to improve metabolic function in metabolically-abnormal rodents and humans, but has not been studied in non-obese people with normal glucose tolerance. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the metabolic effects of 12 weeks of resveratrol supplementation (75 mg/day) in non-obese, postmenopausal women with normal glucose tolerance. Although resveratrol supplementation increased plasma resveratrol concentration, it did not change body composition, resting metabolic rate, plasma lipids, or inflammatory markers. A two-stage hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp procedure, in conjunction with stable isotopically-labeled tracer infusions, demonstrated that resveratrol did not increase liver, skeletal muscle, or adipose tissue insulin sensitivity. Consistent with the absence of in vivo metabolic effects, resveratrol did not affect its putative molecular targets, including AMPK, Sirt1, Nampt, and Pgc-1α, in either skeletal muscle or adipose tissue. These findings demonstrate that resveratrol supplementation does not have beneficial metabolic effects in non-obese, postmenopausal women with normal glucose tolerance.
PMCID: PMC3496026  PMID: 23102619
10.  SirT1 gain-of-function increases energy efficiency and prevents diabetes in mice 
Cell metabolism  2008;8(4):333-341.
In yeast, worms and flies, an extra copy of the gene encoding the Sirtuin Sir2 increases metabolic efficiency, as does administration of polyphenols like resveratrol, thought to act through Sirtuins. But evidence that Sirtuin gain-of-function results in increased metabolic efficiency in mammals is limited. We generated transgenic mice with moderate overexpression of SirT1, designed to mimic the Sirtuin gain-of-function that improves metabolism in C.elegans. These mice exhibit normal insulin sensitivity, but decreased food intake and locomotor activity, resulting in decreased energy expenditure. However, in various models of insulin resistance and diabetes, SirT1 transgenics display improved glucose tolerance due to decreased hepatic glucose production and increased adiponectin levels, without changes in body weight or composition. We conclude that SirT1 gain-of-function primes the organism for metabolic adaptation to insulin resistance, increasing hepatic insulin sensitivity and decreasing whole-body energy requirements. These findings have important implications for Sirtuin-based therapies in humans.
PMCID: PMC3222897  PMID: 18840364
11.  The costs of risky male behaviour: sex differences in seasonal survival in a small sexually monomorphic primate 
Male excess mortality is widespread among mammals and frequently interpreted as a cost of sexually selected traits that enhance male reproductive success. Sex differences in the propensity to engage in risky behaviours are often invoked to explain the sex gap in survival. Here, we aim to isolate and quantify the survival consequences of two potentially risky male behavioural strategies in a small sexually monomorphic primate, the grey mouse lemur Microcebus murinus: (i) most females hibernate during a large part of the austral winter, whereas most males remain active and (ii) during the brief annual mating season males roam widely in search of receptive females. Using a 10-year capture–mark–recapture dataset from a population of M. murinus in Kirindy Forest, western Madagascar, we statistically modelled sex-specific seasonal survival probabilities. Surprisingly, we did not find any evidence for direct survival benefits of hibernation—winter survival did not differ between males and females. By contrast, during the breeding season males survived less well than females (sex gap: 16%). Consistent with the ‘risky male behaviour’ hypothesis, the period for lowered male survival was restricted to the short mating season. Thus, sex differences in survival in a promiscuous mammal can be substantial even in the absence of sexual dimorphism.
PMCID: PMC2602817  PMID: 18426751
sex differences in survival; seasonal survival; risky male behaviour; female hibernation; male roaming; Microcebus murinus
12.  Nepotistic cooperation in non-human primate groups 
Darwin was struck by the many similarities between humans and other primates and believed that these similarities were the product of common ancestry. He would be even more impressed by the similarities if he had known what we have learned about primates over the last 50 years. Genetic kinship has emerged as the primary organizing force in the evolution of primate social organization and the patterning of social behaviour in non-human primate groups. There are pronounced nepotistic biases across the primate order, from tiny grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) that forage alone at night but cluster with relatives to sleep during the day, to cooperatively breeding marmosets that rely on closely related helpers to rear their young, rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) females who acquire their mother's rank and form strict matrilineal dominance hierarchies, male howler monkeys that help their sons maintain access to groups of females and male chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) that form lasting relationships with their brothers. As more evidence of nepotism has accumulated, important questions about the evolutionary processes underlying these kin biases have been raised. Although kin selection predicts that altruism will be biased in favour of relatives, it is difficult to assess whether primates actually conform to predictions derived from Hamilton's rule: br > c. In addition, other mechanisms, including contingent reciprocity and mutualism, could contribute to the nepotistic biases observed in non-human primate groups. There are good reasons to suspect that these processes may complement the effects of kin selection and amplify the extent of nepotistic biases in behaviour.
PMCID: PMC2781876  PMID: 19805431
kin selection; cooperation; kin recognition; primate; altruism
13.  Sleep Deprivation Impairs Spatial Retrieval but Not Spatial Learning in the Non-Human Primate Grey Mouse Lemur 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64493.
A bulk of studies in rodents and humans suggest that sleep facilitates different phases of learning and memory process, while sleep deprivation (SD) impairs these processes. Here we tested the hypothesis that SD could alter spatial learning and memory processing in a non-human primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), which is an interesting model of aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Two sets of experiments were performed. In a first set of experiments, we investigated the effects of SD on spatial learning and memory retrieval after one day of training in a circular platform task. Eleven male mouse lemurs aged between 2 to 3 years were tested in three different conditions: without SD as a baseline reference, 8 h of SD before the training and 8 h of SD before the testing. The SD was confirmed by electroencephalographic recordings. Results showed no effect of SD on learning when SD was applied before the training. When the SD was applied before the testing, it induced an increase of the amount of errors and of the latency prior to reach the target. In a second set of experiments, we tested the effect of 8 h of SD on spatial memory retrieval after 3 days of training. Twenty male mouse lemurs aged between 2 to 3 years were tested in this set of experiments. In this condition, the SD did not affect memory retrieval. This is the first study that documents the disruptive effects of the SD on spatial memory retrieval in this primate which may serve as a new validated challenge to investigate the effects of new compounds along physiological and pathological aging.
PMCID: PMC3661499  PMID: 23717620
14.  Metabolic benefits of inhibiting cAMP-PDEs with resveratrol 
Adipocyte  2012;1(4):256-258.
Calorie restriction (CR) extends lifespan in species ranging from yeast to mammals. There is evidence that CR also protects against aging-related diseases in non-human primates. This has led to an intense interest in the development of CR-mimetics to harness the beneficial effects of CR to treat aging-related diseases. One CR-mimetic that has received a great deal of attention is resveratrol. Resveratrol extends the lifespan of obese mice and protects against obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes. The specific mechanism of resveratrol action has been difficult to elucidate because resveratrol has a promiscuous target profile. A recent finding indicates that the metabolic effects of resveratrol may result from competitive inhibition of cAMP-degrading phosphodiesterases (PDEs), which increases cAMP levels. The cAMP-dependent pathways activate AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which is essential for the metabolic effects of resveratrol. Inhibiting PDE4 with rolipram reproduces all of the metabolic benefits of resveratrol, including protection against diet-induced obesity and an increase in mitochondrial function, physical stamina and glucose tolerance in mice. This discovery suggests that PDE inhibitors may be useful for treating metabolic diseases associated with aging.
PMCID: PMC3609109  PMID: 23700542
AMP-activated protein kinase; Epac1; Sirt1; aging; cAMP; calorie-restriction; metabolic; phosphodiesterases; resveratrol
15.  The effect of resveratrol on normal and osteoarthritic chondrocyte metabolism 
Bone & Joint Research  2014;3(3):51-59.
Resveratrol is a polyphenolic compound commonly found in the skins of red grapes. Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) is a human gene that is activated by resveratrol and has been shown to promote longevity and boost mitochondrial metabolism. We examined the effect of resveratrol on normal and osteoarthritic (OA) human chondrocytes.
Normal and OA chondrocytes were incubated with various concentrations of resveratrol (1 µM, 10 µM, 25 µM and 50 µM) and cultured for 24, 48 or 72 hours or for six weeks. Cell proliferation, gene expression, and senescence were evaluated.
SIRT1 was significantly upregulated in normal chondrocytes with resveratrol concentrations of 25 µM and 50 µM on both two- (2D) (both p = 0.001) and three-dimensional (3D) cultures (p = 0.008 and 0.001, respectively). It was significantly upregulated in OA chondrocytes treated with 10 µM, 25 µM and 50 µM resveratrol on 2D cultures (p = 0.036, 0.002 and 0.001, respectively) and at 50 µM concentration on 3D cultures (p = 0.001). At 72 hours, the expression of collagen (COL)-10, aggrecan (AGG), and runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2) was significantly greater in both 25 µM (p = 0.011, 0.006 and 0.015, respectively) and 50 µM (p = 0.019, 0.004 and 0.002, respectively) resveratrol-treated normal chondrocyte cultures. In OA chondrocytes, expression of COL10 and RUNX2 was significantly greater in 25 µM (p = 0.004 and 0.024) and 50 µM (p = 0.004 and 0.019) cultures at 72 hours on 3D cultures.
At concentrations of 25 µM and/or 50 µM, resveratrol treatment significantly upregulates SIRT1 gene expression in normal and osteoarthritic chondrocytes. Resveratrol induces chondrocytes into a hypertrophic state through upregulation of COL1, COL10, and RUNX2.
Cite this article: Bone Joint Res 2014;3:51–9.
PMCID: PMC3963380  PMID: 24615710
Resveratrol; SIRT1; Osteoarthritis; Chondrocyte; Longevity; Metabolism
16.  Of Mice and Men: The Benefits of Caloric Restriction, Exercise, and Mimetics 
Ageing Research Reviews  2011;11(3):390-398.
During aging there is an increasing imbalance of energy intake and expenditure resulting in obesity, frailty, and metabolic disorders. For decades, research has shown that caloric restriction (CR) and exercise can postpone detrimental aspects of aging. These two interventions invoke a similar physiological signature involving pathways associated with stress responses and mitochondrial homeostasis. Nonetheless, CR is able to delay aging processes that result in an increase of both mean and maximum lifespan, whereas exercise primarily increases healthspan. Due to the strict dietary regime necessary to achieve the beneficial effects of CR, most studies to date have focused on rodents and non-human primates. As a consequence, there is vast interest in the development of compounds such as resveratrol, metformin and rapamycin that would activate the same metabolic- and stress-response pathways induced by these interventions without actually restricting caloric intake. Therefore the scope of this review is to (i) describe the benefits of CR and exercise in healthy individuals, (ii) discuss the role of these interventions in the diseased state, and (iii) examine some of the promising pharmacological alternatives such as CR- and exercise-mimetics.
PMCID: PMC3356510  PMID: 22210414
Caloric restriction; Exercise; Aging; Mimetic; Healthspan; Metabolic disorder
17.  Resveratrol Improves Survival, Hemodynamics and Energetics in a Rat Model of Hypertension Leading to Heart Failure 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e26391.
Heart failure (HF) is characterized by contractile dysfunction associated with altered energy metabolism. This study was aimed at determining whether resveratrol, a polyphenol known to activate energy metabolism, could be beneficial as a metabolic therapy of HF. Survival, ventricular and vascular function as well as cardiac and skeletal muscle energy metabolism were assessed in a hypertensive model of HF, the Dahl salt-sensitive rat fed with a high-salt diet (HS-NT). Resveratrol (18 mg/kg/day; HS-RSV) was given for 8 weeks after hypertension and cardiac hypertrophy were established (which occurred 3 weeks after salt addition). Resveratrol treatment improved survival (64% in HS-RSV versus 15% in HS-NT, p<0.001), and prevented the 25% reduction in body weight in HS-NT (P<0.001). Moreover, RSV counteracted the development of cardiac dysfunction (fractional shortening −34% in HS-NT) as evaluated by echocardiography, which occurred without regression of hypertension or hypertrophy. Moreover, aortic endothelial dysfunction present in HS-NT was prevented in resveratrol-treated rats. Resveratrol treatment tended to preserve mitochondrial mass and biogenesis and completely protected mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation and PPARα (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α) expression. We conclude that resveratrol treatment exerts beneficial protective effects on survival, endothelium–dependent smooth muscle relaxation and cardiac contractile and mitochondrial function, suggesting that resveratrol or metabolic activators could be a relevant therapy in hypertension-induced HF.
PMCID: PMC3196575  PMID: 22028869
18.  On the application of mixed hidden Markov models to multiple behavioural time series 
Interface Focus  2012;2(2):180-189.
Analysing behavioural sequences and quantifying the likelihood of occurrences of different behaviours is a difficult task as motivational states are not observable. Furthermore, it is ecologically highly relevant and yet more complicated to scale an appropriate model for one individual up to the population level. In this manuscript (mixed) hidden Markov models (HMMs) are used to model the feeding behaviour of 54 subadult grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus), small nocturnal primates endemic to Madagascar that forage solitarily. Our primary aim is to introduce ecologists and other users to various HMM methods, many of which have been developed only recently, and which in this form have not previously been synthesized in the ecological literature. Our specific application of mixed HMMs aims at gaining a better understanding of mouse lemur behaviour, in particular concerning sex-specific differences. The model we consider incorporates random effects for accommodating heterogeneity across animals, i.e. accounts for different personalities of the animals. Additional subject- and time-specific covariates in the model describe the influence of sex, body mass and time of night.
PMCID: PMC3293199  PMID: 23565332
behavioural analysis; maximum likelihood; motivational states; random effects; state-space model; subject-specific covariate
19.  Light Pollution Modifies the Expression of Daily Rhythms and Behavior Patterns in a Nocturnal Primate 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e79250.
Among anthropogenic pressures, light pollution altering light/dark cycles and changing the nocturnal component of the environment constitutes a threat for biodiversity. Light pollution is widely spread across the world and continuously growing. However, despite the efforts realized to describe and understand the effects of artificial lighting on fauna, few studies have documented its consequences on biological rhythms, behavioral and physiological functions in nocturnal mammals. To determine the impacts of light pollution on nocturnal mammals an experimental study was conducted on a nocturnal primate, the grey mouse lemur Microcebus murinus. Male mouse lemurs (N = 8) were exposed 14 nights to moonlight treatment and then exposed 14 nights to light pollution treatment. For both treatments, chronobiological parameters related to locomotor activity and core temperature were recorded using telemetric transmitters. In addition, at the end of each treatment, the 14th night, nocturnal and feeding behaviors were explored using an infrared camera. Finally, throughout the study, body mass and daily caloric food intake were recorded. For the first time in a nocturnal primate, light pollution was demonstrated to modify daily rhythms of locomotor activity and core temperature especially through phase delays and increases in core temperature. Moreover, nocturnal activity and feeding behaviors patterns were modified negatively. This study suggests that light pollution induces daily desynchronization of biological rhythms and could lead to seasonal desynchronization with potential deleterious consequences for animals in terms of adaptation and anticipation of environmental changes.
PMCID: PMC3827385  PMID: 24236115
20.  Spatial memory in the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) 
Animal Cognition  2009;12(4):599-609.
Wild animals face the challenge of locating feeding sites distributed across broad spatial and temporal scales. Spatial memory allows animals to find a goal, such as a productive feeding patch, even when there are no goal-specific sensory cues available. Because there is little experimental information on learning and memory capabilities in free-ranging primates, the aim of this study was to test whether grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus), as short-term dietary specialists, rely on spatial memory in relocating productive feeding sites. In addition, we asked what kind of spatial representation might underlie their orientation in their natural environment. Using an experimental approach, we set eight radio-collared grey mouse lemurs a memory task by confronting them with two different spatial patterns of baited and non-baited artificial feeding stations under exclusion of sensory cues. Positional data were recorded by focal animal observations within a grid system of small foot trails. A change in the baiting pattern revealed that grey mouse lemurs primarily used spatial cues to relocate baited feeding stations and that they were able to rapidly learn a new spatial arrangement. Spatially concentrated, non-random movements revealed preliminary evidence for a route-based restriction in mouse lemur space; during a subsequent release experiment, however, we found high travel efficiency in directed movements. We therefore propose that mouse lemur spatial memory is based on some kind of mental representation that is more detailed than a route-based network map.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10071-009-0219-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC2698973  PMID: 19263100
Spatial cognition; Topological map; Euclidean map; Correlated random walk; Goal-directed movement; Microcebus murinus
21.  Creation of Resveratrol-Enriched Rice for the Treatment of Metabolic Syndrome and Related Diseases 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e57930.
Resveratrol has been clinically shown to possess a number of human health benefits. As a result, many attempts have been made to engineer resveratrol production in major cereal grains but have been largely unsuccessful. In this study, we report the creation of a transgenic rice plant that accumulates 1.9 µg resveratrol/g in its grain, surpassing the previously reported anti-metabolic syndrome activity of resveratrol through a synergistic interaction between the transgenic resveratrol and the endogenous properties of the rice. Consumption of our transgenic resveratrol-enriched rice significantly improved all aspects of metabolic syndrome and related diseases in animals fed a high-fat diet. Compared with the control animals, the resveratrol-enriched rice reduced body weight, blood glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL-cholesterol by 24.7%, 22%, 37.4%, 27%, and 59.6%, respectively. The resveratrol-enriched rice from our study may thus provide a safe and convenient means of preventing metabolic syndrome and related diseases without major lifestyle changes or the need for daily medications. These results also suggest that future transgenic plants could be improved if the synergistic interactions of the transgene with endogenous traits of the plant are considered in the experimental design.
PMCID: PMC3587571  PMID: 23483945
22.  Resveratrol Metabolites Do Not Elicit Early Pro-apoptotic Mechanisms in Neuroblastoma Cells 
Resveratrol, a non-toxic polyphenol, has been shown to inhibit tumor growth in a xenograft mouse model of neuroblasoma. However, resveratrol is rapidly metabolized, mainly to its glucuronidated and sulfated derivatives. In this study we demonstrate that resveratrol alone, and not the glucuronidated or sulfated metabolites, is taken up into tumor cells, induces a rise in [Ca2+]i, and ultimately leads to a decrease in tumor cell viability. A new water-soluble resveratrol formulation was delivered directly at the site of the tumor in a neuroblastoma mouse model. The amount of unmodified resveratrol associated with the tumor increased more than 1000-fold. The increase of unmodified resveratrol associated with the tumor resulted in tumor regression. The number of residual tumor cells that remained viable also decreased as the ratio of the metabolites relative to unmodified resveratrol declined.
PMCID: PMC3099401  PMID: 21401048
Resveratrol; Neuroblastoma; Calcium Signaling; Bioaviailability
23.  AMP-Activated Protein Kinase–Deficient Mice Are Resistant to the Metabolic Effects of Resveratrol 
Diabetes  2009;59(3):554-563.
Resveratrol, a natural polyphenolic compound that is found in grapes and red wine, increases metabolic rate, insulin sensitivity, mitochondrial biogenesis, and physical endurance and reduces fat accumulation in mice. Although it is thought that resveratrol targets Sirt1, this is controversial because resveratrol also activates 5′ AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which also regulates insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial biogenesis. Here, we use mice deficient in AMPKα1 or -α2 to determine whether the metabolic effects of resveratrol are mediated by AMPK.
Mice deficient in the catalytic subunit of AMPK (α1 or α2) and wild-type mice were fed a high-fat diet or high-fat diet supplemented with resveratrol for 13 weeks. Body weight was recorded biweekly and metabolic parameters were measured. We also used mouse embryonic fibroblasts deficient in AMPK to study the role of AMPK in resveratrol-mediated effects in vitro.
Resveratrol increased the metabolic rate and reduced fat mass in wild-type mice but not in AMPKα1−/− mice. In the absence of either AMPKα1 or -α2, resveratrol failed to increase insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, mitochondrial biogenesis, and physical endurance. Consistent with this, the expression of genes important for mitochondrial biogenesis was not induced by resveratrol in AMPK-deficient mice. In addition, resveratrol increased the NAD-to-NADH ratio in an AMPK-dependent manner, which may explain how resveratrol may activate Sirt1 indirectly.
We conclude that AMPK, which was thought to be an off-target hit of resveratrol, is the central target for the metabolic effects of resveratrol.
PMCID: PMC2828647  PMID: 19934007
24.  Age-dependent α-synuclein aggregation in the Microcebus murinus lemur primate 
Scientific Reports  2012;2:910.
Since age-dependent deposition of Aβ-amyloid has been reported in the Microcebus murinus, we posited that this animal could as well be a model of age-related synucleinopathy. We characterized the distribution of Aβ-amyloid, α-synuclein and two of its modified forms in the brain of Microcebus murinus aged from 1.5 to 10 years. Intracytoplasmic α-synuclein aggregates were observed only in aged animals in different brain regions, which were also phospho-Ser129 and nitrated α-synuclein immunoreactive. Age-dependent α-synuclein aggregation occurs spontaneously in mouse lemur primates. Microcebus murinus may provide a model to study age-associated α-synucleinopathy and for testing putative therapeutic interventions for both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
PMCID: PMC3510464  PMID: 23205271
25.  Resveratrol activates SIRT1 in a Lamin A-dependent manner 
Cell Cycle  2013;12(6):872-876.
Human sirtuin1 (SIRT1), the closest homolog of the yeast sir2 protein, functions as an NAD+-dependent histone and non-histone protein deacetylase in several cellular processes, like energy metabolism, stress responses, aging, etc. In our recent study, we have shown that lamin A (a major nuclear matrix protein) directly binds with and activates SIRT1. Resveratrol, a natural phenol, has long been known as an activator of SIRT1. However, resveratrol’s direct activation of SIRT1 has been refuted several times. In our study, we have provided a mechanistic explanation to this question, and have shown that resveratrol activates SIRT1 by increasing its binding with lamin A, thus aiding in the nuclear matrix (NM) localization of SIRT1. We have also shown that rescue of adult stem cell (ASC) decline in laminopathy-based premature aging mice by resveratrol is SIRT1-dependent. Further, resveratrol’s ameliorating effects on progeria and its capacity to extend lifespan in progeria mice has been established. Here we have summarized these findings and their probable implications on other aspects, like chromatin remodeling, stem cell therapy, DNA damage responses, etc.
PMCID: PMC3637344  PMID: 23439428
SIRT1; Lamin A; resveratrol; nuclear matrix; Zmpste24; progeria; adult stem cells

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