Adiponectin is positively correlated with longevity and negatively correlated with many obesity-related diseases. While there are several circulating forms of adiponectin, the high molecular weight (HMW) version has been suggested to have the predominant bioactivity. Adiponectin gene expression and cognate serum protein levels are of particular interest in mice with altered growth hormone (GH) signaling as these mice exhibit extremes in obesity that are positively associated with insulin sensitivity and lifespan as opposed to the typical negative association of these factors. While a few studies have reported total adiponectin levels in young adult mice with altered GH signaling, much remains unresolved, including changes in adiponectin levels with advancing age, proportion of total adiponectin in the HMW form, adipose depot of origin, and differential effects of GH versus IGF1. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to address these issues using assorted mouse lines with altered GH signaling. Our results show that adiponectin is generally negatively associated with GH activity, regardless of age. Further, the amount of HMW adiponectin is consistently linked with the level of total adiponectin and not necessarily with previously reported lifespan or insulin sensitivity of these mice. Interestingly, circulating adiponectin levels correlated strongly with inguinal fat mass, implying the effects of GH on adiponectin are depot-specific. Interestingly rbGH, but not IGF1, decreased circulating total and HMW adiponectin levels. Taken together, these results fill important gaps in the literature related to GH and adiponectin and question the frequently reported associations of total and HMW adiponectin with insulin sensitivity and longevity.
adiponectin; high molecular weight adiponectin; growth hormone receptor; growth hormone; growth hormone deficiency; growth hormone antagonist
The growth hormone (GH) receptor knockout (GHRKO) mice are highly insulin sensitive and long-lived. Surgical visceral fat removal (VFR) improves insulin signaling in normal mice and rats and extends longevity in rats. We have previously demonstrated decreased expression of certain pro-apoptotic genes in kidneys of GHRKO mice, and suggested that this may contribute to the increased longevity of these animals. The aim of the present study was to examine the level of the following proteins: caspase-3, caspase-9, caspase-8, bax, bad, phospho-bad (p-bad), bcl-2, Smac/DIABLO, Apaf-1, phospho-p53 (pp53) and cytochrome c (cyc) in male GHRKO and normal (N) mice subjected to VFR or sham surgery, at approximately 6 months of age. The kidneys were collected 2 months after VFR. Results: Caspase-3, caspase-8, bax, bad, Smac/DIABLO, Apaf-1 and pp53 levels were decreased in GHRKO mice as compared to N animals. VFR did not change the level of any of the examined proteins. Conclusion: Decreased renal levels of pro-apoptotic proteins may contribute to extended lifespan due to targeted disruption of GH receptor (Ghr) gene but are apparently not involved in mediating the effects of VFR.
apoptosis; caspases; GHRKO mice; kidney; proteins; visceral fat removal
The long-lived growth hormone (GH) receptor knockout (GHRKO; KO) mice are GH resistant due to targeted disruption of the GH receptor (Ghr) gene. Apoptosis is a physiological process in which cells play an active role in their own death and is a normal component of the development and health of multicellular organisms. Aging is associated with the progressive loss of strength of skeletal and heart muscles. Calorie restriction (CR) is a well known experimental model to delay aging and increase lifespan. The aim of the study was to examine the expression of the following apoptosis-related genes: caspase-3, caspase-9, caspase-8, bax, bcl-2, Smac/DIABLO, p53 and cytochrome c1 (cyc1) in the skeletal muscles and hearts of female normal and GHRKO mice, fed ad libitum or subjected to 40% CR for 6 months, starting at 2 months of age. Moreover, skeletal muscle caspase-3, caspase-9, caspase-8, bax, bcl-2, Smac/DIABLO, Apaf-1, bad, phospho-bad (pbad), phospho-p53 (pp53) and cytochrome c (cyc) protein expression levels were assessed.
Expression of caspase-3, caspase-9, bax and Smac/DIABLO genes and proteins was decreased in GHRKO’s skeletal muscles. The Apaf-1 protein expression also was diminished in this tissue. In contrast, bcl-2 and pbad protein levels were increased in skeletal muscles in knockouts. No changes were demonstrated for the examined genes expression in GHRKO’s hearts except for the increased level of cyc1 mRNA. CR did not alter the expression of the examined genes and proteins in skeletal muscles of knockouts vs. normal (N) mice. In heart homogenates, CR increased caspase-3 mRNA level as compared to ad libitum (AL) mice.
decreased expression of certain pro-apoptotic genes and/or proteins may constitute the potential mechanism of prolonged longevity in GHRKO mice, protecting these animals from aging; this potential beneficial mechanism is not affected by calorie restriction.
The growth hormone (GH) receptor knockout mice (GHRKO) are remarkably long-lived and highly insulin sensitive. Alterations in mitochondrial biogenesis are associated with aging and various metabolic derangements. We have previously demonstrated increased gene expression of key regulators of mitochondriogenesis in kidneys, hearts and skeletal muscles of GHRKO mice. The aim of the present study was to quantify the protein levels of the following regulators of mitochondriogenesis: peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ co-activator 1α (PGC-1α), AMP-activated protein kinase α (AMPKα), phospho-AMPKα (p-AMPKα), sirtuin-3 (SIRT-3), endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), phospho-eNOS (p-eNOS), nuclear respiratory factor-1 (NRF-1) and mitofusin-2 (MFN-2) in skeletal muscles and kidneys of GHRKOs in comparison to normal mice. We were also interested in the effects of calorie restriction (CR) and visceral fat removal (VFR) on these parameters. Both CR and VFR improve insulin sensitivity and can extend lifespan. Results: The renal levels of PGC-1α, AMPKα, p-AMPKα, SIRT-3, eNOS, p-eNOS and MFN-2 were increased in GHRKOs. In the GHRKO skeletal muscles, only MFN-2 was increased. Levels of the examined proteins were not affected by CR (except for PGC-1α and p-eNOS in skeletal muscles) or VFR. Conclusion: GHRKO mice have increased renal protein levels of key regulators of mitochondriogenesis and this may contribute to increased longevity of these knockouts.
mitochondrial biogenesis; GHRKO mice; skeletal muscles; kidneys; proteins; calorie restriction; visceral fat
Of the multiple theories to explain exceptional longevity, the most robust of these has centered on the reduction of three anabolic protein hormones, growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor, and insulin. GH mutant mice live 50% longer and exhibit significant differences in several aspects of energy metabolism as compared with wild-type mice. Mitochondrial metabolism is upregulated in the absence of GH, whereas in GH transgenic mice and dwarf mice treated with GH, multiple aspects of these pathways are suppressed. Core body temperature is markedly lower in dwarf mice, yet whole-body metabolism, as measured by indirect calorimetry, is surprisingly higher in Ames dwarf and Ghr–/– mice compared with normal controls. Elevated adiponectin, a key antiinflammatory cytokine, is also very likely to contribute to longevity in these mice. Thus, several important components related to energy metabolism are altered in GH mutant mice, and these differences are likely critical in aging processes and life-span extension.
Hormones; Aging; Mitochondria; Body temperature; Inflammation
Aging is characterized by a deterioration in the maintenance of homeostatic processes over time, leading to functional decline and increased risk for disease and death. The aging process is characterized metabolically by insulin resistance, changes in body composition, and physiological declines in growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and sex steroids. Some interventions designed to address features of aging, such as caloric restriction or visceral fat depletion, have succeeded in improving insulin action and life span in rodents. Meanwhile, pharmacologic interventions and hormonal perturbations have increased the life span of several mammalian species without necessarily addressing features of age-related metabolic decline. These interventions include inhibition of the mammalian target of rapamycin and lifetime deficiency in GH/IGF-1 signaling. However, strategies to treat aging in humans, such as hormone replacement, have mostly failed to achieve their desired response. We will briefly discuss recent advances in our understanding of the complex role of metabolic pathways in the aging process and highlight important paradoxes that have emerged from these discoveries. Although life span has been the major outcome of interest in the laboratory, a special focus is made in this study on healthspan, as improved quality of life is the goal when translated to humans.
The epidermal growth factor (EGF) activates the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt cascade among other signaling pathways. This route is involved in cell proliferation and survival, therefore, its dysregulation can promote cancer. Considering the relevance of the PI3K-Akt signaling in cell survival and in the pathogenesis of cancer, and that GH was reported to modulate EGFR expression and signaling, the objective of this study was to analyze the effects of increased GH levels on EGF-induced PI3K-Akt signaling. EGF-induced signaling was evaluated in the liver of GH overexpressing transgenic mice and in their normal siblings. While Akt expression was increased in GH-overeexpressing mice, EGF-induced phosphorylation of Akt, relative to its protein content, was diminished at Ser473 and inhibited at Thr308; consequently, mTOR, which is a substrate of Akt, was not activated by EGF. However, the activation of PDK1, a kinase involved in Akt phosphorylation at Thr308, was not reduced in transgenic mice. Kinetics studies of EGF-induced Akt phosphorylation showed that it is rapidly and transiently induced in GH-overexpressing mice compared with normal siblings. Thus, the expression and activity of phosphatases involved in the termination of the PI3K-Akt signaling were studied. In transgenic mice, neither PTEN nor PP2A were hyperactivated; however, EGF induced the rapid and transient association of SHP-2 to Gab1, which mediates association to EGFR and activation of PI3K. Rapid recruitment of SHP2, which would accelerate the termination of the proliferative signal induced, could be therefore contributing to the diminished EGF-induced activity of Akt in GH-overexpressing mice.
Growth hormone (GH); Epidermal growth factor (EGF); PI3K-Akt pathway; GH transgenic mice; Grb2-associated binder-1 (Gab1)
Long-lived mutant mice, both Ames dwarf and growth hormone receptor gene disrupted or knockout (GHRKO) strains, exhibit heightened cognitive robustness and altered IGF1 signaling in the brain. Here we report, in both these long-lived mice, that three up-regulated lead microRNAs, miR-470, −669b, and −681, are involved in post-transcriptional regulation of genes pertinent to growth hormone (GH)/IGF1 signaling. All three are most prominently localized in the hippocampus, and correspond to reduced expression of key IGF1 signaling genes: IGF1, IGF1R, and PI3 kinase. The decline in these genes’ expression translates into decreased phosphorylation of downstream molecules AKT and FoxO3a. Cultures transfected with either miR-470, −669b, or −681 show repressed endogenous expression of all three genes of the IGF1 signaling axis, most significantly IGF1R, while other similarly up-regulated microRNAs, including let-7g and miR-509, do not induce the same levels of repression. Transduction study in IGF1-responsive cell cultures shows significantly reduced IGF1R expression, and AKT to some extent, most notably by miR-681. This is accompanied by decreased levels of downstream phosphorylated forms of AKT and FoxO3a upon IGF1 stimulation. Suppression of IGF1R by the three microRNAs is further validated by IGF1R 3′UTR reporter assays. Taken together, our results suggest that miR-470, miR-669b, and miR-681 are all functionally able to suppress IGF1R and AKT, two upstream genes controlling FoxO3a phosphorylation status. Their up-regulation in GH signaling-deficient mutant mouse brain suggests reduced IGF1 signaling at the post-transcriptional level, for numerous gains of neuronal function in these long-lived mice.
microRNA; aging; IGF1; IGF1R; growth hormone; Ames dwarf mice and GHRKO mice; miR-470; miR-669b; miR-681; cognitive robustness and longevity
Mice with targeted deletion of the growth hormone receptor (GHRKO mice) are GH resistant, small, obese, hypoinsulinemic, highly insulin sensitive and remarkably long-lived. To elucidate the unexpected coexistence of adiposity with improved insulin sensitivity and extended longevity, we examined effects of surgical removal of visceral (epididymal and perinephric) fat on metabolic traits related to insulin signaling and longevity. Comparison of results obtained in GHRKO mice and in normal animals from the same strain revealed disparate effects of visceral fat removal (VFR) on insulin and glucose tolerance, adiponectin levels, accumulation of ectopic fat, phosphorylation of insulin signaling intermediates, body temperature and respiratory quotient (RQ). Overall, VFR produced the expected improvements in insulin sensitivity and reduced body temperature and RQ in normal mice and had opposite effects in GHRKO mice. Some of the examined parameters were altered by VFR in opposite directions in GHRKO and normal mice, others were affected in only one genotype or exhibited significant genotype × treatment interactions. Functional differences between visceral fat of GHRKO and normal mice were confirmed by measurements of adipokine secretion, lipolysis and expression of genes related to fat metabolism. We conclude that in the absence of GH signaling the secretory activity of visceral fat is profoundly altered and unexpectedly promotes enhanced insulin sensitivity. The apparent beneficial effects of visceral fat in GHRKO mice may also explain why reducing adiposity by calorie restriction fails to improve insulin signaling or further extend longevity in these animals.
GHRKO; insulin; adipose tissue
Since 1996, aging studies using several strains of long-lived mutant mice have been conducted. Among these studies, Ames dwarf mice have been extensively examined to seek clues regarding the role of the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-1 axis in the aging process. Interestingly, these projects demonstrate that Ames dwarf mice have physiological characteristics that are similar to those seen with calorie restriction, which has been the most effective experimental manipulation capable of extending lifespan in various species. However, this introduces the question of whether Ames dwarf and calorie-restricted (CR) mice have an extended lifespan through common or independent pathways. To answer this question, we compared the disease profiles of Ames dwarf mice to their normal siblings fed either ad libitum (AL) or a CR diet. Our findings show that the changes in age-related diseases between AL-fed Ames dwarf mice and CR wild-type siblings were similar but not identical. Moreover, the effects of CR on age-related pathology showed similarities and differences between Ames dwarf mice and their normal siblings, indicating that calorie restriction and Ames dwarf mice exhibit their anti-aging effects through both independent and common mechanisms.
age-related pathology; Ames dwarf mice; calorie restriction; neoplastic disease; aging
Genetic suppression of insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling (IIS) can extend longevity in worms, insects, and mammals. In laboratory mice, mutations with the greatest, most consistent, and best documented positive impact on lifespan are those that disrupt growth hormone (GH) release or actions. These mutations lead to major alterations in IIS but also have a variety of effects that are not directly related to the actions of insulin or insulin-like growth factor I. Long-lived GH-resistant GHR-KO mice with targeted disruption of the GH receptor gene, as well as Ames dwarf (Prop1df) and Snell dwarf (Pit1dw) mice lacking GH (along with prolactin and TSH), are diminutive in size and have major alterations in body composition and metabolic parameters including increased subcutaneous adiposity, increased relative brain weight, small liver, hypoinsulinemia, mild hypoglycemia, increased adiponectin levels and insulin sensitivity, and reduced serum lipids. Body temperature is reduced in Ames, Snell, and female GHR-KO mice. Indirect calorimetry revealed that both Ames dwarf and GHR-KO mice utilize more oxygen per gram (g) of body weight than sex- and age-matched normal animals from the same strain. They also have reduced respiratory quotient, implying greater reliance on fats, as opposed to carbohydrates, as an energy source. Differences in oxygen consumption (VO2) were seen in animals fed or fasted during the measurements as well as in animals that had been exposed to 30% calorie restriction or every-other-day feeding. However, at the thermoneutral temperature of 30°C, VO2 did not differ between GHR-KO and normal mice. Thus, the increased metabolic rate of the GHR-KO mice, at a standard animal room temperature of 23°C, is apparently related to increased energy demands for thermoregulation in these diminutive animals. We suspect that increased oxidative metabolism combined with enhanced fatty acid oxidation contribute to the extended longevity of GHR-KO mice.
growth hormone; aging; calorie restriction; dwarf mice; metabolism
Testosterone supplementation increases muscle mass in older men but has not been shown to consistently improve physical function and activity. It has been hypothesized that physical exercise is required to induce the adaptations necessary for translation of testosterone-induced muscle mass gain into functional improvements. However, the effects of testosterone plus low intensity physical exercise training (T/PT) on functional performance and bioenergetics are unknown. In this pilot study, we tested the hypothesis that combined administration of T/PT would improve functional performance and bioenergetics in male mice late in life more than low-intensity physical training alone. 28-month old male mice were randomized to receive T/PT or vehicle plus physical training (V/PT) for 2 months. Compare to V/PT control, administration of T/PT was associated with improvements in muscle mass, grip strength, spontaneous physical movements, and respiratory activity. These changes were correlated with increased mitochondrial DNA copy number and expression of markers for mitochondrial biogenesis. Mice receiving T/PT also displayed increased expression of key elements for mitochondrial quality control, including markers for mitochondrial fission-and-fusion and mitophagy. Concurrently, mice receiving T/PT also displayed increased expression of markers for reduced tissue oxidative damage and improved muscle quality. Conclusion: Testosterone administered with low-intensity physical training improves grip strength, spontaneous movements, and respiratory activity. These functional improvements were associated with increased muscle mitochondrial biogenesis and improved mitochondrial quality control.
Mitochondrial biogenesis is essential for cell viability. Growth hormone receptor knockout (GHRKO), calorie restriction, and surgical visceral fat removal constitute experimental interventions to delay aging and increase life span. We examined the expression of known regulators of mitochondriogenesis: peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor γ co-activator 1α (PGC-1α), adenosine monophosphate (AMP)–activated protein kinase (AMPK), sirtuin-1 (SIRT-1) and sirtuin-3 (SIRT-3), endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), nuclear respiratory factor-1, mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM), and mitofusin-2 (MFN-2) in the skeletal muscles and hearts of control and calorie-restricted female GHRKO mice and in the kidneys of male GHRKOs after visceral fat removal or sham surgery. Expression of PGC-1α in skeletal muscles, AMPK, SIRT-1, SIRT-3, eNOS, and MFN-2 in the heart and PGC-1α, AMPK, SIRT-3, eNOS, and MFN-2 in kidneys was increased in GHRKO mice but was not affected by calorie restriction or visceral fat removal. GHRKO mice have increased expression of key regulators of mitochondriogenesis, which is not improved further by calorie restriction or visceral fat removal.
GHRKO mice; Mitochondrial biogenesis; Gene expression; Calorie restriction; Visceral fat removal
Altered somatotrophic signaling is among the most important potential mechanisms of extended longevity. Ames dwarf (df/df) mice are homozygous for mutation at the Prop-1 gene, leading to a lack of growth hormone (GH), prolactin and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Mice homozygous for targeted disruption of the growth hormone receptor/growth hormone binding protein gene are known as GH receptor knockout (GHRKO) mice or “Laron dwarf”. Both, df/df and GHRKO mice, are characterized by reduced body size, low plasma insulin and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), remarkably extended longevity, and severe (in df/df mice) or mild (in GHRKO mice) thyroid hypofunction. Recently, by crossing df/df and GHRKO mice, double-mutant Ames dwarf/GHRKO (df/KO) mice were created. Interestingly, these mice are smaller than Ames dwarfs or GHRKOs, and also have reduced insulin and IGF-I levels. The aim of the study was to investigate if and to what extent certain thyroid morphological parameters, such as inner follicular surface area, inner follicular perimeter, as well as the follicular epithelium thickness are changed in the examined dwarf mice.
This quantification was performed in thyroids collected from df/df, GHRKO and df/KO female mice, at approximately 5–6 months of age. We used a computerized plotting programme that combines a live microscopic image of the slide with an operator-generated overlay.
Inner follicular surface area and inner follicular perimeter were decreased in all examined kinds of dwarf mice as compared to normal animals. Furthermore, decreases in these two parameters were more pronounced in df/df and df/KO than in GHRKO mice. Concerning the follicular epithelium thickness, only a tendency towards decrease of this parameter was found in all three kinds of dwarf mice.
Parameters characterizing thyroid follicle size are decreased in all three examined models of dwarf mice, which may explain decreased thyroid hormone levels in both basal mutants (Ames dwarfs and GHRKOs). df/df mutation seems to predominate over GHRKO genetic intervention concerning their effects on thyroid growth. Beside TSH, also GH signaling seems to constitute a crucial element in the regulation of thyroid growth and, possibly, function.
Ames dwarf mice; GHRKO mice; Thyroid follicle; Inner follicular surface area; Inner follicular perimeter; Follicular epithelium thickness
Longevity of mice can be increased by spontaneous or experimentally induced mutations that interfere with the biosynthesis or actions of growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), or insulin in the adipose tissue. The effects of GH resistance and deficiency of GH (along with thyrotropin and prolactin) on aging and lifespan are the most pronounced and best established of these mutations. Potential mechanisms linking these endocrine deficits with delayed aging and extended longevity include increased stress resistance, alterations in insulin and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling and metabolic adjustments.
Physiological relationships deduced from the extreme phenotypes of long-lived mouse mutants appear to apply broadly, encompassing genetically normal (“wild-type”) mice and other mammalian species. The role of GH in the control of human aging continues to be hotly debated, but recent data indicate that reduced somatotropic signaling provides protection from cancer and other age-related diseases and may promote old age survival.
longevity; cancer; insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1); dwarf mice
It is well known that somatotrophic/insulin signaling affects lifespan in experimental animals, and one of the signs of aging is progressive gonadal dysfunction.
To study the effects of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) plasma level on ovaries, we analyzed ovaries isolated from 2-year-old growth hormone receptor knockout (GHR-KO) Laron dwarf mice, with low circulating plasma levels of IGF-1, and 6-month-old bovine growth hormone transgenic (bGHTg) mice, with high circulating plasma levels of IGF-1. The ages of the Laron dwarf mutants employed in our studies were selected based on their overall survival (up to ~ 4 years for Laron dwarf mice and ~ 1 year for bGHTg mice).
Morphological analysis of the ovaries of mice that reached ~50% of their maximal life span revealed a lower biological age for the ovaries isolated from 2-year-old Laron dwarf mice than their normal-lifespan wild type littermates. By contrast, the ovarian morphology of increased in size 6 month old bGHTg mice was generally normal.
Ovaries isolated from 2-year-old Laron dwarf mice exhibit a lower biological age compared with ovaries from normal WT littermates at the same age. At the same time, no morphological features of accelerated aging were found in 0.5-year-old bGHTg mice compared with ovaries from normal the same age-matched WT littermates.
Murine ovary; Laron dwarf mouse; Bovine growth hormone transgenic mouse; Growth hormone; Insulin-like growth factor-1; Aging
Caloric restriction enhances N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor binding and upregulates messenger RNA expression of the GluN1 subunit during aging. Old growth hormone receptor knockout mice resemble old calorically restricted rodents in enhanced life span and brain function, as compared with aged controls. This study examined whether aged growth hormone receptor knockout mice also show enhanced expression of NMDA receptors. Six or 23- to 24-month-old male normal-sized control or dwarf growth hormone receptor knockout mice were assayed for NMDA-displaceable [3H]glutamate binding (autoradiography) and GluN1 subunit messenger RNA (in situ hybridization). There was slight sparing of NMDA receptor binding densities within aged medial prefrontal and motor cortices, similar to caloric restriction, but there were greater age-related declines in GluN1 messenger RNA in growth hormone receptor knockout versus control mice. These results suggest that some of the functional improvements in aged mice with altered growth hormone signaling may be due to enhancement of NMDA receptors, but not through the upregulation of messenger RNA for the GluN1 subunit.
NMDA; GluN1; Laron mice; Prefrontal cortex; Hippocampus
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
Mutant animals characterized by extended longevity provide valuable tools to study the mechanisms of aging. Growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) constitute one of the well-established pathways involved in the regulation of aging and lifespan. Ames and Snell dwarf mice characterized by GH deficiency as well as growth hormone receptor/growth hormone binding protein knockout (GHRKO) mice characterized by GH resistance live significantly longer than genetically normal animals. During normal aging of rodents and humans there is increased insulin resistance, disruption of metabolic activities and decline of the function of the immune system. All of these age related processes promote inflammatory activity, causing long term tissue damage and systemic chronic inflammation. However, studies of long living mutants and calorie restricted animals show decreased pro-inflammatory activity with increased levels of anti-inflammatory adipokines such as adiponectin. At the same time, these animals have improved insulin signaling and carbohydrate homeostasis that relate to alterations in the secretory profile of adipose tissue including increased production and release of anti-inflammatory adipokines. This suggests that reduced inflammation promoting healthy metabolism may represent one of the major mechanisms of extended longevity in long-lived mutant mice and likely also in the human.
Ghowth hormone; obesity; inflammation; calorie restriction; aging
Increase in life span in RasGrf1-deficient mice revealed that RasGrf1 deficiency promotes longevity. Interestingly, RasGrf1 is one of parentally imprinted genes transcribed from paternally-derived chromosome. Erasure of its imprinting results in RasGrf1 downregulation and has been demonstrated in a population of pluripotent adult tissues-derived very small embryonic like stem cells (VSELs), stem cells involved in tissue organ rejuvenation. Furthermore, based on recent observation that RasGrf1 signaling molecule is located downstream from insulin (Ins) and insulin like growth factor-1 (Igf-1) receptors, the extended life-span of RasGrf1−/− mice may support beneficial effect of reduced Ins/Igf-1 signaling on longevity. Similarly, downregulation of RasGrf1 in VSELs renders them resistant to chronic Ins/Igf-1 signaling and protects from premature depletion from adult tissues. Thus, the studies in RasGrf1−/− mice indicate that some of the imprinted genes may play a role in ontogenetic longevity and suggest that there are sex differences in life span that originate at the genome level. All this in toto supports a concept that the sperm genome may have a detrimental effect on longevity in mammals. We will discuss a role of RasGrf1 on life span in context of genomic imprinting and VSELs.
Aging; longevity; IGF-1; RasGrf1; VSEL
Mice lacking the pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PappA) gene exhibit diminished localized IGF-1 bioavailability and a 30% increase in mean life span. However, it is uncertain which tissues exhibit reduced IGF-1 signals in the PappA(−/−) mouse, and whether effects of this mutation parallel those of mutations that diminish IGF-1 in serum. Across a panel of 21 tissues, we used RT-PCR to evaluate the effects of the PappA(−/−) mutation on expression of Igfbp5, which served as an in vivo indicator of IGF-1 signaling. Among these tissues, expression of Igfbp5 was significantly reduced by PappA(−/−) only in kidney. A broader survey of IGF-associated genes in six organs identified five other genes responsive to PappA(−/−) in kidney, with stronger effects in this organ relative to other tissues. Renal expression of Irs1 and Mt1 was increased by PappA(−/−) as well as by mutations that reduce IGF-1 in serum (i.e., Ghr(−/−), Pit1(dw/dw) and Prop1(df/df)), and we demonstrate that expression of these genes is regulated by growth hormone-treatment and calorie restriction. These results provide in vivo data on an important new model of mammalian aging, and characterize both similar and contrasting expression patterns between long-lived mice with reduced local IGF-1 availability and diminished IGF-1 in serum.
aging; dwarf; growth hormone; insulin-like growth factor; lifespan; longevity
Blockade of growth hormone (GH), decreased insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1) action and increased insulin sensitivity are associated with life extension and an apparent slowing of the aging process. We examined expression of genes involved in insulin action, IR, IRS1, IRS2, IGF1, IGF1R, GLUT4, PPARs and RXRs in the hearts of normal and GHR−/− (KO) mice fed ad libitum or subjected to 30% caloric restriction (CR). CR increased the cardiac expression of IR, IRS1, IGF1, IGF1R and GLUT4 in normal mice and IRS1, GLUT4, PPARα and PPARβ/δ in GHR-KO animals. Expression of IR, IRS1, IRS2, IGF1, GLUT4, PPARγ and PPARα did not differ between GHR-KO and normal mice. These unexpected results suggest that CR may lead to major modifications of insulin action in the heart, but high insulin sensitivity of GHR-KO mice is not associated with alterations in the levels of most of the examined molecules related to intracellular insulin signaling.
Caloric restriction; aging; GHR-KO; insulin; fatty acid