Obesity is associated with a chronic, low-grade, systemic inflammation that may contribute to the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Resveratrol, a natural compound with anti-inflammatory properties, is shown to improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in obese mice and humans. Here we tested the effect of a 2-year resveratrol administration on pro-inflammatory profile and insulin resistance caused by a high-fat, high-sugar (HFS) diet in white adipose tissue (WAT) from rhesus monkeys. Eighty mg/day of resveratrol for 12-month followed by 480 mg/day for the second year decreased adipocyte size, increased sirtuin 1 expression, decreased NF-κB activation and improved insulin sensitivity in visceral but not subcutaneous WAT from HFS-fed animals. These effects were reproduced in 3T3-L1 adipocytes cultured in media supplemented with serum from monkeys fed HFS +/− resveratrol diets. In conclusion, chronic administration of resveratrol exerts beneficial metabolic and inflammatory adaptations in visceral WAT from diet-induced obese monkeys.
Increased expression of SIRT1 extends the lifespan of lower organisms and delays the onset of age-related diseases in mammals. Here, we show that SRT2104, a synthetic small molecule activator of SIRT1, extends both mean and maximal lifespan of mice fed a standard diet. This is accompanied by improvements in health, including enhanced motor coordination, performance, bone mineral density, and insulin sensitivity associated with higher mitochondrial content and decreased inflammation. Short-term SRT2104 treatment preserves bone and muscle mass in an experimental model of atrophy. These results demonstrate it is possible to design a small molecule that can slow aging and delay multiple age-related diseases in mammals, supporting the therapeutic potential of SIRT1 activators in humans.
healthspan; inflammation; lifespan; muscle wasting; osteoporosis; sirtuins
Modern society enables a shortening of sleep times, yet long-term consequences of extended wakefulness on the brain are largely unknown. Essential for optimal alertness, locus ceruleus neurons (LCns) are metabolically active neurons that fire at increased rates across sustained wakefulness. We hypothesized that wakefulness is a metabolic stressor to LCns and that, with extended wakefulness, adaptive mitochondrial metabolic responses fail and injury ensues. The nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-dependent deacetylase sirtuin type 3 (SirT3) coordinates mitochondrial energy production and redox homeostasis. We find that brief wakefulness upregulates SirT3 and antioxidants in LCns, protecting metabolic homeostasis. Strikingly, mice lacking SirT3 lose the adaptive antioxidant response and incur oxidative injury in LCns across brief wakefulness. When wakefulness is extended for longer durations in wild-type mice, SirT3 protein declines in LCns, while oxidative stress and acetylation of mitochondrial proteins, including electron transport chain complex I proteins, increase. In parallel with metabolic dyshomeostasis, apoptosis is activated and LCns are lost. This work identifies mitochondrial stress in LCns upon wakefulness, highlights an essential role for SirT3 activation in maintaining metabolic homeostasis in LCns across wakefulness, and demonstrates that extended wakefulness results in reduced SirT3 activity and, ultimately, degeneration of LCns.
acetylation; locus ceruleus; metabolics; mitochondria; oxidative stress; sleep deprivation
The inhibition of mTOR (mechanistic target of rapamycin) by the macrolide rapamycin has many beneficial effects in mice, including extension of lifespan and reduction or prevention of several age-related diseases. At the same time, chronic rapamycin treatment causes impairments in glucose metabolism including hyperglycemia, glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. It is unknown whether these metabolic effects of rapamycin are permanent or whether they can be alleviated. Here, we confirmed that rapamycin causes glucose intolerance and insulin resistance in both inbred and genetically heterogeneous mice fed either low fat or high fat diets, suggesting that these effects of rapamycin are independent of genetic background. Importantly, we also found that these effects were almost completely lost within a few weeks of cessation of treatment, showing that chronic rapamycin treatment does not induce permanent impairment of glucose metabolism. Somewhat surprisingly, chronic rapamycin also promoted increased accumulation of adipose tissue in high fat fed mice. However, this effect too was lost when rapamycin treatment was ended suggesting that this effect of rapamycin is also not permanent. The reversible nature of rapamycin's alterations of metabolic function suggests that these potentially detrimental side-effects might be managed through alternative dosing strategies or concurrent treatment options.
rapamycin; glucose; insulin; obesity; mTOR
Rapamycin, an inhibitor of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway, extends the lifespan of yeast, worms, flies, and mice. Interventions that promote longevity are often correlated with increased insulin sensitivity, and it therefore is surprising that chronic rapamycin treatment of mice, rats and humans is associated with insulin resistance (Johnston et al. 2008; Houde et al. 2010; Lamming et al. 2012). We examined the effect of dietary rapamycin treatment on glucose homeostasis and insulin resistance in the genetically heterogeneous HET3 mouse strain, a strain in which dietary rapamycin robustly extends mean and maximum lifespan. We find that rapamycin treatment leads to glucose intolerance in both young and old HET3 mice, but in contrast to the previously reported effect of injected rapamycin in C57BL/6 mice, HET3 mice treated with dietary rapamycin responded normally in an insulin tolerance test. To gauge the overall consequences of rapamycin treatment on average blood glucose levels, we measured HBA1c. Dietary rapamycin increased HBA1c over the first three weeks of treatment in young animals, but the effect was lost by three months, and no effect was detected in older animals. Our results demonstrate that the extended lifespan of HET3 mice on a rapamycin diet occurs in the absence of major changes in insulin sensitivity, and highlight the importance of strain background and delivery method in testing effects of longevity interventions.
aging; heterogeneous mice; glucose tolerance; Insulin tolerance; rapamycin
polyphenol; biomarker; adhesion molecule; inflammation; insulin; red wine
Sleep disruption has detrimental effects on glucose metabolism through pathways that remain poorly defined. Although numerous studies have examined the consequences of sleep deprivation (SD) in the brain, few have directly tested its effects on peripheral organs. We examined several tissues in mice for induction of the unfolded protein response (UPR) following acute SD. In young animals, we found a robust induction of BiP in the pancreas, indicating an active UPR. At baseline, pancreata from aged animals exhibited a marked increase in a pro-apoptotic transcription factor, CHOP, that was amplified by SD, whereas BiP induction was not observed, suggesting a maladaptive response to cellular stress with age. Acute SD increased plasma glucose levels in both young and old animals. However, this change was not overtly related to stress in the pancreatic beta cells, as plasma insulin levels were not lower following acute SD. Accordingly, animals subjected to acute SD remained tolerant to a glucose challenge. In a chronic SD experiment, young mice were found to be sensitized to insulin and have improved glycemic control, whereas aged animals became hyperglycemic and failed to maintain appropriate plasma insulin concentrations. Our results show that both age and SD cooperate to induce the UPR in pancreatic tissue. While changes in insulin secretion are unlikely to play a major role in the acute effects of SD, CHOP induction in pancreatic tissues suggests that chronic SD may contribute to the loss or dysfunction of endocrine cells and that these effects may be exacerbated by normal aging.
aging; behavior; glucose tolerance; mouse; sleep deprivation
Rapamycin, an inhibitor of mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), has the strongest experimental support to date as a potential anti-aging therapeutic in mammals. Unlike many other compounds that have been claimed to influence longevity, rapamycin has been repeatedly tested in long-lived, genetically heterogeneous mice, in which it extends both mean and maximum life spans. However, the mechanism that accounts for these effects is far from clear, and a growing list of side effects make it doubtful that rapamycin would ultimately be beneficial in humans. This Review discusses the prospects for developing newer, safer anti-aging therapies based on analogs of rapamycin (termed rapalogs) or other approaches targeting mTOR signaling.
The National Institute on Aging Interventions Testing Program (ITP) was established to evaluate agents that are hypothesized to increase life span and/or health span in genetically heterogeneous mice. Each compound is tested in parallel at three test sites. It is the goal of the ITP to publish all results, negative or positive. We report here on the results of lifelong treatment of mice, beginning at 4 months of age, with each of five agents, that is, green tea extract (GTE), curcumin, oxaloacetic acid, medium-chain triglyceride oil, and resveratrol, on the life span of genetically heterogeneous mice. Each agent was administered beginning at 4 months of age. None of these five agents had a statistically significant effect on life span of male or female mice, by log-rank test, at the concentrations tested, although a secondary analysis suggested that GTE might diminish the risk of midlife deaths in females only.
Longevity; aging; mice; diet; Interventions
Primary mitochondrial respiratory chain (RC) diseases are heterogeneous in etiology and manifestations but collectively impair cellular energy metabolism. Mechanism(s) by which RC dysfunction causes global cellular sequelae are poorly understood. To identify a common cellular response to RC disease, integrated gene, pathway, and systems biology analyses were performed in human primary RC disease skeletal muscle and fibroblast transcriptomes. Significant changes were evident in muscle across diverse RC complex and genetic etiologies that were consistent with prior reports in other primary RC disease models and involved dysregulation of genes involved in RNA processing, protein translation, transport, and degradation, and muscle structure. Global transcriptional and post-transcriptional dysregulation was also found to occur in a highly tissue-specific fashion. In particular, RC disease muscle had decreased transcription of cytosolic ribosomal proteins suggestive of reduced anabolic processes, increased transcription of mitochondrial ribosomal proteins, shorter 5′-UTRs that likely improve translational efficiency, and stabilization of 3′-UTRs containing AU-rich elements. RC disease fibroblasts showed a strikingly similar pattern of global transcriptome dysregulation in a reverse direction. In parallel with these transcriptional effects, RC disease dysregulated the integrated nutrient-sensing signaling network involving FOXO, PPAR, sirtuins, AMPK, and mTORC1, which collectively sense nutrient availability and regulate cellular growth. Altered activities of central nodes in the nutrient-sensing signaling network were validated by phosphokinase immunoblot analysis in RC inhibited cells. Remarkably, treating RC mutant fibroblasts with nicotinic acid to enhance sirtuin and PPAR activity also normalized mTORC1 and AMPK signaling, restored NADH/NAD+ redox balance, and improved cellular respiratory capacity. These data specifically highlight a common pathogenesis extending across different molecular and biochemical etiologies of individual RC disorders that involves global transcriptome modifications. We further identify the integrated nutrient-sensing signaling network as a common cellular response that mediates, and may be amenable to targeted therapies for, tissue-specific sequelae of primary mitochondrial RC disease.
Rapamycin extends lifespan in mice, but can have a number of undesirable effects that may ultimately limit its utility in humans. The canonical target of rapamycin, and the one thought to account for its effects on lifespan, is the mammalian/mechanistic target of rapamycin, complex 1 (mTORC1). We have previously shown that at least some of the detrimental side effects of rapamycin are due to “off target” disruption of mTORC2, suggesting they could be avoided by more specific targeting of mTORC1. However, mTORC1 inhibition per se can reduce the mRNA expression of mitochondrial genes and compromise the function of mitochondria in cultured muscle cells, implying that defects in bioenergetics might be an unavoidable consequence of targeting mTORC1 in vivo. Therefore, we tested whether rapamycin, at the same doses used to extend lifespan, affects mitochondrial function in skeletal muscle. While mitochondrial transcripts were decreased, particularly in the highly oxidative soleus muscle, we found no consistent change in mitochondrial DNA or protein levels. In agreement with the lack of change in mitochondrial components, rapamycin-treated mice had endurance equivalent to that of untreated controls, and isolated, permeabilized muscle fibers displayed similar rates of oxygen consumption. We conclude that the doses of rapamycin required to extend life do not cause overt mitochondrial dysfunction in skeletal muscle.
Biogenesis; longevity; endurance; sarcopenia; mTOR; PGC-1alpha
Resveratrol induces mitochondrial biogenesis and protects against metabolic decline but whether SIRT1 mediates these benefits is the subject of debate. To circumvent the developmental defects of germ-line SIRT1 knockouts, we have developed the first inducible system that permits whole-body deletion of SIRT1 in adult mice. Mice treated with a moderate dose of resveratrol showed increased mitochondrial biogenesis and function, AMPK activation and increased NAD+ levels in skeletal muscle, whereas SIRT1 knockouts displayed none of these benefits. A mouse overexpressing SIRT1 mimicked these effects. A high dose of resveratrol activated AMPK in a SIRT1-independent manner, demonstrating that resveratrol dosage is a critical factor. Importantly, at both doses of resveratrol no improvements in mitochondrial function were observed in animals lacking SIRT1. Together these data indicate that SIRT1 plays an essential role in the ability of moderate doses of resveratrol to stimulate AMPK and improve mitochondrial function both in vitro and in vivo.
Basic science literature abounds with molecules that promise to ameliorate almost any disease, from curing cancer to slowing the aging process itself. However, most of these compounds will never even be evaluated in humans, let alone proven effective. Here, we use resveratrol as an example to highlight the enormous difficulties in understanding pharmacokinetics, determining side effects, and, ultimately, establishing mechanisms of action for a natural compound. Despite extensive interest and effort, and continuing promising results from basic science groups, very little is known even today about the effects of resveratrol in humans. Part of the problem is the unattractiveness of natural compounds to large, well-funded companies that could run clinical trials because developing their own molecules affords much greater protection for their intellectual property. In fact, selling unpatentable material motivates smaller nutraceutical companies to complicate the scientific problem even more—each creates its own proprietary blend, making it extremely difficult to compare their data with those of other companies, or of academic labs using pure compounds. But even beyond these problems lies a deeper one; resveratrol, and almost every natural compound, is likely to have many clinically relevant targets with different dose–response profiles, tissue distributions, and modifiers. Tackling this type of problem efficiently, and even beginning to address the spectrum of other molecules with claimed benefits, is likely to require the development of new paradigms and approaches. Examples include better molecular modeling to predict interactions, large-scale screens for toxic or other common effects, affinity-based methods to identify drug-interacting proteins, and better synthesis of existing data, including legislation to promote the release of trial results, and tracking of voluntary supplement usage. The evidence for benefits of resveratrol in humans remains too sparse to be conclusive; yet, the limited data that are available, combined with a growing list of animal studies, provide a strong justification for further study.
Clinical trials; Translational; Nutraceutical; Metabolism; Polyphenol
This past decade has seen the identification of numerous conserved genes that extend lifespan in diverse species, yet the number of compounds that extend lifespan is relatively small. A class of compounds called STACs, which were identified as activators of Sir2/SIRT1 NAD+-dependent deacetylases, extend the lifespans of multiple species in a Sir2-dependent manner and can delay the onset of age-related diseases such as cancer, diabetes and neurodegeneration in model organisms. Plant-derived STACs such as fisetin and resveratrol have several liabilities, including poor stability and relatively low potency as SIRT1 activators. To develop improved STACs, stilbene derivatives with modifications at the 4′ position of the B ring were synthesized using a Horner-Emmons-based synthetic route or by hydrolyzing deoxyrhapontin. Here, we describe synthetic STACs with lower toxicity toward human cells, and higher potency with respect to SIRT1 activation and lifespan extension in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These studies show that it is possible to improve upon naturally occurring STACs based on a number of criteria including lifespan extension.
lifespan; longevity; resveratrol; SIRT1; sirtuins; STACs
Rapamycin, an inhibitor of mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1), improves insulin sensitivity in acute studies in vitro and in vivo by disrupting a negative feedback loop mediated by S6 kinase. We find that rapamycin has a clear biphasic effect on insulin sensitivity in C2C12 myotubes, with enhanced responsiveness during the first hour that declines to almost complete insulin resistance by 24–48 h. We and others have recently observed that chronic rapamycin treatment induces insulin resistance in rodents, at least in part due to disruption of mTORC2, an mTOR-containing complex that is not acutely sensitive to the drug. Chronic rapamycin treatment may also impair insulin action via the inhibition of mTORC1-dependent mitochondrial biogenesis and activity, which could result in a buildup of lipid intermediates that are known to trigger insulin resistance. We confirmed that rapamycin inhibits expression of PGC-1α, a key mitochondrial transcription factor, and acutely reduces respiration rate in myotubes. However, rapamycin did not stimulate phosphorylation of PKCθ, a central mediator of lipid-induced insulin resistance. Instead, we found dramatic disruption of mTORC2, which coincided with the onset of insulin resistance. Selective inhibition of mTORC1 or mTORC2 by shRNA-mediated knockdown of specific components (Raptor and Rictor, respectively) confirmed that mitochondrial effects of rapamycin are mTORC1-dependent, whereas insulin resistance was recapitulated only by knockdown of mTORC2. Thus, mTORC2 disruption, rather than inhibition of mitochondria, causes insulin resistance in rapamycin-treated myotubes, and this system may serve as a useful model to understand the effects of rapamycin on mTOR signaling in vivo.
mTOR; mTORC1; rapamycin; mTORC2; insulin sensitivity; mitochondrial biogenesis; chronic; diabetes; raptor; rictor; respiration
Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress are thought to play important roles in mammalian aging. Resveratrol is a plant-derived polyphenol that exerts diverse anti-aging activities, mimicking some of the molecular and functional effects of dietary restriction. This review focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying the mitochondrial protective effects of resveratrol, which could be exploited for the prevention or amelioration of age-related diseases in the elderly.
senescence; bioenergetics; mitochondria; aging; caloric restriction; cardiovascular disease; phytochemicals; 3,5,4′-trihydroxystilbene
A major cause of cell death caused by genotoxic stress is thought to be due to the depletion of NAD+ from the nucleus and the cytoplasm. Here we show that NAD+ levels in mitochondria remain at physiological levels following genotoxic stress and can maintain cell viability even when nuclear and cytoplasmic pools of NAD+ are depleted. Rodents fasted for 48 hr show increased levels of the NAD+ biosynthetic enzyme Nampt and a concomitant increase in mitochondrial NAD+. Increased Nampt provides protection against cell death and requires an intact mitochondrial NAD+ salvage pathway as well as the mitochondrial NAD+-dependent deacetylases SIRT3 and SIRT4. We discuss the relevance of these findings to understanding how nutrition modulates physiology and to the evolution of apoptosis.
Rapamycin, an inhibitor of mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), extends the lifespans of yeast, flies, and mice. Calorie restriction, which increases lifespan and insulin sensitivity, is proposed to function by inhibition of mTORC1, yet paradoxically, chronic administration of rapamycin substantially impairs glucose tolerance and insulin action. We demonstrate that rapamycin disrupted a second mTOR complex, mTORC2, in vivo and that mTORC2 was required for the insulin-mediated suppression of hepatic gluconeogenesis. Further, decreased mTORC1 signaling was sufficient to extend lifespan independently from changes in glucose homeostasis, as female mice heterozygous for both mTOR and mLST8 exhibited decreased mTORC1 activity and extended lifespan, but had normal glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Thus, mTORC2 disruption is an important mediator of the effects of rapamycin in vivo.
Rapamycin was administered in food to genetically heterogeneous mice from the age of 9 months and produced significant increases in life span, including maximum life span, at each of three test sites. Median survival was extended by an average of 10% in males and 18% in females. Rapamycin attenuated age-associated decline in spontaneous activity in males but not in females. Causes of death were similar in control and rapamycin-treated mice. Resveratrol (at 300 and 1200 ppm food) and simvastatin (12 and 120 ppm) did not have significant effects on survival in male or female mice. Further evaluation of rapamycin’s effects on mice is likely to help delineate the role of the mammalian target of rapamycin complexes in the regulation of aging rate and age-dependent diseases and may help to guide a search for drugs that retard some or all of the diseases of aging.
TOR; Rapamycin; Life span; Resveratrol
Mitochondrial genome sequence analysis is critical to the diagnostic evaluation of mitochondrial disease. Existing methodologies differ widely in throughput, complexity, cost efficiency, and sensitivity of heteroplasmy detection. Affymetrix MitoChip v2.0, which uses a sequencing-by-genotyping technology, allows potentially accurate and high-throughput sequencing of the entire human mitochondrial genome to be completed in a cost-effective fashion. However, the relatively low call rate achieved using existing software tools has limited the wide adoption of this platform for either clinical or research applications. Here, we report the design and development of a custom bioinformatics software pipeline that achieves a much improved call rate and accuracy for the Affymetrix MitoChip v2.0 platform. We used this custom pipeline to analyze MitoChip v2.0 data from 24 DNA samples representing a broad range of tissue types (18 whole blood, 3 skeletal muscle, 3 cell lines), mutations (a 5.8 kilobase pair deletion and 6 known heteroplasmic mutations), and haplogroup origins. All results were compared to those obtained by at least one other mitochondrial DNA sequence analysis method, including Sanger sequencing, denaturing HPLC-based heteroduplex analysis, and/or the Illumina Genome Analyzer II next generation sequencing platform.
An average call rate of 99.75% was achieved across all samples with our custom pipeline. Comparison of calls for 15 samples characterized previously by Sanger sequencing revealed a total of 29 discordant calls, which translates to an estimated 0.012% for the base call error rate. We successfully identified 4 known heteroplasmic mutations and 24 other potential heteroplasmic mutations across 20 samples that passed quality control.
Affymetrix MitoChip v2.0 analysis using our optimized MitoChip Filtering Protocol (MFP) bioinformatics pipeline now offers the high sensitivity and accuracy needed for reliable, high-throughput and cost-efficient whole mitochondrial genome sequencing. This approach provides a viable alternative of potential utility for both clinical diagnostic and research applications to traditional Sanger and other emerging sequencing technologies for whole mitochondrial genome analysis.
Sirt1 is an NAD+-dependent deacetylase that extends lifespan in lower organisms and improves metabolism and delays the onset of age-related diseases in mammals. Here we show that SRT1720, a synthetic compound that was identified for its ability to activate Sirt1 in vitro, extends both mean and maximum lifespan of adult mice fed a high-fat diet. This lifespan extension is accompanied by health benefits including reduced liver steatosis, increased insulin sensitivity, enhanced locomotor activity and normalization of gene expression profiles and markers of inflammation and apoptosis, all in the absence of any observable toxicity. Using a conditional SIRT1 knockout mouse and specific gene knockdowns we show SRT1720 affects mitochondrial respiration in a Sirt1- and PGC-1α-dependent manner. These findings indicate that SRT1720 has long-term benefits and demonstrate for the first time the feasibility of designing novel molecules that are safe and effective in promoting longevity and preventing multiple age-related diseases in mammals.