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Endocrine research  2009;34(1-2):43-58.
The sexual dimorphism of life span and caloric restriction effects in numerous species suggest that estradiol (E2) is protective against oxidative damage. The only direct test of E2's protective effect in mice against in vivo oxidative stress to date may have been confounded by E2's direct chemical action as an antioxidant because it was administered at very high dosages. Therefore, we have identified a low yet physiologically effective dose of E2. We then administered this dose using subcutaneous time-release pellets to ovariectomized mice. Two weeks after E2 pellet implantation, sham-operated, ovariectomized, and ovariectomized E2-supplemented female mice were injected with a lethal dose of paraquat and their survival was followed. It was observed that ovariectomy exacerbates paraquat-induced mortality and is rescued by E2 supplementation. An equivalent experiment was performed on sham-operated, orchidectomized, and E2-supplemented orchidectomized male mice. The survival of male mice was improved by orchidectomy, and E2 gave no further benefit. We interpret the results to mean that E2 is protective against oxidative stress through its regulatory role and that testosterone diminishes protection against oxidative stress.
PMCID: PMC2750774  PMID: 19557590
Estradiol; Paraquat; Oxidative Stress; Mice; Gonadectomy
2.  Decreased in vitro mitochondrial function is associated with enhanced brain metabolism, blood flow, and memory in Surf1-deficient mice 
Recent studies have challenged the prevailing view that reduced mitochondrial function and increased oxidative stress are correlated with reduced longevity. Mice carrying a homozygous knockout (KO) of the Surf1 gene showed a significant decrease in mitochondrial electron transport chain Complex IV activity, yet displayed increased lifespan and reduced brain damage after excitotoxic insults. In the present study, we examined brain metabolism, brain hemodynamics, and memory of Surf1 KO mice using in vitro measures of mitochondrial function, in vivo neuroimaging, and behavioral testing. We show that decreased respiration and increased generation of hydrogen peroxide in isolated Surf1 KO brain mitochondria are associated with increased brain glucose metabolism, cerebral blood flow, and lactate levels, and with enhanced memory in Surf1 KO mice. These metabolic and functional changes in Surf1 KO brains were accompanied by higher levels of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha, and by increases in the activated form of cyclic AMP response element-binding factor, which is integral to memory formation. These findings suggest that Surf1 deficiency-induced metabolic alterations may have positive effects on brain function. Exploring the relationship between mitochondrial activity, oxidative stress, and brain function will enhance our understanding of cognitive aging and of age-related neurologic disorders.
PMCID: PMC3790931  PMID: 23838831
glucose metabolism; memory; mitochondrial complex IV; mitochondrial dysfunction; Surf1
3.  Profiling the Anaerobic Response of C. elegans Using GC-MS 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e46140.
The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a model organism that has seen extensive use over the last four decades in multiple areas of investigation. In this study we explore the response of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to acute anoxia using gas-chromatography mass-spectrometry (GC-MS). We focus on the readily-accessible worm exometabolome to show that C. elegans are mixed acid fermenters that utilize several metabolic pathways in unconventional ways to remove reducing equivalents – including partial reversal of branched-chain amino acid catabolism and a potentially novel use of the glyoxylate pathway. In doing so, we provide detailed methods for the collection and analysis of excreted metabolites that, with minimal adjustment, should be applicable to many other species. We also describe a procedure for collecting highly volatile compounds from C. elegans. We are distributing our mass spectral library in an effort to facilitate wider use of metabolomics.
PMCID: PMC3459875  PMID: 23029411
4.  Rapamycin selectively alters serum chemistry in diabetic mice 
Pathobiology of Aging & Age Related Diseases  2012;2:10.3402/pba.v2i0.15896.
The study was undertaken to explore the effect of rapamycin, an anti-inflammatory agent, on the metabolic profile of type 2 diabetic mice. Seven-month-old diabetic db/db mice and their lean littermate non-diabetic controls (db/m) were randomized to receive control chow or chow mixed with rapamycin (2.24 mg/kg/day) (each group n =20, males and females) for 4 months and sacrificed. Serum samples were analyzed for the measurement of glucose, creatinine, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), total cholesterol, total triglyceride, and total protein, using the automated dry chemistry analysis. Rapamycin elevated serum glucose in female diabetic mice. Serum creatinine tended to be higher in diabetic mice but was not affected by rapamycin; there was no difference in BUN levels among the groups. Serum ALP was elevated in diabetic mice and rapamycin lowered it only in female diabetic mice; serum ALT levels were increased in female diabetic mice, unaffected by rapamycin. Serum total protein was elevated in diabetic mice of both genders but was not affected by rapamycin. Diabetic mice from both genders had elevated serum cholesterol and triglycerides; rapamycin did not affect serum cholesterol but decreased serum total triglycerides in male diabetic mice. We conclude that rapamycin elicits complex metabolic responses in aging diabetic mice, worsening hyperglycemia in females but improving ALP in female diabetic and total triglycerides in male diabetic mice, respectively. The metabolic effects of rapamycin should be considered while performing studies with rapamycin in mice.
PMCID: PMC3417581  PMID: 22953036
alkaline phosphatase; alanine aminotransferase; cholesterol; triglycerides
5.  Does Reduced IGF-1R Signaling in Igf1r+/− Mice Alter Aging? 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e26891.
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.
PMCID: PMC3223158  PMID: 22132081
6.  Long-Lived Ames Dwarf Mice Are Resistant to Chemical Stressors 
To probe the connection between longevity and stress resistance, we compared the sensitivity of Ames long-lived dwarf mice and control littermates with paraquat, diquat, and dobutamine. In young adult animals, 95% of male and 39% of female controls died after paraquat administration, but no dwarf animals died. When the experiment was repeated at an older age or a higher dosage of paraquat, dwarf mice still showed greater resistance. Dwarf mice also were more resistant to diquat; 80% of male and 60% of female controls died compared with 40% and 20% of dwarf mice, despite greater sensitivity of dwarf liver to diquat. Dwarf mice were also less sensitive to dobutamine-induced cardiac stress and had lower levels of liver and lung F2-isoprostanes. This is the first direct in vivo evidence that long-lived Ames dwarf mice have enhanced resistance to chemical insult, particularly oxidative stressors.
PMCID: PMC2981464  PMID: 19414510
Reactive oxygen species; Liver; Ames dwarf mice; Paraquat; Diquat

Results 1-6 (6)