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1.  The effects of weight cycling on lifespan in male C57BL/6J mice 
Objective
With the increasing rates of obesity, many people diet in attempts to lose weight. Since weight loss is seldom maintained in a single effort, weight cycling is a common occurrence. Unfortunately, reports from clinical studies that have attempted to determine the effect of weight cycling on mortality are in disagreement, and to date, no controlled animal study has been performed to assess the impact of weight cycling on longevity. Therefore, our objective was to determine whether weight cycling altered lifespan in mice that experienced repeated weight gain and weight loss throughout their lives.
Methods
Male C57BL/6J mice were placed on one of three lifelong diets: a low fat (LF) diet, a high fat (HF) diet, or a cycled diet in which the mice alternated between 4 weeks on the LF diet and 4 weeks on the HF diet. Body weight, body composition, several blood parameters and lifespan were assessed.
Results
Cycling between the HF and LF diet resulted in large fluctuations in body weight and fat mass. These gains and losses corresponded to significant increases and decreases, respectively, in leptin, resistin, GIP, IGF-1, glucose, insulin, and glucose tolerance. Surprisingly, weight cycled mice had no significant difference in lifespan (801±45 days) as compared to LF fed controls (828±74 days), despite being overweight and eating a HF diet for half of their lives. In contrast, the HF fed group experienced a significant decrease in lifespan (544±73days) compared to LF fed controls and cycled mice.
Conclusions
This is the first controlled mouse study to demonstrate the effect of lifelong weight cycling on longevity. The act of repeatedly gaining and losing weight, in itself, did not decrease lifespan and was more beneficial than remaining obese.
doi:10.1038/ijo.2012.203
PMCID: PMC3609933  PMID: 23229739
weight cycling; weight fluctuation; yo-yo dieting; weight loss; mortality; longevity
2.  Decreased insulin sensitivity and increased oxidative damage in wasting adipose tissue depots of wild-type mice 
Age  2011;34(5):1225-1237.
Unintentional weight loss (wasting) in the elderly is a major health concern as it leads to increased mortality. Several studies have focused on muscle loss, but little is known about the mechanisms giving rise to loss of fat mass at old ages. To investigate potential mechanisms, white adipose tissue (WAT) characteristics and proteomic profiles were compared between adult (10–12-month-old) and aged (22–24-month-old) wild-type mice. Four individual WAT depots were analyzed to account for possible depot-specific differences. Proteomic profiles of WAT depots, along with body weights and compositions, plasma levels of insulin, leptin and adiponectin, insulin tolerance, adipocyte sizes, and products of oxidative damage in each WAT depot were determined. We found that lean mass remained constant while fat mass and insulin tolerance were decreased in old age, as were adipocyte sizes in the WAT depots. Proteomic results showed increased levels of enolase, pyruvate dehydrogenase E1β, NAD+−dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase α, and ATP synthase subunit β, and decreased levels of carbonic anhydrase 3 in WAT of aged mice. These data suggest increased aerobic glucose oxidation in wasting WAT, consistent with decreased insulin signaling. Also, Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase and two chaperones were increased in aged WAT depots, indicating higher stress resistance. In agreement, lipid peroxidation (HNE-His adducts) increased in old age, although protein oxidation (carbonyl groups) showed no increase. In conclusion, features of wasting WAT were similar in the four depots, including decreased adipocyte sizes and alterations in protein expression profiles that indicated decreased insulin sensitivity and increased lipid peroxidation.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11357-011-9304-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s11357-011-9304-7
PMCID: PMC3448990  PMID: 21953241
Wasting; Aging; White adipose tissue depots; Proteomics; Oxidative damage; Stress resistance; Insulin resistance
4.  Adiponectin in mice with altered growth hormone action: links to insulin sensitivity and longevity? 
The Journal of endocrinology  2013;216(3):363-374.
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.
doi:10.1530/JOE-12-0505
PMCID: PMC3756886  PMID: 23261955
adiponectin; high molecular weight adiponectin; growth hormone receptor; growth hormone; growth hormone deficiency; growth hormone antagonist
5.  Age- and Sex-Associated Plasma Proteomic Changes in Growth Hormone Receptor Gene–Disrupted Mice 
Growth hormone receptor gene–disrupted (GHR−/−) mice are dwarf, insulin sensitive, and long lived despite being obese. In order to identify characteristics associated with their increased longevity, we studied age-related plasma proteomic changes in these mice. Male and female GHR−/− mice and their littermate controls were followed longitudinally at 8, 16, and 24 months of ages for plasma proteomic analysis. Relative to control littermates, GHR−/− mice had increased levels of apolipoprotein A-4 and retinol-binding protein-4 and decreased levels of apolipoprotein E, haptoglobin, and mannose-binding protein-C. Female GHR−/− mice showed decreased inflammatory cytokines including interleukin-1β and monocyte chemotactic protein-1. Additionally, sex differences were found in specific isoforms of apolipoprotein E, RBP-4, haptoglobin, albumin, and hemoglobin subunit beta. In conclusion, we find plasma proteomic changes in GHR−/− mice that favor a longer life span as well as sex differences indicative of an improved health span in female mice.
doi:10.1093/gerona/glr212
PMCID: PMC3403865  PMID: 22156438
Growth hormone receptor; Plasma; Proteomics; Sex; Aging
6.  Plasma proteomic profiles of bovine growth hormone transgenic mice as they age 
Transgenic research  2011;20(6):1305-1320.
Attenuation of the growth hormone (GH)/ insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) axis results in extended lifespan in many organisms including mice. Conversely, GH transgenic mice have excess GH action and die prematurely. We have studied bovine (b) GH transgenic mice (n = 9) and their wild type (WT) littermates (n = 8) longitudinally and have determined several age-related changes. Compared to WT mice, bGH mice lost fat mass, became hypoglycemic and had lower insulin levels at older ages despite being hyperinsulinemic when young. To examine plasma protein differences in bGH mice relative to controls, samples at 2, 4, 8, 12 and 16 months of age were analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis followed by identification using mass spectrometry. We found several differences in plasma proteins of bGH mice compared to controls, including increased apolipoprotein E (five isoforms), haptoglobin (four isoforms) and mannose-binding protein-C (one out of three isoforms), and decreased transthyretin (six isoforms). In addition, clusterin (two out of six isoforms) and haptoglobin (four isoforms) were up-regulated in bGH mice as a function of age. Finally, alpha-2 macroglobulin (seven isoforms) was altered in an isoform-specific manner with two isoforms increased and two decreased in bGH mouse plasma compared to controls. In conclusion, identification of these proteins suggests that bGH mice exhibit an increased inflammatory state with an adverse lipid profile, possibly contributing to their diminished life expectancy. Also, these newly discovered plasma proteins may be indicative or ‘biomarkers’ of a shortened lifespan.
doi:10.1007/s11248-011-9499-5
PMCID: PMC3176978  PMID: 21365322
Proteomics; Growth hormone; Plasma; Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis; Aging; Inflammation
7.  Growth hormone and adipose tissue: beyond the adipocyte 
The last two decades have seen resurgence in the interest in, and research on, adipose tissue. In part, the increased interest stems from an alarming increase in obesity rates worldwide. However, an understanding that this once simple tissue is significantly more intricate and interactive than previously realized has fostered additional attention. While few would argue that growth hormone (GH) radically alters adipose tissue, a better appreciation of the newer complexities requires that GH's influence on this tissue be reexamined. Therefore, the objective of this review is to describe the more recent understanding of adipose tissue and how GH may influence and contribute to these newer complexities with special focus on the available data from mice with altered GH action.
doi:10.1016/j.ghir.2011.03.002
PMCID: PMC3112270  PMID: 21470887
growth hormone; body composition; obesity; aging; adipose tissue; gender and age differences
8.  Daily energy balance in growth hormone receptor/binding protein (GHR−/−) gene-disrupted mice is achieved through an increase in dark-phase energy efficiency 
The goal of this study was to examine factors that contribute to energy balance in female GHR −/− mice. We measured energy intake, energy expenditure (EE), fuel utilization, body mass (Mb) changes and physical activity in 17 month-old female GHR −/− mice and their age-matched wild type littermates. The GHR −/− mice were smaller, consumed more food per unit Mb, had greater EE per unit Mb and had an increase in 24-h EE/Mb that was similar to the increase in their surface-area-to-volume ratio. Locomotor activity (LMA) was reduced in the GHR −/− mice, but the energetic cost associated with their LMA was greater than in wild type controls. Furthermore, Mb and LMA were independent explanatory covariates of most of the variance in EE, and when adjusted for Mb and LMA, the GHR −/− mice had higher EE during both the light and dark phases of the daily cycle. Respiratory quotient was lower in GHR −/− mice during the light phase, which indicated a greater utilization of lipid relative to carbohydrate in these mice. Additionally, GHR −/− mice had higher ratios of caloric intake to EE at several intervals during the dark phase, and this effect was greater and more sustained in the final three hours of the dark phase. Therefore, we conclude that GHR −/− mice are able to overcome the substantial energetic challenges of dwarfism through several mechanisms that promote stable Mb. Relative to wild type mice, the GHR −/− mice consumed more calories per unit Mb, which offset the disproportionate increase in their daily energy expenditure. While GHR −/− mice oxidized a greater proportion of lipid during the light phase in order to meet their energy requirements, they achieved greater energy efficiency and storage during the dark phase through a combination of higher energy consumption and lower LMA.
doi:10.1016/j.ghir.2009.08.002
PMCID: PMC2814926  PMID: 19747867
9.  Two-Year Body Composition Analyses of Long-Lived GHR Null Mice 
Growth hormone receptor gene–disrupted (GHR−/−) mice exhibit increased life span and adipose tissue mass. Although this obese phenotype has been reported extensively for young adult male GHR−/− mice, data for females and for other ages in either gender are lacking. Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate body composition longitudinally in both male and female GHR−/− mice. Results show that GHR−/− mice have a greater percent fat mass with no significant difference in absolute fat mass throughout life. Lean mass shows an opposite trend with percent lean mass not significantly different between genotypes but absolute mass reduced in GHR−/− mice. Differences in body composition are more pronounced in male than in female mice, and both genders of GHR−/− mice show specific enlargement of the subcutaneous adipose depot. Along with previously published data, these results suggest a consistent and intriguing protective effect of excess fat mass in the subcutaneous region.
doi:10.1093/gerona/glp175
PMCID: PMC2796884  PMID: 19901018
Body composition; Growth hormone; Obesity; Adipose depots; Gender differences
10.  Reduced Incidence and Delayed Occurrence of Fatal Neoplastic Diseases in Growth Hormone Receptor/Binding Protein Knockout Mice 
Although studies of Ames and Snell dwarf mice have suggested possible important roles of the growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) axis in aging and age-related diseases, the results cannot rule out the possibility of other hormonal changes playing an important role in the life extension exhibited by these dwarf mice. Therefore, growth hormone receptor/binding protein (GHR/BP) knockout (KO) mice would be valuable animals to directly assess the roles of somatotropic axis in aging and age-related diseases because the primary hormonal change is due to GH/IGF-1 deficiency. Our pathological findings showed GHR/BP KO mice to have a lower incidence and delayed occurrence of fatal neoplastic lesions compared with their wild-type littermates. These changes of fatal neoplasms are similar to the effects observed with calorie restriction and therefore could possibly be a major contributing factor to the extended life span observed in the GHR/BP KO mice.
doi:10.1093/gerona/glp017
PMCID: PMC2667132  PMID: 19228785
Growth hormone receptor/binding protein; Knockout mouse; Neoplastic disease; Aging
11.  Role of the GH/IGF-1 axis in lifespan and healthspan: lessons from animal models 
Animal models are fundamentally important in our quest to understand the genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors that contribute to human aging. In comparison to humans, relatively short-lived mammals are useful models as they allow for rapid assessment of both genetic manipulation and environmental intervention as related to longevity. These models also allow for the study of clinically relevant pathologies as a function of aging. Data associated with more distant species offers additional insight and critical consideration of the basic physiological processes and molecular mechanisms that influence lifespan. Consistently, two interventions, caloric restriction and repression of the growth hormone (GH)/insulin like growth factor-1/insulin axis, have been shown to increase lifespan in both invertebrates and vertebrate animal model systems. Caloric restriction (CR) is a nutrition intervention that robustly extends lifespan whether it is started early or later in life. Likewise, genes involved in the GH/IGF-1 signaling pathways can lengthen lifespan in vertebrates and invertebrates, implying evolutionary conservation of the molecular mechanisms. Specifically, insulin and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1)-like signaling and its downstream intracellular signaling molecules have been shown to be associated with lifespan in fruit flies and nematodes. More recently, mammalian models with reduced growth hormone (GH) and/or IGF-1 signaling have also been shown to have extended lifespans as compared to control siblings. Importantly, this research has also shown that these genetic alterations can keep the animals healthy and disease-free for longer periods and can alleviate specific age-related pathologies similar to what is observed for CR individuals. Thus, these mutations may not only extend lifespan but may also improve healthspan, the general health and quality of life of an organism as it ages. In this review, we will provide an overview of how the manipulation of the GH/IGF-axis influences lifespan, highlight the invertebrate and vertebrate animal models with altered lifespan due to modifications to the GH/IGF-1 signaling cascade or homologous pathways, and discuss the basic phenotypic characteristics and healthspan of these models.
doi:10.1016/j.ghir.2008.05.005
PMCID: PMC2631405  PMID: 18710818
12.  CIDE-A is expressed in liver of old mice and in type 2 diabetic mouse liver exhibiting steatosis 
Background
Increased levels of circulating fatty acids caused by insulin resistance and increased adipocyte lipolysis can accumulate within the liver resulting in steatosis. This steatosis sensitizes the liver to inflammation and further injury which can lead to liver dysfunction. We performed microarray analysis on normal mouse liver tissue at different ages and type 2 diabetic liver exhibiting steatosis to identify differentially expressed genes involved in lipid accumulation and liver dysfunction.
Results
Microarray analysis identified CIDE-A as the most differentially expressed gene as a function of age. Mice fed a high fat diet developed hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia and liver steatosis, all features of the human metabolic syndrome. Increased CIDE-A expression was observed in type 2 diabetic liver and the elevated CIDE-A expression could be reversed by weight loss and normalization of plasma insulin. Also, CIDE-A expression was found to be correlated with hepatic lipid accumulation.
Conclusion
The corresponding increase in CIDE-A expression with hyperinsulinemia and liver steatosis suggests a novel pathway for lipid accumulation in the liver.
doi:10.1186/1476-5926-6-4
PMCID: PMC1868770  PMID: 17472743
13.  School-Based Screening of the Dietary Intakes of Third-Graders in Rural Appalachian Ohio 
The Journal of school health  2010;80(11):10.1111/j.1746-1561.2010.00539.x.
BACKGROUND
Children in Appalachia are experiencing high levels of obesity, in large measure because of inferior diets. This study screened the dietary intake of third-graders residing in three rural Appalachian counties in Ohio and determined whether the Food, Math, and Science Teaching Enhancement Resource Initiative (FoodMASTER) curriculum improved their dietary intake.
METHODS
Dietary intake was measured for 238 third-graders at the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year and for 224 third-graders at the end of that year. The FoodMASTER curriculum was delivered to 204 students (test group). Intake was measured using the Block Food Frequency Questionnaire 2004. The final analysis included 138 students.
RESUTS
The FoodMASTER curriculum did not significantly affect the diets of the students in the test group, as no significant differences in intake of macronutrients, specific nutrients, or food groups were found between the test and control groups. Majorities of students did not meet the Recommended Dietary Allowance or Adequate Intakes for fiber, calcium, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin E. The students as a whole did not meet the MyPyramid recommendations for any food group, and nearly one-fifth of their calories came from sweets. Significant differences in percentages of kilocalories from protein and sweets and in servings of fats, oils, and sweets were seen between groups of higher and lower socioeconomic status.
CONCLUSIONS
Energy-dense foods are replacing healthy foods in the diets of Ohio children living in rural Appalachia. The prevalence of poor dietary intake in Appalachia warrants further nutrition interventions involving programming for nutrition, such as future FoodMASTER curricula.
doi:10.1111/j.1746-1561.2010.00539.x
PMCID: PMC3819163  PMID: 21039552
nutrition and diet; children and adolescent health; public health; curriculum

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