It is well established that immune responses are diminished in the old. However, we still do not have a clear understanding of what dictates the dysfunction of old T cells at the molecular level. Although microarray analysis has been used to compare young and old T cells, identifying hundreds of genes that are differentially expressed among these populations, it has been difficult to utilize this information to pinpoint which biological pathways truly affect the function of aged T cells. To better define differences between young and old naïve CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, microarray analysis was performed pre- and post-TCR stimulation for 4, 12, 24 and 72 h. Our data indicate that many genes are differentially expressed in the old compared to the young at all five time points. These genes encode proteins involved in multiple cellular functions such as cell growth, cell cycle, cell death, inflammatory response, cell trafficking, etc. Additionally, the information from this microarray analysis allowed us to underline both intrinsic deficiencies and defects in signaling only seen after activation, such as pathways involving T-cell signaling, cytokine production, and Th2 differentiation in old T cells. With the knowledge gained, we can proceed to design strategies to restore the function of old T cells. Therefore, this microarray analysis approach is a powerful and sensitive tool that reveals the extensive changes seen between young and old CD4+ and CD8+ naïve T cells. Evaluation of these differences provides in-depth insight into potential functional and phenotypical differences among these populations.
CD4 T cells; CD8 T cells; gene expression; kinetic analyses; microarray analysis; Naïve
Bile acids are cholesterol-derived signaling molecules that regulate mammalian metabolism through sterol-sensing nuclear receptor transcription factors. In C. elegans, bile acid-like steroids called dafachronic acids (DAs) control developmental timing and longevity by activating the nuclear receptor DAF-12. However, little is known about the biosynthesis of these molecules. Here we show that the DAF-36/Rieske oxygenase works at the first committed step, converting cholesterol to 7-dehydrocholesterol. Its elucidation as a cholesterol 7-desaturase provides crucial biochemical evidence that such oxygenases are key steroidogenic enzymes. By controlling DA production, DAF-36 regulates DAF-12 activities for reproductive development and longevity, and may illuminate related pathways in metazoans.
bile acid; nuclear receptor; endocrine signaling; hormone; development; aging
Coronary heart disease remains the principle cause of mortality in the United States. During aging, the efficiency of the cardiovascular system is decreased and the aged heart is less tolerant to ischemic injury. ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channels protect the myocardium against ischemic damage. We investigated how aging affects cardiac KATP channels in the Fischer 344 rat model. Expression of KATP channel subunit mRNA and protein levels was unchanged in hearts from 26-month old vs. 4-month old rats. Interestingly, the mRNA expression of several other ion channels (>80) was also largely unchanged, suggesting that post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms occur during aging. The whole-cell KATP channel current density was strongly diminished in ventricular myocytes from aged male rat hearts (also observed in aged C57BL/6 mouse myocytes). Experiments with isolated patches (inside-out configuration) demonstrated that the KATP channel unitary conductance was unchanged, but that the inhibitory effect of cytosolic ATP on channel activity was enhanced in the aged heart. The mean patch current was diminished, consistent with the whole-cell data. We incorporated these findings into an empirical model of the KATP channel and numerically simulated the effects of decreased cytosolic ATP levels on the human action potential. This analysis predicts lesser activation of KATP channels by metabolic impairment in the aged heart and a diminished action potential shortening. This study provides insights into the changes of KATP channels during aging and suggests that the protective role of these channels during ischemia is significantly compromised in the aged individual.
K+ Channels; KATP channel; Aging; numerical simulation; ischemia
Ubiquitously reduced signaling via Methuselah (MTH), a G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) required for neurosecretion, has previously been reported to extend life and enhance stress resistance in flies. Whether these effects are due to reduced MTH signaling only in specific tissue(s) and through with signaling effects reduced MTH might produce these phenotypes remains unknown. We determined that reduced expression of mth targeted only to the insulin-producing cells (IPCs) of the fly brain was sufficient to extend life and enhance oxidative stress resistance. Paradoxically, we discovered that overexpression of mth targeted to the same cells has similar phenotypic effects to reduced expression due to MTH’s interaction with β-arrestin, which uncouples GPCRs from their G-proteins. We confirmed the functional relationship between MTH and β-arrestin by finding that IPC-targeted overexpression of β-arrestin alone mimics the longevity phenotype of reduced MTH signaling. As reduced MTH signaling also inhibits insulin secretion from the IPCs, the most parsimonious mechanistic explanation for its longevity and stress resistance enhancement might be through reduced insulin/IGF signaling (IIS). However, examination of phenotypic features of long-lived IPC-mth modulated flies as well as several downstream IIS targets implicates enhanced activity of the JNK stress resistance pathway more directly than insulin signaling in the longevity and stress resistance phenotypes.
The heat shock transcription factor (HSF) is a conserved regulator of heat shock-inducible gene expression. Organismal roles for HSF in physiological processes such as development, aging, and immunity have been defined largely through studies of the single C. elegans HSF homolog, hsf-1. However, the molecular and cell biological properties of hsf-1 in C. elegans are incompletely understood. We generated animals expressing physiological levels of an HSF-1::GFP fusion protein and examined its function, localization, and regulation in vivo. HSF-1::GFP was functional as measured by its ability to rescue phenotypes associated with two hsf-1 mutant alleles. Rescue of hsf-1 stress, aging, and development phenotypes was abolished in a DNA-binding-deficient mutant, demonstrating that the transcriptional targets of hsf-1 are critical to its function even in the absence of stress. Under non-stress conditions, HSF-1::GFP was found primarily in the nucleus. Following heat shock, HSF-1::GFP rapidly and reversibly redistributed into dynamic, sub-nuclear structures that share many properties with human nuclear stress granules, including colocalization with markers of active transcription. Rapid formation of HSF-1 stress granules required HSF-1 DNA binding activity and the threshold for stress granule formation was altered by growth temperature. HSF-1 stress granule formation was not induced by inhibition of IGF signaling, a pathway previously suggested to function upstream of hsf-1. Our findings suggest that development, stress, and aging pathways may regulate HSF-1 function in distinct ways, and that HSF-1 nuclear stress granule formation is an evolutionarily conserved aspect of HSF-1 regulation in vivo.
Heat shock factor; aging; longevity
Our understanding of the mechanisms by which aging is produced is still very limited. Here, we have determined the sera metabolite profile of 117 wild-type mice of different genetic backgrounds ranging from 8-129 weeks of age. This has allowed us to define a robust metabolomic signature and a derived metabolomic score that reliably/accurately predicts the age of wild-type mice. In the case of telomerase-deficient mice, which have a shortened lifespan, their metabolomic score predicts older ages than expected. Conversely, in the case of mice that over-express telomerase, their metabolic score corresponded to younger ages than expected. Importantly, telomerase reactivation late in life by using a TERT based gene therapy recently described by us, significantly reverted the metabolic profile of old mice to that of younger mice, further confirming an anti-aging role for telomerase. Thus, the metabolomic signature associated to natural mouse aging accurately predicts aging produced by telomere shortening, suggesting that natural mouse aging is in part produced by presence of short telomeres. These results indicate that the metabolomic signature is associated to the biological age rather than to the chronological age. This constitutes one of the first aging-associated metabolomic signatures in a mammalian organism.
Mit mutations that disrupt function of the mitochondrial electron transport chain can, inexplicably, prolong Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan. In this study we use a metabolomics approach to identify an ensemble of mitochondrial-derived α-ketoacids and α-hydroxyacids that are produced by long-lived Mit mutants but not by other long-lived mutants or by short-lived mitochondrial mutants. We show that accumulation of these compounds is dependent upon concerted inhibition of three α-ketoacid dehydrogenases that share dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase (DLD) as a common subunit, a protein previously linked in humans with increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. When the expression of DLD in wild type animals was reduced using RNA interference we observed an unprecedented effect on lifespan - as RNAi dosage was increased lifespan was significantly shortened but, at higher doses, it was significantly lengthened, suggesting DLD plays a unique role in modulating length of life. Our findings provide novel insight into the origin of the Mit phenotype.
branched-chain α-keto acids; clk-1; isp-1; nuo-6; tpk-1; mev-1; ucr-2.3
While environmental stress likely plays a significant role in promoting aging, the relationship remains poorly understood. In order to characterize this interaction in a more comprehensive manner, we examined the stress response profiles for 46 long-lived yeast mutant strains across four different stress conditions (oxidative, ER, DNA damage, and thermal), grouping genes based on their associated stress response profiles. Unexpectedly, cells lacking the mitochondrial AAA protease gene AFG3 clustered strongly with long-lived strains lacking cytosolic ribosomal proteins of the large subunit. Similar to these ribosomal protein mutants, afg3Δ cells show reduced cytoplasmic mRNA translation, enhanced resistance to tunicamycin that is independent of the ER unfolded protein response, and Sir2-independent but Gcn4-dependent life span extension. These data demonstrate an unexpected link between a mitochondrial protease, cytoplasmic mRNA translation, and aging.
aging; stress response; translation; mitochondria; ER stress; replicative lifespan; longevity; yeast; epistasis; phenotype mapping
We have identified SnoN as a direct activator of p53 to accelerate aging and inhibit tumorigenesis. SnoN has been shown previously to promote proliferation and transformation by antagonizing TGFβ signaling. We show that elimination of this TGFβ antagonistic activity of SnoN in vivo results in accelerated aging and resistance to tumorigenesis. The SnoN knockin mice display a shortened lifespan, decreased reproductivity, osteoporosis, reduced regenerative capacity and other aging phenotypes, similar to that found in mice expressing an active p53. These activities of SnoN rely on the ability of SnoN to activate p53. SnoN can bind directly to p53 and compete with Mdm2 for binding to p53, preventing p53 ubiquitination and degradation and additionally facilitating p53 acetylation and phosphorylation. SnoN also binds to p53 on the promoter of p53 responsive genes to promote transcription activation. This activation of p53 by SnoN is necessary for its anti-tumorigenic and progeria activities in vivo since elimination of one copy of p53 reverses the aging phenotypes and accelerates tumorigenesis. Thus, we have revealed a novel function of SnoN in regulating aging and tumorigenesis by directly activating p53.
During the aging process, an accumulation of non-heme iron disrupts cellular homeostasis and contributes to the mitochondrial dysfunction typical of various neuromuscular degenerative diseases. Few studies have investigated the effects of iron accumulation on mitochondrial integrity and function in skeletal muscle and liver tissue. Thus, we isolated liver mitochondria (LM), as well as quadriceps-derived subsarcolemmal mitochondria (SSM) and interfibrillar mitochondria (IFM), from male Fischer 344× Brown Norway rats at 8, 18, 29 and 37 months of age. Non-heme iron content in SSM, IFM and LM was significantly higher with age, reaching a maximum at 37 months of age. The mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) was more susceptible to the opening in aged mitochondria containing high levels of iron (i.e. SSM and LM) compared to IFM. Furthermore, mitochondrial RNA oxidation increased significantly with age in SSM and LM, but not in IFM. Levels of mitochondrial RNA oxidation in SSM and LM correlated positively with levels of mitochondrial iron, whereas a significant negative correlation was observed between the maximum Ca2+ amounts needed to induce mPTP opening and iron contents in SSM, IFM and LM. Overall, our data suggest that age-dependent accumulation of mitochondrial iron may increase mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative damage, thereby enhancing the susceptibility to apoptosis.
mitochondrial aging; mitochondrial iron homeostasis; mitochondrial permeability transition pore; mitochondrial RNA; oxidative stress; skeletal muscle subsarcolemmal and interfibrillar mitochondria
Antagonism between growth-promoting and stress-responsive signaling influences tissue homeostasis and longevity in metazoans. The transcription factor FoxO is central to this regulation, affecting cell proliferation, stress responses, apoptosis, and longevity. Insulin/IGF signaling promotes FoxO phosphorylation, causing its interaction with 14-3-3 molecules. The consequences of this interaction for FoxO-induced biological processes and for the regulation of lifespan in higher organisms remain unclear. Significant complexities in the effects of 14-3-3 proteins on lifespan have been uncovered in Caenorhabditis elegans, suggesting both positive and negative roles for 14-3-3 proteins in the control of aging. Using genetic and biochemical studies, we show here that 14-3-3ε antagonizes FoxO function in Drosophila. We find that dFoxO and 14-3-3ε proteins interact in vivo and that this interaction is lost in response to oxidative stress. Loss of 14-3-3ε results in increased stress-induced apoptosis, growth repression and extended lifespan of flies, phenotypes associated with elevated FoxO function. Our results further show that increased expression of 14-3-3ε reverts FoxO-induced growth defects. 14-3-3ε thus serves as a central modulator of FoxO activity in the regulation of growth, cell death and longevity in vivo.
14-3-3; aging; apoptosis; FoxO; insulin signaling; oxidative stress
Increasing age is the most robust predictor of greater malignancy and treatment resistance in human gliomas. However, the adverse association of clinical course with aging is rarely considered in animal glioma models, impeding delineation of the relative importance of organismal versus progenitor cell aging in the genesis of glioma malignancy. To address this limitation, we implanted transformed neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs), the presumed cells of glioma origin, from 3 and 18month old mice into 3 and 20-month host animals. Transplantation with progenitors from older animals resulted in significantly shorter (p ≤ 0.0001) median survival in both 3month (37.5 vs 83 days) and 20-month (38 vs 67 days) hosts, indicating that age-dependent changes intrinsic to NSPCs rather than host animal age accounted for greater malignancy. Subsequent analyses revealed that increased invasiveness, genomic instability, resistance to therapeutic agents and tolerance to hypoxic stress accompanied aging in transformed NSPCs. Greater tolerance to hypoxia in older progenitor cells, as evidenced by elevated HIF-1 promoter reporter activity and hypoxia response gene (HRG) expression, mirror the upregulation of HRGs in cohorts of older vs younger glioma patients revealed by analysis of gene expression databases, suggesting that differential response to hypoxic stress may underlie age-dependent differences in invasion, genomic instability and treatment resistance. Our study provides strong evidence that progenitor cell aging is responsible for promoting the hallmarks of age-dependent glioma malignancy and that consideration of progenitor aging will facilitate development of physiologically and clinically relevant animal models of human gliomas.
aging; glioma; neural stem and progenitor cells; malignancy; syngeneic model
β-adrenoceptors are the common pharmacological targets for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and asthma. Genetic modifications of β-adrenergic system in engineered mice affect their lifespans. Here we tested whether genes encoding for key components of the β-adrenergic signaling pathway are associated with human longevity. We performed a 10-year follow-up study of the Chinese longitudinal healthy longevity survey. The Han Chinese population in this study consisted of 963 long-lived and 1028 geography matched young individuals. Sixteen SNPs from ADRB1, ADRB2, ADCY5, ADCY6, and MAPK1 were selected and genotyped. Two SNPs, rs1042718 (C/A) and rs1042719 (G/C), of ADRB2 in linkage disequilibrium (D′ = 1.0; r2 = 0.67) were found to be associated with enhanced longevity in males in two geographically isolated populations. Bonferroni corrected p values in a combined analysis were 0.00053–0.010. Men with haplotype A-C showed an increased probability to become centenarians (the frequency of A-C in long-lived and young individuals are 0.332 and 0.250, respectively, OR = 1.49, CI95% = 1.17–1.88, p = 0.0007), in contrast to those with haplotype C-G (the frequency of C-G in long-lived and young individuals are 0.523 and 0.635, respectively, OR = 0.63, CI95% = 0.51–0.78, p = 0.000018). The permuted p values were 0.00005 and 0.0009, respectively. ADRB2 encodes the β2-adrenergic receptor; the haplotype A-C markedly reduced its translational efficiency compared to C-G (p = 0.002) in transfected HEK293 cells. Thus, our data indicate that enhanced production of β2-adrenergic receptors caused by genetic variants is inversely associated with human lifespan.
β2-adrenergic receptor; single nucleotide polymorphism; haplotype; longevity; translational efficiency
Adenylyl cyclase type 5 knockout mice (AC5 KO) live longer and are stress resistant, similar to calorie restriction (CR). AC5 KO mice eat more, but actually weigh less and accumulate less fat compared to WT mice. CR applied to AC5 KO result in rapid decrease in body weight, metabolic deterioration and death. These data suggest that despite restricted food intake in CR, but augmented food intake in AC5 KO, the two models affect longevity and metabolism similarly. To determine shared molecular mechanisms, mRNA expression was examined genome-wide for brain, heart, skeletal muscle and liver. Significantly more genes were regulated commonly rather than oppositely in all the tissues in both models, indicating commonality between AC5 KO and CR. Gene Ontology analysis identified many significantly regulated, tissue-specific pathways shared by the two models, including sensory perception in heart and brain, muscle function in skeletal muscle, and lipid metabolism in liver. Moreover, when comparing gene expression changes in the heart under stress, the glutathione regulatory pathway was consistently upregulated in the longevity models but downregulated with stress. In addition, AC5 and CR shared changes in genes and proteins involved in the regulation of longevity and stress resistance, including Sirt1, ApoD and olfactory receptors in both young and intermediate age mice. Thus, the similarly regulated genes and pathways in AC5 KO and CR, particularly related to the metabolic phenotype, suggest a unified theory for longevity and stress resistance.
calorie restriction; type 5 adenylyl cyclase; longevity; stress resistance
Aneuploidy in human eggs increases with maternal age and can result in infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects. The molecular mechanisms leading to aneuploidy, however, are largely unknown especially in the human where eggs are exceedingly rare and precious. We obtained human eggs from subjects ranging from 16.4 to 49.7 years old following in vitro maturation of oocyte-cumulus-complexes (OCCs) isolated directly from surgically-removed ovarian tissue. Whereas maternal age negatively impacted the total number of OCCs collected per subject, it did not appear to impact the ability of the gamete to resume meiosis and form a mature egg. We used a subset of these eggs to investigate how age-associated aneuploidy occurs in the human. The inter-kinetochore distance between sister chromatids increased significantly with maternal age, indicating weakened cohesion. Moreover, we observed unpaired sister chromatids from females of advanced age. We conclude that loss of cohesion with increasing maternal age likely contributes to the well-documented increased incidence of aneuploidy.
maternal age; meiosis; cohesion; human; egg; aneuploidy
Processing of Aβ-precursor protein (APP) plays an important role in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis. The APP intracellular domain contains residues important in regulating APP function and processing, in particular the 682YENPTY687 motif. To dissect the functions of this sequence in vivo, we created an APP knock-in allele mutating Y682 to Gly (APPYG/YG mice). This mutation alters processing of APP and TrkA signaling, and leads to postnatal lethality and neuromuscular synapse defects when expressed on an APP-like protein 2 KO background. This evidence prompted us to characterize further the APPYG/YG mice. Here, we show that APPYG/YG mice develop aging-dependent decline in cognitive and neuromuscular functions, a progressive reduction in dendritic spines, cholinergic tone and TrkA levels in brain regions governing cognitive and motor functions. These data are consistent with our previous findings linking NGF and APP signaling and suggest a causal relationship between altered synaptic connectivity, cholinergic tone depression and TrkA signaling deficit, and cognitive and neuromuscular decline in APPYG/YG mice. The profound deficits caused by the Y682 mutation underscore the biological importance of APP and indicate that APPYG/YG are a valuable mouse model to study APP functions in physiological and pathological processes.
Amyloid Precursor Protein; YENTP domain; Alzheimer’s Disease; Dendritic spines; Cholinergic system; TrkA receptor; behavior
Sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscle mass, is a highly-debilitating consequence of aging. In this investigation, we show sarcopenia is greatly reduced by muscle-specific over-expression of calpastatin, the endogenous inhibitor of calcium-dependent proteases (calpains). Further, we show that calpain cleavage of specific structural and regulatory proteins in myofibrils is prevented by covalent modification of calpain by nitric oxide (NO) through S-nitrosylation. We find that calpain in adult, non-sarcopenic muscles is S-nitrosylated but that aging leads to loss of S-nitrosylation, suggesting that reduced S-nitrosylation during aging leads to increased calpain-mediated proteolysis of myofibrils. Further, our data show that muscle aging is accompanied by loss of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), the primary source of muscle NO, and that expression of a muscle-specific nNOS transgene restores calpain S-nitrosylation in aging muscle and prevents sarcopenia. Together, the findings show that in vivo reduction of calpain S-nitrosylation in muscle may be an important component of sarcopenia, indicating that modulation of NO can provide a therapeutic strategy to slow muscle loss during old age.
aging; calpain; nitric oxide; sarcopenia; skeletal muscle
Upon aging, the number of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in the bone marrow increases while their repopulation potential declines. Moreover, aged HSCs exhibit lineage bias in reconstitution experiments with an inclination towards myeloid at the expense of lymphoid potential. The adaptor protein Lnk is an important negative regulator of HSC homeostasis, as Lnk deficiency is associated with a 10-fold increase in HSC numbers in young mice. However, the age-related increase in functional HSC numbers found in wild type (WT) HSCs was not observed in Lnk-deficient animals. Importantly, HSCs from aged Lnk null mice possess greatly enhanced self-renewal capacity and diminished exhaustion, as evidenced by serial transplant experiments. In addition, Lnk deficiency ameliorates the aging-associated lineage bias. Transcriptome analysis revealed that WT and Lnk-deficient HSCs share many aging-related changes in gene expression patterns. Nonetheless, Lnk null HSCs displayed altered expression of components in select signaling pathways with potential involvement in HSC self-renewal and aging. Taken together, these results suggest that loss of Lnk partially mitigates age-related HSC alterations.
hematopoietic stem cells; hematopoiesis; cytokine; cell proliferation; self-renewal
Reduced insulin/IGF signaling extends lifespan in diverse species, including Drosophila melanogaster where the genome encodes seven insulin-like peptides (dilp1–7). Of these, reduced dilp2 expressed in the brain has been associated with longevity assurance when over-expression of dfoxo in fat bodies extends lifespan. Here we show that the insulin-regulated transcription factor dFOXO positively modulates dilp6 mRNA in adult fat body. Over-expression of dilp6 in adult fat body extends lifespan and increases longevity-associated metabolic phenotypes. Adult fat body dilp6 expression represses dilp2 and dilp5 mRNA in the brain, and the secretion of DILP2 into the hemolymph. The longevity benefit of expressing dfoxo in fat body, and the nonautonomous effect of fat body dfoxo upon brain dilp expression, is blocked by simultaneously repressing dilp6 by RNAi in fat body. dilp6 thus appears to bridge dFOXO, adipose tissue and brain endocrine function to regulate Drosophila longevity.
dilp6; dilp2; Insulin/IGF; fat body; fruit fly; longevity
Comparative biogerontology evaluates cellular, molecular, physiological, and genomic properties that distinguish short-lived from long-lived species. These studies typically use maximum reported lifespan (MRLS) as the index against which to compare traits, but there is a general awareness that MRLS is not ideal due to statistical shortcomings that include bias resulting from small sample sizes. Nevertheless, MRLS has enough species-specific information to show strong associations with many other species-specific traits, such as body mass, stress resistance, and codon usage. The major goal of this study was to see if we could identify surrogate measures with better statistical properties than MRLS but that still capture inter-species differences in extreme lifespan. Using zoological records of 181 bird and mammal species, we evaluated 16 univariate metrics of aging and longevity, including non-parametric quantile-based measures and parameters derived from demographic models of aging, for three desirable statistical properties. We wished to identify those measures that: 1) correlated well with MRLS when the biasing effects of sample size were removed; 2) correlated weakly with population size; and 3) are highly robust to the effects of sampling error. Non-parametric univariate descriptors of the distribution of lifespans clearly outperformed the measures derived from demographic analyses. Mean adult lifespan and quantile-based measures, and in particular the 90th quantile of longevity, performed particularly well, demonstrating far less sensitivity to small-sample size effects than MRLS while preserving much of the information contained in the maximum lifespan measure. These measures should take the place of MRLS in comparative studies of lifespan.
aging; senescence; captive; maximum lifespan; demography; biogerontology
Mounting evidence supports a link between diabetes, cognitive dysfunction and aging. However, the physiological mechanisms by which diabetes impacts brain function and cognition are not fully understood. To determine how diabetes contributes to cognitive dysfunction and age-associated pathology, we used streptozotocin to induce type 1 diabetes (T1D) in senescence-accelerated prone 8 (SAMP8) and senescence-resistant 1 (SAMR1) mice. Contextual fear conditioning demonstrated that T1D resulted in the development of cognitive deficits in SAMR1 mice similar to those seen in age-matched, non-diabetic SAMP8 mice. No further cognitive deficits were observed when the SAMP8 mice were made diabetic. T1D dramatically increased Aβ and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunoreactivity in the hippocampus of SAMP8 mice and to a lesser extent in age-matched SAMR1 mice. Further analysis revealed aggregated Aβ within astrocyte processes surrounding vessels. Western blot analyses from T1D SAMP8 mice showed elevated APP processing and protein glycation along with increased inflammation. T1D elevated tau phosphorylation in the SAMR1 mice but did not further increase it in the SAMP8 mice where it was already significantly higher. These data suggest that aberrant glucose metabolism potentiates the aging phenotype in old mice and contributes to early stage CNS pathology in younger animals.
Aging; Diabetes; Alzheimer’s disease; Neurovascular inflammation; Amyloid angiopathy; Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs)
Insulin sensitivity deteriorates with age, but mechanisms remain unclear. Age-related changes in the function of subcutaneous white adipose tissue (sWAT) are less characterized than those in visceral WAT. We hypothesized that metabolic alterations in sWAT, which in contrast to epididymal WAT, harbors a sub-population of energy dissipating UCP1+ brown adipocytes, promote age-dependent progression towards insulin resistance. Indeed, we show that a predominant consequence of aging in murine sWAT is loss of “browning.” sWAT from young mice is histologically similar to brown adipose tissue (multilocular, UCP1+), but becomes morphologically white by 12 months of age. Correspondingly, sWAT expression of ucp1 precipitously declines (~300-fold) between 3 and 12 months. Loss continues into old age (24 months), and is inversely correlated with the development of insulin resistance. Additional age- dependent changes in sWAT include lower expression of adbr3 and higher expression of maoa, suggesting reduced local adrenergic tone as a potential mechanism. Indeed, treatment with a ®3- adrenergic agonist to compensate for reduced tone rescues the aged sWAT phenotype. Age- related changes in sWAT are not explained by differences in body weight; mice subjected to 40% caloric restriction for 12 months are of similar body weight to 3 month-old ad lib fed mice, but display sWAT resembling that of age-matched ad lib fed mice (devoid of brown adipose-like morphology). Overall, findings identify loss of “browning” in sWAT as a new aging phenomenon, and provide insight into the pathogenesis of age-associated metabolic disease by revealing novel molecular changes tied to systemic metabolic dysfunction.
ucp1; cidea; caloric restriction; ghsr; ppara; klf15
Age-related loss of muscle mass and function, sarcopenia, has a major impact on the quality of life in the elderly. Among the proposed causes of sarcopenia are mitochondrial dysfunction and accumulated oxidative damage during aging. Dietary restriction (DR), a robust dietary intervention that extends lifespan and modulates age-related pathology in a variety of species has been shown to protect from sarcopenia in rodents. Although the mechanism(s) by which DR modulates aging are still not defined, one potential mechanism is through modulation of oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. To directly test the protective effect of DR against oxidative stress induced muscle atrophy in vivo, we subjected mice lacking a key antioxidant enzyme, CuZnSOD (Sod1) to DR (40% of ad libitum fed diet). We have previously shown that the Sod1−/− mice exhibit an acceleration of sarcopenia associated with high oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and severe neuromuscular innervation defects. Despite the dramatic atrophy phenotype in the Sod1−/− mice, DR led to a reversal or attenuation of reduced muscle function, loss of innervation and muscle atrophy in these mice. DR improves mitochondrial function as evidenced by enhanced Ca2+ regulation and reduction of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS). Furthermore, we show upregulation of SIRT3 and MnSOD in DR animals, consistent with reduced mitochondrial oxidative stress and reduced oxidative damage in muscle tissue measured as F2- isoprostanes. Collectively, our results demonstrate that DR is a powerful mediator of mitochondrial function, mitochondrial ROS production, and oxidative damage, providing a solid protection against oxidative stress induced neuromuscular defects and muscle atrophy in vivo even under conditions of high oxidative stress.
A spectral analysis approach was developed for detailed study of time-resolved, dynamic changes in vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) elasticity and adhesion to identify differences in VSMC from young and aged monkeys. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to measure Young's modulus of elasticity and adhesion as assessed by fibronectin (FN) or anti-beta 1 integrin interaction with the VSMC surface. Measurements demonstrated that VSMC cells from old versus young monkeys had elevated elasticity (21.6 kPa vs 3.5 kPa or a 612% elevation in elastic modulus) and adhesion (86 pN vs 43 pN or a 200% increase in unbinding force). Spectral analysis identified three major frequency components in the temporal oscillation patterns for elasticity (ranging from 1.7×10-3 to 1.9×10-2 Hz in old and 8.4×10-4 to 1.5×10-2 in young) and showed that the amplitude of oscillation was larger (p<0.05) in old than in young at all frequencies. It was also observed that patterns of oscillation in the adhesion data were similar to the elasticity waveforms. Cell stiffness was reduced and the oscillations were inhibited by treatment with cytochalasin D, ML7 or blebbistatin indicating involvement of actin-myosin driven processes. In conclusion, these data demonstrate the efficacy of time-resolved analysis of AFM cell elasticity and adhesion measurements and that it provides a uniquely sensitive method to detect real-time functional differences in biomechanical and adhesive properties of cells. The oscillatory behavior suggests mechanisms governing elasticity and adhesion are coupled and affected differentially during aging which may link these events to changes in vascular stiffness.
Fibronectin; integrins; vascular smooth muscle cell contractile function; Young's modulus; cytoskeleton; mechanotransduction; extracellular matrix adhesion; force measurement; atomic force microscopy
Genome-Wide Association studies (GWAS) offer an unbiased means to understand the genetic basis of traits by identifying single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) linked to causal variants of complex phenotypes. GWAS have identified a host of susceptibility SNPs associated with many important human diseases, including diseases associated with aging. In an effort to understand the genetics of broad resistance to age-associated diseases (i.e. ‘wellness’), we performed a meta-analysis of human GWAS. Toward that end, we compiled 372 GWAS that identified 1,775 susceptibility SNPs to 105 unique diseases and used these SNPs to create a genomic landscape of disease susceptibility. This map was constructed by partitioning the genome into 200 kb ‘bins’ and mapping the 1,775 susceptibility SNPs to bins based on their genomic location. Investigation of these data revealed significant heterogeneity of disease association within the genome, with 92% of bins devoid of disease-associated SNPs. In contrast, 10 bins (0.06%) were significantly (p<0.05) enriched for susceptibility to multiple diseases, 5 of which formed two highly significant peaks of disease association (p<0.0001). These peaks mapped to the Major Histocompatibility (MHC) locus on 6p21 and the INK4/ARF (CDKN2a/b) tumor suppressor locus on 9p21.3. Provocatively, all 10 significantly enriched bins contained genes linked to either inflammation or cellular senescence pathways, and SNPs near regulators of senescence were particularly associated with disease of aging (e.g. cancer, atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, glaucoma). This analysis suggests that germline genetic heterogeneity in the regulation of immunity and cellular senescence influences the human health span.
p16INK4a; p14ARF; ANRIL; TERT; longevity