Mutations in insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway have been shown to lead to increased longevity in various invertebrate models. Therefore, the effect of the haplo- insufficiency of the IGF-1 receptor (Igf1r+/−) on longevity/aging was evaluated in C57Bl/6 mice using rigorous criteria where lifespan and end-of-life pathology were measured under optimal husbandry conditions using large sample sizes. Igf1r+/− mice exhibited reductions in IGF-1 receptor levels and the activation of Akt by IGF-1, with no compensatory increases in serum IGF-1 or tissue IGF-1 mRNA levels, indicating that the Igf1r+/− mice show reduced IGF-1 signaling. Aged male, but not female Igf1r+/− mice were glucose intolerant, and both genders developed insulin resistance as they aged. Female, but not male Igf1r+/− mice survived longer than wild type mice after lethal paraquat and diquat exposure, and female Igf1r+/− mice also exhibited less diquat-induced liver damage. However, no significant difference between the lifespans of the male Igf1r+/− and wild type mice was observed; and the mean lifespan of the Igf1r+/− females was increased only slightly (less than 5%) compared to wild type mice. A comprehensive pathological analysis showed no significant difference in end-of-life pathological lesions between the Igf1r+/− and wild type mice. These data show that the Igf1r+/− mouse is not a model of increased longevity and delayed aging as predicted by invertebrate models with mutations in the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway.
Transgenic mice with low levels of global insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) throughout their life span, including pre- and postnatal development, have increased longevity. This study investigated whether specific deficiency of liver-derived, endocrine IGF-I is of importance for life span.
Methods and Findings
Serum IGF-I was reduced by approximately 80% in mice with adult, liver-specific IGF-I inactivation (LI-IGF-I-/- mice), and body weight decreased due to reduced body fat. The mean life span of LI-IGF-I-/- mice (n = 84) increased 10% vs. control mice (n = 137) (Cox's test, p<0.01), mainly due to increased life span (16%) of female mice [LI-IGF-I-/- mice (n = 31): 26.7±1.1 vs. control (n = 67): 23.0±0.7 months, p<0.001]. Male LI-IGF-I-/- mice showed only a tendency for increased longevity (p = 0.10). Energy expenditure, measured as oxygen consumption during and after submaximal exercise, was increased in the LI-IGF-I-/- mice. Moreover, microarray and RT-PCR analyses showed consistent regulation of three genes (heat shock protein 1A and 1B and connective tissue growth factor) in several body organs in the LI-IGF-I-/- mice.
Adult inactivation of liver-derived, endocrine IGF-I resulted in moderately increased mean life span. Body weight and body fat decreased in LI-IGF-I-/- mice, possibly due to increased energy expenditure during exercise. Genes earlier reported to modulate stress response and collagen aging showed consistent regulation, providing mechanisms that could underlie the increased mean life span in the LI-IGF-I-/- mice.
Studies in mammals have led to the suggestion that hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia are important factors both in aging and in the development of cancer. It is possible that the life-prolonging effects of calorie restriction are due to decreasing IGF-1 levels. A search of pharmacological modulators of insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway (which mimetic effects of life span extending mutations or calorie restriction) could be a perspective direction in regulation of longevity. Antidiabetic biguanides are most promising among them. The chronic treatment of inbred 129/Sv mice with metformin (100 mg/kg in drinking water) slightly modified the food consumption but failed to influence the dynamics of body weight, decreased by 13.4% the mean life span of male mice and slightly increased the mean life span of female mice (by 4.4%). The treatment with metformin failed influence spontaneous tumor incidence in male 129/Sv mice, decreased by 3.5 times the incidence of malignant neoplasms in female mice while somewhat stimulated formation of benign vascular tumors in the latter.
metformin; biomarkers of aging; life extension; carcinogenesis; mice
The discovery that in invertebrates, disruption of the insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 pathway extends life span and increases resistance to oxidative injury led to the hypothesis that IGF-1 signaling may play a role in regulating cellular reactive oxygen species production, oxidative stress resistance, and consequentially, organismal life span in mammals. However, previous studies testing this hypothesis in rodent models of IGF-1 deficiency yielded controversial results. The Lewis dwarf rat is a useful model of human growth hormone (GH)/IGF-1 deficiency as it mimics many of the pathophysiological alterations present in human GH/IGF-1–deficient patients as well as elderly individuals. Peripubertal treatment of Lewis dwarf rats with GH results in a significant extension of life span. The present study was designed to test the role of the GH/IGF-1 axis in regulating cellular oxidative stress and oxidative stress resistance, utilizing primary fibroblasts derived from control rats, Lewis dwarf rats and GH-replete dwarf rats. Measurements of cellular dihydroethidium and C-H2DCFDA fluorescence showed that cellular O2·− and peroxide production were similar in each group. Fibroblasts from control and Lewis dwarf rats exhibited similar antioxidant capacities and comparable sensitivity to H2O2, rotenone, high glucose, tunicamycin, thapsigargin, paraquat, and mitomycin, which cause apoptosis through increasing oxidative stress, mitochondrial damage, ATP depletion, and/or by damaging DNA, lipids and proteins. Fibroblasts from GH-replete rats exhibited significantly increased antioxidant capacities and superior resistance to H2O2, rotenone and bacterial lipopolysaccharide–induced cell death compared with cells from Lewis dwarf rats, whereas their sensitivity to the other stressors investigated was not statistically different. Thus, low circulating IGF-1 levels present in vivo in Lewis dwarf rats do not elicit long-lasting alterations in cellular reactive oxygen species generation and oxidative stress resistance, whereas life span–extending peripubertal GH treatment resulted in increased antioxidant capacity and increased resistance to cellular injury caused by some, but not all, oxidative stressors.
Oxidative stress resistance; Growth hormone; Fibroblast; Free radicals
Studies of the effects of single-gene mutations on longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster and Mus musculus identified homologous, highly conserved signalling pathways that influence ageing. In each of these very distantly related species, single mutations which lead—directly or indirectly—to reduced insulin, insulin-like growth factor (IGF) or insulin/IGF-like signalling (IIS) can produce significant increases in both average and maximal lifespan. In mice, most of the life-extending mutations described to date reduce somatotropic (growth hormone (GH) and IGF-1) signalling. The reported extensions of longevity are most robust in GH-deficient and GH-resistant mice, while suppression of somatotropic signalling ‘downstream’ of the GH receptor produces effects that are generally smaller and often limited to female animals. This could be due to GH influencing ageing by both IGF-1-mediated and IGF-1-independent mechanisms. In mutants that have been examined in some detail, increased longevity is associated with various indices of delayed ageing and extended ‘healthspan’. The mechanisms that probably underlie the extension of both lifespan and healthspan of these animals include increased stress resistance, improved antioxidant defences, alterations in insulin signalling (e.g. hypoinsulinaemia combined with improved insulin sensitivity in some mutants and insulin resistance in others), a shift from pro- to anti-inflammatory profile of circulating adipokines, reduced mammalian target of rapamycin-mediated translation and altered mitochondrial function including greater utilization of lipids when compared with carbohydrates.
IGF-1; growth hormone; lifespan; longevity; mutation
The evidence is increasing for a close link between the insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system and colon cancer prevention by physical exercise. To reveal exercise-induced alterations in colon mucosa, gene expression of IGF-1 and related genes and serum IGF-1 were investigated. Twenty male Wistar rats performed a 12 week voluntary exercise program. Nine rats served as the control group. Gene expression of IGF-1, IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R) and IGF-binding protein 3 (IGF-BP3) were quantified by real-time RT-PCR. Circulating IGF-1 was analyzed exercise volume-dependent. Based on 3 distinguished groups with low (L-EX, <2629 m·night-1), medium (M-EX, 3003-7458 m·night-1) and high exercise volume (H-EX, >8314 m·night-1), we observed lower serum IGF-1 levels (P < 0.05) in all exercise groups as compared to the control group and IGF-1 levels declined proportional to the increase in exercise volume. A significant (p < 0.05) positive correlation was found between IGF-1 concentration and body mass (r = 0.50) and a significant negative correlation exists between body mass and exercise volume (r = -0.50). Significant differences in colonic mRNA levels of IGF-1, IGF-1R and IGF-BP3 could not be observed. Based on our data we propose that the exercise as well as the body mass reduction leads to a decrease in circulating IGF-1 and this might represent a prime link to colon cancer prevention.
There were significantly lower serum IGF-1 levels in all exercise groups as compared to the control group.
GF-1 levels declined proportional to the increase in exercise volume.
A significant positive correlation was found between IGF-1 concentration and body mass and a significant negative correlation was found between body mass and exercise volume.
Significant differences in colonic mRNA levels of IGF-1, IGF-1R and IGF-BP3 could not be observed.
Cancer prevention; IGF-1R; IGF-BP3; real-time RT PCR; physical exercise
Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling is essential for achieving optimal body size during fetal development, whereas, in the adult, IGFs are associated with aging and age-related diseases. However, it is unclear as to what extent lifespan is influenced by events that occur during development. Here we provide direct evidence that the exceptional longevity of mice with altered IGF signaling is not linked to prenatal programming of body size. Mice null for pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A), an IGF binding protein proteinase that increases local IGF bioavailability, are 60–70% the size of their wild-type littermates at birth and have extended median and maximum lifespan of 30–40%. In this study, PAPP-A−/− mice whose body size was normalized during fetal development through disruption of IgfII imprinting, did not lose their longevity advantage. Adult-specific moderation of IGF signaling through PAPP-A inhibition may present a unique opportunity to improve lifespan without affecting important aspects of early life physiology.
pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A; insulin-like growth factor longevity; mouse model; body size; fetal development
It has been demonstrated in invertebrate species that the evolutionarily conserved insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling (IIS) pathway plays a major role in the control of longevity. In the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, single mutations that diminish insulin/IGF-1 signaling can increase lifespan more than twofold and cause the animal to remain active and youthful much longer than normal. Likewise, substantial increases in lifespan are associated with mutations that reduce insulin/IGF-1 signaling in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. In invertebrates, multiple insulin-like ligands exist that bind to a common single insulin/IGF-1 like receptor. In contrast, in mammals, different receptors exist that bind insulin, IGF-1 and IGF-2 with different affinities. In several mouse models, mutations that are associated with decreased GH/IGF-1 signaling or decreased insulin signaling have been associated with enhanced lifespan. However, the increased complexity of the mammalian insulin/IGF-1 system has made it difficult to separate the roles of insulin, GH and IGF-1 in mammalian longevity. Likewise, the relevance of reduced insulin and IGF-1 signaling in human longevity remains controversial. However, studies on the genetic and metabolic characteristics that are associated with healthy longevity and old age survival suggest that the conserved ancient IIS pathway may also play a role in human longevity.
Insulin; IGF-1; longevity; signaling
Insulin/insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) pathways are recognized as critical signaling pathways involved in the control of lifespans in lower organisms to mammals. Caloric restriction (CR) reduces plasma concentration of insulin, growth hormone (GH), and IGF-I. CR retards various age-dependent disorders such as nuerodegenerative diseases and extends lifespan in laboratory rodents. These beneficial effects of CR are partly mimicked in spontaneous or genetically engineered rodent models of reduced insulin and GH/IGF-I axis. Most of these long-living rodents show increased insulin sensitivity; however, recent study has revealed that some other rodents show normal or reduced insulin sensitivity. Thus, increased insulin sensitivity might be not prerequisite for lifespan extension in insulin/GH/IGF-I altered longevity rodent models. These results highlighted that, for lifespan extension, the intracellular signaling molecules of insulin/GH/IGF-I pathways might be more important than actual peripheral or systemic insulin action.
Insulin; GH; IGF-I; calorie restriction.
Studies in mammals have led to the suggestion that hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia are important factors in aging. Insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) signaling molecules that have been linked to longevity include daf-2 and InR and their homologues in mammals, and inactivation of the corresponding genes increases life span in nematodes, fruit flies and mice. It is possible that the life-prolonging effect of caloric restriction is due to decreasing IGF-1 levels. Evidence has emerged that antidiabetic drugs are promising candidates for both life span extension and prevention of cancer. Thus, antidiabetic drugs postpone spontaneous carcinogenesis in mice and rats, as well as chemical and radiation carcinogenesis in mice, rats and hamsters. Furthermore metformin seems to decrease cancer risk in diabetic patients.
metformin; biguanides; life span, aging; cancer prevention
The insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling (IIS) pathway is a major conserved regulator of aging. Nematode, fruit fly and mouse mutants with reduced IIS signaling exhibit extended lifespan. These mutants are often dwarfs leading to the idea that small body mass correlates with longevity within species. However, when different species are compared, larger animals are typically longer-lived. Hence, the role of IIS in the evolution of life history traits remains unresolved. Here we used comparative approach to test whether IGF1R signaling changes in response to selection on lifespan or body mass and whether specific tissues are involved. The IGF1R levels in the heart, lungs, kidneys, and brains of sixteen rodent species with highly diverse lifespans and body masses were measured via immunoblot after epitope conservation analysis. We report that IGF1R levels display strong negative correlation with maximum lifespan only in brain tissue and no significant correlations with body mass for any organ. The brain-IGF1R and lifespan correlation holds when phylogenetic non-independence of data-points is taken into account. These results suggest that modulation of IGF1R signaling in nervous tissue, but not in the peripheral tissues, is an important factor in the evolution of longevity in mammals.
aging; IGF1 receptor; rodents; comparative approach; life span
Previously we showed that mouse stocks derived from wild-caught progenitors are long-lived relative to genetically heterogeneous mice derived from laboratory-adapted strains. Here we replicate this life-span effect, and show that F2 hybrids between wild-derived and laboratory-derived stocks have intermediate survival patterns. Moreover, wild-derived mice are small, lean, and slow to mature, and have low serum insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) relative to genetically heterogeneous mice. These traits, too, were at intermediate levels in the F2 hybrids. Furthermore, serum IGF-I at 6 months was a significant predictor of life span in two different populations of F2 hybrid mice. Pooling across stocks, life span was negatively correlated with body weight and serum IGF-I levels, and positively correlated with age at vaginal patency and serum leptin levels. Overall, these finding suggest that wild-derived mice harbor alleles that increase longevity, perhaps through effects on growth, maturation, and early-life hormone levels.
The processes that determine an organism’s lifespan are complex and poorly understood. Yet single gene manipulations and environmental interventions can substantially delay age-related morbidity. In this review, we focus on the two most potent modulators of longevity: insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) signaling and dietary restriction. The remarkable molecular conservation of the components associated with insulin/IGF-1 signaling and dietary restriction allow us to understand longevity from a multi-species perspective. We summarize the most recent findings on insulin/IGF-1 signaling and examine the proteins and pathways that reveal a more genetic basis for dietary restriction. Although insulin/IGF-1 signaling and dietary restriction pathways are currently viewed as being independent, we suggest that these two pathways are more intricately connected than previously appreciated. We highlight that numerous interactions between these two pathways can occur at multiple levels. Ultimately, both the insulin/IGF-1 pathway and the pathway that mediates the effects of dietary restriction have evolved to respond to the nutritional status of an organism, which in turn affects its lifespan.
The target of rapamycin (TOR) pathway is a major nutrient-sensing pathway that, when genetically downregulated, increases life span in evolutionarily diverse organisms including mammals. The central component of this pathway, TOR kinase, is the target of the inhibitory drug rapamycin, a highly specific and well-described drug approved for human use. We show here that feeding rapamycin to adult Drosophila produces the life span extension seen in some TOR mutants. Increase in life span by rapamycin was associated with increased resistance to both starvation and paraquat. Analysis of the underlying mechanisms revealed that rapamycin increased longevity specifically through the TORC1 branch of the TOR pathway, through alterations to both autophagy and translation. Rapamycin could increase life span of weak insulin/Igf signaling (IIS) pathway mutants and of flies with life span maximized by dietary restriction, indicating additional mechanisms.
► Rapamycin, a drug that inhibits TOR pathway, improves longevity in Drosophila ► Rapamycin longevity effects are mediated through the TOR pathway ► Life span extension by rapamycin is through translation changes and autophagy ► Rapamycin extends life span beyond dietary restriction and mild IIS mutations
Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) and cyclins are thought to play a role in myocardial hypertrophic response to insults. We investigated these signaling pathways in canine models of ischemic or overpacing-induced cardiomyopathy.
Echocardiographic recordings and myocardial sampling for measurements of gene expressions of IGF-1, its receptor (IGF-1R), TGFβ and of cyclins A, B, D1, D2, D3 and E, were obtained in 8 dogs with a healed myocardial infarction, 8 dogs after 7 weeks of overpacing and in 7 healthy control dogs.
Ischemic cardiomyopathy was characterized by moderate left ventricular systolic dysfunction and eccentric hypertrophy, with increased expressions of IGF-1, IGF-1R and cyclins B, D1, D3 and E. Tachycardiomyopathy was characterized by severe left ventricular systolic dysfunction and dilation with no identifiable hypertrophic response. In the latter model, only IGF-1 was overexpressed while IGF-1R, cyclins B, D1, D3 and E stayed unchanged as compared to controls. The expressions of TGFβ, cyclins A and D2 were comparable in the 3 groups. The expression of IGF-1R was correlated with the thickness of the interventricular septum, in systole and diastole, and to cyclins B, D1, D3 and E expression.
These results agree with the notion that IGF-1/IGF-1R and cyclins are involved in the hypertrophic response observed in cardiomyopathies.
Insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) is a key downstream signaling molecule common to both the insulin and IGF signaling pathways that can interact with the estrogen pathway to regulate breast cell growth. We investigated whether a putative functional variant for IRS-1 (G972R) influences circulating levels of sex hormones, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), C-peptide, and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels among postmenopausal African-American and non-Hispanic white breast cancer patients enrolled in the Health, Eating, Activity, and Lifestyle (HEAL) Study. Circulating levels of sex hormones and growth factors can influence breast cancer recurrence and survival. Serum estrone, estradiol, testosterone, SHBG, IGF-1 and C-peptide were measured in 468 patients at 30+ months post diagnosis. Non-protein bound hormone levels (free estradiol, free testosterone) were calculated. In African-American patients, the IRS-1 variant was associated with increased serum levels of estrone (p=0.02), free estradiol (p=0.04), total testosterone (p=0.04), free testosterone (p=0.006) and decreased levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (p=0.02). No association was present for white patients. Our findings provide suggestive evidence that IRS-1 G972R variant may be associated with circulating levels of sex hormones and SHBG in African American breast cancer survivors.
African-American; breast cancer; IRS-1; polymorphism; sex hormones
The insulin/insulin growth factor (IGF) pathway is a critical mediator of longevity and aging. Efforts to extend longevity by altering the insulin/IGF pathway may have varying effects on other physiological processes. Reduced insulin/IGF levels may decrease the incidence of certain cancers as well as the risk of developing metastatic disease. However, it may also increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease as well as cardiovascular related mortality. Pursuing the right insulin/IGF pathway targets will require striking a balance between inhibiting cancer cell development and progression and avoiding damage to tissues under normal insulin/IGF mediated control. This review will discuss the roles of the insulin/IGF pathway in aging and longevity and the development of cancer cell metastasis and considerations in taking insulin/IGF directed targets to the oncology clinic.
Insulin Growth Factor; Cancer; Aging
Insulinlike growth factor-1 (IGF-1) expression is implicated in myocardial pathophysiology, and two IGF-1 mRNA splice variants have been detected in rodents, IGF-1Ea and mechano-growth factor (MGF). We investigated the expression pattern of IGF-1 gene transcripts in rat myocardium from 1 h up to 8 wks after myocardial infarction induced by left anterior descending coronary artery ligation. In addition, we characterized IGF-1 and MGF E peptide action and their respective signaling in H9C2 myocardial-like cells in vitro. IGF-1Ea and MGF expression were significantly increased, both at transcriptional and translational levels, during the late postinfarction period (4 and 8 wks) in infarcted rat myocardium. Measurements of serum IGF-1 levels in infarcted rats were initially decreased (24 h up to 1 wk) but remained unaltered throughout the late experimental phase (4 to 8 wks) compared with sham-operated rats. Furthermore, specific anti–IGF-1R neutralizing antibody failed to block the synthetic MGF E peptide action, whereas it completely blocked IGF-1 action on the proliferation of H9C2 cells. Moreover, this synthetic MGF E peptide did not activate Akt phosphorylation, whereas it activated ERK1/2 in H9C2 rat myocardial cells. These data support the role of IGF-1 expression in the myocardial repair process and suggest that synthetic MGF E peptide actions may be mediated via an IGF-1R independent pathway in rat myocardial cells, as suggested by our in vitro experiments.
The IGF-1 signaling pathway plays an important role in regulating longevity. To identify the genetic loci and genes that regulate plasma IGF-1 levels, we intercrossed MRL/MpJ and SM/J, inbred mouse strains that differ in IGF-1 levels. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis of IGF-1 levels of these F2 mice detected four QTL on chromosomes (Chrs) 9 (48 Mb), 10 (86 Mb), 15 (18 Mb) and 17 (85 Mb). Haplotype association mapping of IGF-1 levels in 28 domesticated inbred strains identified three suggestive loci in females on Chrs 2 (13 Mb), 10 (88 Mb) and 17 (28 Mb) and in males on Chrs 1 (159 Mb), 3 (52 and 58 Mb) and 16 (74 Mb). Except for the QTL on Chr 9 and 16, all loci co-localized with IGF-1 QTL previously identified in other mouse crosses. The most significant locus was the QTL on Chr 10, which contains the Igf1 gene and which had a LOD score of 31.8. Haplotype analysis among 28 domesticated inbred strains revealed a major QTL on Chr 10 overlapping with the QTL identified in the F2 mice. This locus showed three major haplotypes; strains with haplotype 1 had significantly lower plasma IGF-1 and extended longevity (P < 0.05) than strains with haplotype 2 or 3. Bioinformatic analysis, combined with sequencing and expression studies, showed that Igf1 is the most likely QTL gene, but that other genes may also play a role in this strong QTL.
IGF-1; QTL; longevity; mouse; haplotype analysis
Dampening of insulin/insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF1) signaling results in extension of lifespan in invertebrate as well as murine models. The impact of this evolutionarily conserved pathway on modulation of human lifespan remains unclear. We previously identified two IGF1R mutations (Ala-37-Thr and Arg-407-His) that are enriched in Ashkenazi Jewish centenarians as compared to younger controls and are associated with reduced activity of the IGF1 receptor as measured in immortalized lymphocytes. To determine whether these human longevity-associated IGF1R mutations affect IGF1 signaling, we engineered mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) expressing the different human IGF1R variants in a mouse Igf1r null background. The results indicate that MEFs expressing the human longevity-associated IGF1R mutations attenuated IGF1 signaling, as demonstrated by significant reduction in phosphorylation of both IGF1R and AKT after IGF1 treatment, in comparisons to MEFs expressing the wild type IGF1R. The impaired IGF1 signaling caused by the IGF1R mutations resulted in reduced induction of the major IGF1-activated genes in MEFs, including EGR1, mCSF, IL3Rα, and TDAG51. Furthermore, the IGF1R mutations caused a delay in cell cycle progression after IGF1 treatment, indicating a dysfunctional physiological response to a cell proliferation signal. These results demonstrate that the human longevity-associated IGF1R variants are reduced-function mutations, implying that dampening of IGF1 signaling may be a longevity mechanism in humans.
human longevity; IGF1 signaling; genetic variation; gene expression
Regulation of hormonal, insulin/IGF-1 (Ins/IGF-1) signaling activities, and pathways of the intrinsic generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a role in aging and longevity determination. In this review we discuss the cross-talk between these pathways as mechanisms of signaling that may be important factors in the regulation of aging and longevity. The balance of physiological processes controlling the rate of aging and longevity in several mouse mutants suggests the involvement of cross-talk mechanisms of regulation of the insulin/IGF1 signaling pathway vs. the ROS signaling pathways. In mice, modulation of the Ins/IGF-1 signaling pathways resulting from the Prop1df, Pit1dw and Igf1 receptor mutations exemplify the hormonal pathways associated with aging and longevity determination. These pathways are also targets of the ROS-mediated redox pathways. Similarly, the Klotho and p66Shc mutants link regulation of ROS signaling pathways to aging and longevity determination. Both of these models also display altered insulin signaling activity, a characteristic associated with longevity. The Ins/IGF-1 signaling pathway is of particular interest because of its decreased activity due to genetic manipulation vs. its responsiveness to ROS levels.
Insulin/IGF-1 signaling; ROS signaling; Aging; Longevity
The domestic dog exhibits greater diversity in body size than any other terrestrial vertebrate. We used a strategy that exploits the breed structure of dogs to investigate the genetic basis of size. First, through a genome-wide scan, we identified a major quantitative trait locus (QTL) on chromosome 15 influencing size variation within a single breed. Second, we examined genetic variation in the 15-megabase interval surrounding the QTL in small and giant breeds and found marked evidence for a selective sweep spanning a single gene (IGF1), encoding insulin-like growth factor 1. A single IGF1 single-nucleotide polymorphism haplotype is common to all small breeds and nearly absent from giant breeds, suggesting that the same causal sequence variant is a major contributor to body size in all small dogs.
Recent findings have indicated that insulin-like growth factors (IGF-I and IGF-II) may play a role in neoplasia. Alteration of serum IGFs or IGF Binding Proteins (IGFBPs) have been reported in some tumors. In this study, we measured serum IGF-I, IGF-II and IGFBPs profile in gastric cancer by radioimmunoassay and Western ligand blots. The serum IGF-I level in gastric cancer was significantly lower than in control subjects (65.2 +/- 26.5 vs 148.4 +/- 55.2 ng/ml, p < 0.01) and was further decreased to 45.5 +/- 20.9 ng/ml after surgery. The serum IGF-II level was slightly higher than that in control subjects (826.3 +/- 360.2 vs 735.7 +/- 154.6 ng/ml) but it was significantly decreased after surgery (525.7 +/- 220.1 ng/ml, p < 0.05). The serum IGFBP-3 level was not significantly different from those in control subjects. However, we observed a decreased level of serum IGFBP-3 after surgery, and incubation of postoperative serum with control serum resulted in a significant reduction of IGFBP-3 level. The reduction of IGFBP-3 in postoperative serum was mainly due to surgery associated IGFBP-3 protease activity. This protease activity was totally inhibited by aprotinin, EDTA and PMSF but not by pepstatin and leupeptin. This inhibition pattern is consistant with cation dependent serine protease. We speculate that proteolysis of IGFBP-3 may contribute to increase the bioavailability of IGFs.
In animal models, single-gene mutations in genes involved in insulin/IGF and target of rapamycin signalling pathways extend lifespan to a considerable extent. The genetic, genomic and epigenetic influences on human longevity are expected to be much more complex. Strikingly however, beneficial metabolic and cellular features of long-lived families resemble those in animals for whom the lifespan is extended by applying genetic manipulation and, especially, dietary restriction. Candidate gene studies in humans support the notion that human orthologues from longevity genes identified in lower species do contribute to longevity but that the influence of the genetic variants involved is small. Here we discuss how an integration of novel study designs, labour-intensive biobanking, deep phenotyping and genomic research may provide insights into the mechanisms that drive human longevity and healthy ageing, beyond the associations usually provided by molecular and genetic epidemiology. Although prospective studies of humans from the cradle to the grave have never been performed, it is feasible to extract life histories from different cohorts jointly covering the molecular changes that occur with age from early development all the way up to the age at death. By the integration of research in different study cohorts, and with research in animal models, biological research into human longevity is thus making considerable progress.
human longevity; longevity genomics; epigenetics and ageing
Short abstract: A multi-level cross-species comparative analysis of gene-expression changes accompanying increased longevity in mutant nematodes, fruit flies and mice with reduced insulin/IGF-1 signaling revealed candidate conserved mechanisms.
To what extent are the determinants of aging in animal species universal? Insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 signaling (IIS) is an evolutionarily conserved (public) regulator of longevity; yet it remains unclear whether the genes and biochemical processes through which IIS acts on aging are public or private (that is, lineage specific). To address this, we have applied a novel, multi-level cross-species comparative analysis to compare gene expression changes accompanying increased longevity in mutant nematodes, fruitflies and mice with reduced IIS.
Surprisingly, there is little evolutionary conservation at the level of individual, orthologous genes or paralogous genes under IIS regulation. However, a number of gene categories are significantly enriched for genes whose expression changes in long-lived animals of all three species. Down-regulated categories include protein biosynthesis-associated genes. Up-regulated categories include sugar catabolism, energy generation, glutathione-S-transferases (GSTs) and several other categories linked to cellular detoxification (that is, phase 1 and phase 2 metabolism of xenobiotic and endobiotic toxins). Protein biosynthesis and GST activity have recently been linked to aging and longevity assurance, respectively.
These processes represent candidate, regulated mechanisms of longevity-control that are conserved across animal species. The longevity assurance mechanisms via which IIS acts appear to be lineage-specific at the gene level (private), but conserved at the process level (or semi-public). In the case of GSTs, and cellular detoxification generally, this suggests that the mechanisms of aging against which longevity assurance mechanisms act are, to some extent, lineage specific.