Alterations in the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate (AMPA-R) receptor and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDA-R) have been documented in aged animals and may contribute to changes in hippocampal-dependent memory. Growth Hormone (GH) regulates AMPA-R and NMDA-R-dependent excitatory transmission and decreases with age. Chronic GH treatment mitigates age-related cognitive decline. An in vitro CA1 hippocampal slice preparation was used to compare hippocampal excitatory transmission and plasticity in old animals treated for 6–8 months with either saline or GH. Our findings indicate that GH treatment restores NMDA-R dependent basal synaptic transmission in old rats to young adult levels and enhances both AMPA-R-dependent basal synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation. These alterations in synaptic function occurred in the absence of changes in presynaptic function, as measured by paired-pulse ratios, the total protein levels of AMPA-R and NMDA-R subunits or in plasma or hippocampal levels of insulin-like growth factor-I. These data suggest a direct role for GH in altering age-related changes in excitatory transmission and provide a possible cellular mechanism through which GH changes the course of cognitive decline.
Long-term potentiation; paired-pulse ratios; input-output curves; AMPA receptor; NMDA receptor
The hippocampus undergoes changes with aging that impact neuronal function, such as synapse loss and altered neurotransmitter release. Nearly half of the aged population also develops deficits in spatial learning and memory. To identify age-related hippocampal changes that may contribute to cognitive decline, transcriptomic analysis of synaptosome preparations from adult (12 months) and aged (28 months) Fischer 344-Brown Norway rats assessed for spatial learning and memory was performed. Bioinformatic analysis identified the MHCI pathway as significantly upregulated with aging. Age-related increases in mRNAs encoding the MHCI genes RT1-A1, RT1-A2, and RT1-A3 was confirmed by qPCR in synaptosomes and in CA1 and CA3 dissections. Elevated levels of the MHCI cofactor (B2m), antigen-loading components (Tap1, Tap2, Tapbp), and two known MHCI receptors (PirB, Klra2) were also confirmed. Protein expression of MHCI was elevated with aging in synaptosomes, CA1, and DG, while PirB protein expression was induced in both CA1 and DG. MHCI expression was localized to microglia and neuronal excitatory postsynaptic densities, and PirB localized to neuronal somata, axons and dendrites. Induction of the MHCI antigen processing and presentation pathway in hippocampal neurons and glia may contribute to age-related hippocampal dysfunction by increasing neuroimmune signaling or altering synaptic homeostasis.
aging; hippocampus; Major Histocompatibility Complex I; Paired Immunoglobulin-like Receptor B; synapse; neuroimmune
The redox-sensitive transcription factor NF-E2–related factor 2 (Nrf2) plays a key
role in preserving a healthy endothelial phenotype and maintaining the functional
integrity of the vasculature. Previous studies demonstrated that aging is associated with
Nrf2 dysfunction in endothelial cells, which alters redox signaling and likely promotes
the development of large vessel disease. Much less is known about the consequences of Nrf2
dysfunction at the level of the microcirculation. To test the hypothesis that Nrf2
regulates angiogenic capacity of endothelial cells, we determined whether disruption of
Nrf2 signaling (by siRNA knockdown of Nrf2 and overexpression of Keap1, the cytosolic
repressor of Nrf2) impairs angiogenic processes in cultured human coronary arterial
endothelial cells stimulated with vascular endothelial growth factor and insulin-like
growth factor-1. In the absence of functional Nrf2, coronary arterial endothelial cells
exhibited impaired proliferation and adhesion to vitronectin and collagen. Disruption of
Nrf2 signaling also reduced cellular migration (measured by a wound-healing assay using
electric cell-substrate impedance sensing technology) and impaired the ability of coronary
arterial endothelial cells to form capillary-like structures. Collectively, we find that
Nrf2 is essential for normal endothelial angiogenic processes, suggesting that Nrf2
dysfunction may be a potential mechanism underlying impaired angiogenesis and
microvascular rarefaction in aging.
Vascular aging; Microcirculation; Capillary density; Angiogenesis; Heart
The present study was conducted to test predictions of the oxidative stress theory of aging assessing reactive oxygen species production and oxidative stress resistance in cultured fibroblasts from 13 primate species ranging in body size from 0.25 to 120 kg and in longevity from 20 to 90 years. We assessed both basal and stress-induced reactive oxygen species production in fibroblasts from five great apes (human, chimpanzee, bonobo, gorilla, and orangutan), four Old World monkeys (baboon, rhesus and crested black macaques, and patas monkey), three New World monkeys (common marmoset, red-bellied tamarin, and woolly monkey), and one lemur (ring-tailed lemur). Measurements of cellular MitoSox fluorescence, an indicator of mitochondrial superoxide (O2·−) generation, showed an inverse correlation between longevity and steady state or metabolic stress–induced mitochondrial O2·− production, but this correlation was lost when the effects of body mass were removed, and the data were analyzed using phylogenetically independent contrasts. Fibroblasts from longer-lived primate species also exhibited superior resistance to H2O2-induced apoptotic cell death than cells from shorter-living primates. After correction for body mass and lack of phylogenetic independence, this correlation, although still discernible, fell short of significance by regression analysis. Thus, increased longevity in this sample of primates is not causally associated with low cellular reactive oxygen species generation, but further studies are warranted to test the association between increased cellular resistance to oxidative stressor and primate longevity.
Primates; Comparative biology; Free radical; Oxidative stress
There is increasing evidence that age-associated chronic low-grade inflammation promotes
the development of both large-vessel disease (myocardial infarction, stroke, peripheral
arterial disease) and small-vessel pathologies (including vascular cognitive impairment)
in older persons. However, the source of age-related chronic vascular inflammation remains
unclear. To test the hypothesis that cell-autonomous mechanisms contribute to the
proinflammatory changes in vascular phenotype that accompanies advancing age, we analyzed
the cytokine secretion profile of primary vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) derived
from young (∼13 years old) and aged (∼21 years old) Macaca
mulatta. Aged VSMCs cultured in the absence of systemic factors exhibited
significantly increased secretion of interleukin-1β, MCP-1, and tumor necrosis
factorα compared with young control cells. Secretion of interleukin-6 also tended to
increase in aged VSMCs. This age-associated proinflammatory shift in the cellular
secretory phenotype was associated with an increased mitochondrial O2
− production and nuclear factor κ-light-chain-enhancer of activated
B cells activation. Treatment of aged VSMCs with a physiologically relevant concentration
of resveratrol (1 μM) exerted significant anti-inflammatory effects, reversing
aging-induced alterations in the cellular cytokine secretion profile and inhibiting
nuclear factor κ-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells. Resveratrol also
attenuated mitochondrial O2
− production and upregulated the transcriptional activity of Nrf2 in aged
VSMCs. Thus, in non-human primates, cell-autonomous activation of nuclear factor
κ-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells and expression of an inflammatory
secretome likely contribute to vascular inflammation in aging. Resveratrol treatment
prevents the proinflammatory properties of the aged VSMC secretome, an effect that likely
contributes to the demonstrated vasoprotective action of resveratrol in animal models of
Vascular aging; Inflammation; Oxidative stress; Cytokine; 3,5,4’-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene
Previous studies suggest that the age-related decline in circulating growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels significantly contribute to vascular dysfunction in aging by impairing cellular oxidative stress resistance pathways. Obesity in elderly individuals is increasing at alarming rates, and there is evidence suggesting that elderly individuals are more vulnerable to the deleterious cardiovascular effects of obesity than younger individuals. However, the specific mechanisms through which aging, GH/IGF-1 deficiency, and obesity interact to promote the development of cardiovascular disease remain unclear. To test the hypothesis that low circulating GH/IGF-1 levels exacerbate the pro-oxidant and proinflammatory vascular effects of obesity, GH/IGF-1–deficient Lewis dwarf rats and heterozygous control rats were fed either a standard diet or a high-fat diet (HFD) for 7 months. Feeding an HFD resulted in similar relative weight gains and increases in body fat content in Lewis dwarf rats and control rats. HFD-fed Lewis dwarf rats exhibited a relative increase in blood glucose levels, lower insulin, and impaired glucose tolerance as compared with HFD-fed control rats. Analysis of serum cytokine expression signatures indicated that chronic GH/IGF-1 deficiency exacerbates HFD-induced inflammation. GH/IGF-1 deficiency also exacerbated HFD-induced endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress, and expression of inflammatory markers (tumor necrosis factor-α, ICAM-1) in aortas of Lewis dwarf rats. Overall, our results are consistent with the available clinical and experimental evidence suggesting that GH/IGF-1 deficiency renders the cardiovascular system more vulnerable to the deleterious effects of obesity.
Accelerated aging; Endothelial dysfunction; IGF-1; Obesity; Vascular pathophysiology
Because the initial reports demonstrating that circulating growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 decrease with age in laboratory animals and humans, there have been numerous studies related to the importance of these hormones for healthy aging. Nevertheless, the role of these potent anabolic hormones in the genesis of the aging phenotype remains controversial. In this chapter, we review the studies demonstrating the beneficial and deleterious effects of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 deficiency and explore their effects on specific tissues and pathology as well as their potentially unique effects early during development. Based on this review, we conclude that the perceived contradictory roles of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 in the genesis of the aging phenotype should not be interpreted as a controversy on whether growth hormone or insulin-like growth factor-1 increases or decreases life span but rather as an opportunity to explore the complex roles of these hormones during specific stages of the life span.
IGF-1; Longevity; Growth hormone
Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 is an important neurotrophic hormone. Deficiency of this hormone has been reported to influence the genesis of cognitive impairment and dementia in the elderly patients. Nevertheless, there are studies indicating that cognitive function can be maintained into old age even in the absence of circulating IGF-1 and studies that link IGF-1 to an acceleration of neurological diseases. Although IGF-1 has a complex role in brain function, synaptic effects appear to be central to the IGF-1–induced improvement in learning and memory. In this review, synaptic mechanisms of learning and memory and the effects of IGF-1 on synaptic communication are discussed. The emerging data indicate that synaptic function decreases with age and that IGF-1 contributes to information processing in the brain. Further studies that detail the specific actions of this important neurotrophic hormone will likely lead to therapies that result in improved cognitive function for the elderly patients.
IGF-1; Brain aging; Synaptic function; Memory; Learning
Blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption is one of major consequences of radiation-induced normal tissue injury in the central nervous system. In the present study, we examined the effects of whole brain irradiation on matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs)/tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) and extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation in the brain.
Methods and Materials
Animals received either whole brain irradiation (a single dose of 10 Gy γ-rays or a fractionated dose of 40 Gy γ-rays total) or sham-irradiation, and were maintained for 4, 8, and 24 h following irradiation. The mRNA expression levels of MMPs and TIMPs in the brain were analyzed by real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The functional activity of MMPs was measured by in situ zymography and degradation of ECM was visualized by collagen type IV immunofluorescence staining.
A significant increase in mRNA expression levels of MMP-2, MMP-9, and TIMP-1 was observed in irradiated brains compared to sham-irradiated controls. In situ zymography revealed a strong gelatinolytic activity in the brain 24 h post-irradiation and the enhanced gelatinolytic activity mediated by irradiation was significantly attenuated in the presence of anti-MMP-2 antibody. A significant reduction in collagen type IV immunoreactivity was also detected in the brain at 24 h after irradiation. In contrast, the levels of collagen type IV were not significantly changed at 4 and 8 h after irradiation compared with the sham-irradiated controls.
The present study demonstrates for the first time that radiation induces an imbalance between MMP-2 and TIMP-2 levels and suggests that degradation of collagen type IV, a major ECM component of BBB basement membrane, may have a role in the pathogenesis of brain injury.
Whole brain irradiation; Matrix metalloproteinases; Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases; Extracellular matrix; Collagen type IV
Recent studies demonstrate that age-related dysfunction of NF-E2–related factor-2 (Nrf2)–driven pathways impairs cellular redox homeostasis, exacerbating age-related cellular oxidative stress and increasing sensitivity of aged vessels to oxidative stress–induced cellular damage. Circulating levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 decline during aging, which significantly increases the risk for cardiovascular diseases in humans. To test the hypothesis that adult-onset IGF-1 deficiency impairs Nrf2-driven pathways in the vasculature, we utilized a novel mouse model with a liver-specific adeno-associated viral knockdown of the Igf1 gene using Cre-lox technology (Igf1f/f + MUP-iCre-AAV8), which exhibits a significant decrease in circulating IGF-1 levels (∼50%). In the aortas of IGF-1–deficient mice, there was a trend for decreased expression of Nrf2 and the Nrf2 target genes GCLC, NQO1 and HMOX1. In cultured aorta segments of IGF-1–deficient mice treated with oxidative stressors (high glucose, oxidized low-density lipoprotein, and H2O2), induction of Nrf2-driven genes was significantly attenuated as compared with control vessels, which was associated with an exacerbation of endothelial dysfunction, increased oxidative stress, and apoptosis, mimicking the aging phenotype. In conclusion, endocrine IGF-1 deficiency is associated with dysregulation of Nrf2-dependent antioxidant responses in the vasculature, which likely promotes an adverse vascular phenotype under pathophysiological conditions associated with oxidative stress (eg, diabetes mellitus, hypertension) and results in accelerated vascular impairments in aging.
vascular aging; endocrine
Impairment of cognitive functions including hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory affects nearly half of the aged population. Age-related cognitive decline is associated with synaptic dysfunction that occurs in the absence of neuronal cell loss, suggesting that impaired neuronal signaling and plasticity may underlie age-related deficits of cognitive function. Expression of myelin-associated inhibitors (MAIs) of synaptic plasticity, including the ligands MAG, Nogo-A, and OMgp, and their common receptor, NgR1, was examined in hippocampal synaptosomes and CA1, CA3 and DG subregions derived from adult (12–13 months) and aged (26–28 months) Fischer 344 × Brown Norway rats. Rats were behaviorally phenotyped by Morris water maze testing and classified as aged cognitively intact (n=7–8) or aged cognitively impaired (n=7–10) relative to adults (n=5–7). MAI protein expression was induced in cognitively impaired, but not cognitively intact, aged rats and correlated with cognitive performance in individual rats. Immunohistochemical experiments demonstrated that upregulation of MAIs occurs, in part, in hippocampal neuronal axons and somata. While a number of pathways and processes are altered with brain aging, we report a coordinated induction of myelin-associated inhibitors of functional and structural plasticity only in cognitively impaired aged rats. Induction of MAIs may decrease stimulus-induced synaptic strengthening and structural remodeling, ultimately impairing synaptic mechanisms of spatial learning and memory and resulting in cognitive decline.
myelin-associated glycoprotein; neurite outgrowth inhibitor A; oligodendrocyte myelin glycoprotein; Nogo-66 receptor; Fischer 344 × Brown Norway rat; Morris water maze
Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is an important anabolic hormone that decreases with age. In the past two decades, extensive research has determined that the reduction in IGF-1 is an important component of the age-related decline in cognitive function in multiple species including humans. Deficiency in circulating IGF-1 results in impairment in processing speed and deficiencies in both spatial and working memory. Replacement of IGF-1 or factors that increase IGF-1 to old animals and humans reverses many of these cognitive deficits. Despite the overwhelming evidence for IGF-1 as an important neurotrophic agent, the specific mechanisms through which IGF-1 acts have remained elusive. Recent evidence indicates that IGF-1 is both produced by and has important actions on the cerebrovasculature as well as neurons and glia. Nevertheless, the specific regulation and actions of brain- and vascular-derived IGF-1 is poorly understood. The diverse effects of IGF-1 discovered thus far reveal a complex endocrine and paracrine system essential for integrating many of the functions necessary for brain health. Identification of the mechanisms of IGF-1 actions will undoubtedly provide critical insight into regulation of brain function in general and the causes of cognitive decline with age.
aging; cognitive decline; IGF-1; vasculature
The etiology of radiation-induced cerebrovascular rare-faction remains unknown. In the present study, we examined the effect of whole-brain irradiation on endothelial cell (EC) proliferation/apoptosis and expression of various angiogenic factors in rat brain. F344×BN rats received either whole-brain irradiation (a single dose of 10 Gy γ rays) or sham irradiation and were maintained for 4, 8 and 24 h after irradiation. Double immunofluorescence staining was employed to visualize EC proliferation/apoptosis in brain. The mRNA and protein expression levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1), endothelial-specific receptor tyrosine kinase (Tie-2), and Ang-2 in brain were determined by real-time RT-PCR and immunofluores-cence staining. A significant reduction in CD31-immunore-active cells was detected in irradiated rat brains compared with sham-irradiated controls. Whole-brain irradiation significantly suppressed EC proliferation and increased EC apoptosis. In addition, a significant decrease in mRNA and protein expression of VEGF, Ang-1 and Tie-2 was observed in irradiated rat brains. In contrast, whole-brain irradiation significantly upregulated Ang-2 expression in rat brains. The present study provides novel evidence that whole-brain irradiation differentially affects mRNA and protein expression of VEGF, Ang-1, Tie-2 and Ang-2. These changes are closely associated with decreased EC proliferation and increased EC apoptosis in brain.
Emerging evidence has shown that oxidation of RNA including mRNA is elevated in several age-related diseases, although investigation of oxidized levels of individual RNA species has been limited. Recently we reported that an Aldehyde Reactive Probe (ARP) quantitatively reacts with oxidatively modified depurinated/depyrimidinated (abasic) RNA. Here we report a novel method to isolate oxidized RNA using ARP and streptavidin-beads. An oligo RNA containing abasic sites which were derivatized with ARP was pulled down by streptavidin-beads, whereas a control oligo RNA was not. In vitro oxidized RNA as well as total cellular RNA isolated from oxidatively stressed cells was also pulled down dependent on oxidation level, and concentrated in the pull-down fraction. Quantitative RT-PCR using RNA in the pull-down fraction demonstrated that several gene transcripts were uniquely increased in the fraction by oxidative stress. Thus, our method selectively concentrates oxidized RNA by pull-down and enables the assessment of oxidation levels of individual RNA species.
ARP; RNA oxidation; streptavidin; pull down; abasic site
GH and its anabolic mediator, IGF1, are important not only in somatic growth but also in the regulation of brain function. Even though GH treatment has been used clinically to improve body composition and exercise capacity in adults, its influence on central nervous system function has only recently been recognized. This is also the case for children with childhood-onset GH deficiency (GHD) where GH has been used to stimulate bone growth and enhance final adult height. Circulating IGF1 is transported across the blood–brain barrier and IGF1 and its receptors are also synthesized in the brain by neurons and glial and endothelial cells. Nevertheless, the relationship between circulating IGF1 and brain IGF1 remains unclear. This study, using a GH-deficient dwarf rat model and peripheral GH replacement, investigated the effects of circulating IGF1 during adolescence on IGF1 levels in the brain. Our results demonstrated that hippocampal IGF1 protein concentrations during adolescence are highly regulated by circulating IGF1, which were reduced by GHD and restored by systematic GH replacement. Importantly, IGF1 levels in the cerebrospinal fluid were decreased by GHD but not restored by GH replacement. Furthermore, analysis of gene expression using microarrays and RT-PCR indicated that circulating IGF1 levels did not modify the transcription of Igf1 or its receptor in the hippocampus but did regulate genes that are involved in microvascular structure and function, brain development, and synaptic plasticity, which potentially support brain structures involved in cognitive function during this important developmental period.
The purpose of this study was to determine changes in klotho, endothelin (ET) receptors, and superoxide production in kidneys of aged rats and whether these changes are exacerbated in aged rats with cognitive impairment. Twenty aged rats (male, 27 months) were divided into an Old Impaired group (n = 9) and an Old Intact group (n = 11) according to a cognitive function test. A group of 12-month-old rats (n = 10) was used as a Young Intact group. Serum creatinine was increased significantly in the Old Impaired group, suggesting impaired renal function. Aged rats showed glomerulosclerosis and tubulointerstitialfibrosis. These pathological changes were markedly aggravated in the old cognitively impaired than in the old cognitively intact animals. Notably, aged rats demonstrated a significant decrease in klotho protein expression in renal cortex and medulla. Protein expression of IL-6, Nox2, ETa receptors and superoxide production were increased whereas mitochondrial SOD (MnSOD) and ETb receptors expression were decreased in kidneys of the aged rats. Interestingly, these changes were more pronounced in the old impaired than in the old intact rats. In conclusion, the aging-related kidney damage was exacerbated in aged rats with cognitive impairment. Klotho, ETB, and MnSOD were downregulated but ETa, IL-6, Nox2, and superoxide production were upregulated in the aging-related kidney damage. These changes were more pronounced in rats with cognitive impairment.
Aging; Klotho; Glomerusclerosis; ET receptor; Superoxide; Interleukin-6
Aging promotes oxidative stress in vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells, which contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases. NF-E2–related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a transcription factor, which is activated by reactive oxygen species in the vasculature of young animals, leading to adaptive upregulation of numerous reactive oxygen species detoxifying and antioxidant genes. The present study was designed to elucidate age-associated changes in the homeostatic role of Nrf2-driven free radical detoxification mechanisms in the vasculature of nonhuman primates. We found that carotid arteries of aged rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta, age: ≥20 years) exhibit significant oxidative stress (as indicated by the increased 8-iso-PGF2α and 4-HNE content and decreased glutathione and ascorbate levels) as compared with vessels of young macaques (age: ∼10 years) that is associated with activation of the redox-sensitive proinflammatory transcription factor, nuclear factor-kappaB. However, age-related oxidative stress does not activate Nrf2 and does not induce Nrf2 target genes (NQO1, GCLC, and HMOX1). In cultured vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) derived from young M mulatta, treatment with H2O2 and high glucose significantly increases transcriptional activity of Nrf2 and upregulates the expression of Nrf2 target genes. In contrast, in cultured vascular smooth muscle cells cells derived from aged macaques, H2O2– and high glucose–induced Nrf2 activity and Nrf2-driven gene expression are blunted. High glucose–induced H2O2 production was significantly increased in aged vascular smooth muscle cells compared with that in vascular smooth muscle cells from young M mulatta. Taken together, aging is associated with Nrf2 dysfunction in M mulatta arteries, which likely exacerbates age-related cellular oxidative stress, promoting nuclear factor-kappaB activation and vascular inflammation in aging.
Artery; Inflammation; Oxidative stress; Smooth muscle; Vascular aging
Age-related cognitive decline occurs without frank neurodegeneration and is the most common cause of memory impairment in aging individuals. With increasing longevity, cognitive deficits, especially in hippocampus-dependent memory processes, are increasing in prevalence. Nevertheless, the neurobiological basis of age-related cognitive decline remains unknown. While concerted efforts have led to the identification of neurobiological changes with aging, few age-related alterations have been definitively correlated to behavioral measures of cognitive decline. In this work, adult (12 Months) and aged (28 months) rats were categorized by Morris water maze performance as Adult cognitively Intact, Aged cognitively Intact or Aged cognitively Impaired, and protein expression was examined in hippocampal synaptosome preparations. Previously described differences in synaptic expression of neurotransmission-associated proteins (Dnm1, Hpca, Stx1, Syn1, Syn2, Syp, SNAP25, VAMP2 and 14-3-3 eta, gamma, and zeta) were confirmed between Adult and Aged rats, with no further dysregulation associated with cognitive impairment. Proteins related to synaptic structural stability (MAP2, drebrin, Nogo-A) and activity-dependent signaling (PSD-95, 14-3-3θ, CaMKIIα) were up- and down-regulated, respectively, with cognitive impairment but were not altered with increasing age. Localization of MAP2, PSD-95, and CaMKIIα demonstrated protein expression alterations throughout the hippocampus. The altered expression of activity- and structural stability-associated proteins suggests that impaired synaptic plasticity is a distinct phenomenon that occurs with age-related cognitive decline, and demonstrates that cognitive decline is not simply an exacerbation of the aging phenotype.
Nogo; CamkII; aging; hippocampus; synapse; learning and memory
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
We assess whether reactive oxygen species production and resistance to oxidative stress might be causally involved in the exceptional longevity exhibited by the ocean quahog Arctica islandica. We tested this hypothesis by comparing reactive oxygen species production, resistance to oxidative stress, antioxidant defenses, and protein damage elimination processes in long-lived A islandica with the shorter-lived hard clam, Mercenaria mercenaria. We compared baseline biochemical profiles, age-related changes, and responses to exposure to the oxidative stressor tert-butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP). Our data support the premise that extreme longevity in A islandica is associated with an attenuated cellular reactive oxygen species production. The observation of reduced protein carbonyl concentration in A islandica gill tissue compared with M mercenaria suggests that reduced reactive oxygen species production in long-living bivalves is associated with lower levels of accumulated macromolecular damage, suggesting cellular redox homeostasis may determine life span. Resistance to aging at the organismal level is often reflected in resistance to oxidative stressors at the cellular level. Following TBHP exposure, we observed not only an association between longevity and resistance to oxidative stress–induced mortality but also marked resistance to oxidative stress–induced cell death in the longer-living bivalves. Contrary to some expectations from the oxidative stress hypothesis, we observed that A islandica exhibited neither greater antioxidant capacities nor specific activities than in M mercenaria nor a more pronounced homeostatic antioxidant response following TBHP exposure. The study also failed to provide support for the exceptional longevity of A islandica being associated with enhanced protein recycling. Our findings demonstrate an association between longevity and resistance to oxidative stress–induced cell death in A islandica, consistent with the oxidative stress hypothesis of aging and provide justification for detailed evaluation of pathways involving repair of free radical–mediated macromolecular damage and regulation of apoptosis in the world's longest-living non-colonial animal.
Comparative biology; Free radical; Oxidative stress
Radiation therapy, the most commonly used for the treatment of brain tumors, has been shown to be of major significance in tu-mor control and survival rate of brain tumor patients. About 200,000 patients with brain tumor are treated with either partial large field or whole brain radiation every year in the United States. The use of radiation therapy for treatment of brain tumors, however, may lead to devastating functional deficits in brain several months to years after treatment. In particular, whole brain radiation therapy results in a significant reduction in learning and memory in brain tumor patients as long-term consequences of treatment. Although a number of in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated the pathogenesis of radiation-mediated brain injury, the cel-lular and molecular mechanisms by which radiation induces damage to normal tissue in brain remain largely unknown. Therefore, this review focuses on the pathophysiological mechanisms of whole brain radiation-induced cognitive impairment and the iden-tification of novel therapeutic targets. Specifically, we review the current knowledge about the effects of whole brain radiation on pro-oxidative and pro-inflammatory pathways, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs)/tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) system and extracellular matrix (ECM), and physiological angiogenesis in brain. These studies may provide a foundation for defin-ing a new cellular and molecular basis related to the etiology of cognitive impairment that occurs among patients in response to whole brain radiation therapy. It may also lead to new opportunities for therapeutic interventions for brain tumor patients who are undergoing whole brain radiation therapy.
Whole brain radiation; Cognitive impairment; Reactive oxygen species; Inflammation; Extracellular matrix; Physi-ological angiogenesis
Numerous studies support the hypothesis that deficiency of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-1) in adults contributes to depression, but direct evidence is limited. Many psychological and pro-cognitive effects have been attributed to IGF-1, but appropriate animal models of adult-onset IGF-1 deficiency are lacking. In this study, we use a viral-mediated Cre-loxP system to knockout the Igf1 gene in either the liver, neurons of the CA1 region of the hippocampus, or both. Knockout of liver Igf1 reduced serum IGF-1 levels by 40% and hippocampal IGF-1 levels by 26%. Knockout of Igf1 in CA1 reduced hippocampal IGF-1 levels by 13%. The most severe reduction in hippocampal IGF-1 occurred in the group with knockouts in both liver and CA1 (36% reduction), and was associated with a 3.5-fold increase in immobility in the forced swim test. Reduction of either circulating or hippocampal IGF-1 levels did not alter anxiety measured in an open field and elevated plus maze, nor locomotion in the open field. Furthermore, local compensation for deficiencies in circulating IGF-1 did not occur in the hippocampus, nor were serum levels of IGF-1 upregulated in response to the moderate decline of hippocampal IGF-1 caused by the knockouts in CA1. We conclude that adult-onset IGF-1 deficiency alone is sufficient to induce a depressive phenotype in mice. Furthermore, our results suggest that individuals with low brain levels of IGF-1 are at increased risk for depression and these behavioral effects are not ameliorated by increased local IGF-1 production or transport. Our study supports the hypothesis that the natural IGF-1 decline in aging humans may contribute to geriatric depression.
insulin-like growth factor I; IGF-1; depression; conditional knockout; aging; hippocampus
The discovery that in invertebrates, disruption of the insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 pathway extends life span and increases resistance to oxidative injury led to the hypothesis that IGF-1 signaling may play a role in regulating cellular reactive oxygen species production, oxidative stress resistance, and consequentially, organismal life span in mammals. However, previous studies testing this hypothesis in rodent models of IGF-1 deficiency yielded controversial results. The Lewis dwarf rat is a useful model of human growth hormone (GH)/IGF-1 deficiency as it mimics many of the pathophysiological alterations present in human GH/IGF-1–deficient patients as well as elderly individuals. Peripubertal treatment of Lewis dwarf rats with GH results in a significant extension of life span. The present study was designed to test the role of the GH/IGF-1 axis in regulating cellular oxidative stress and oxidative stress resistance, utilizing primary fibroblasts derived from control rats, Lewis dwarf rats and GH-replete dwarf rats. Measurements of cellular dihydroethidium and C-H2DCFDA fluorescence showed that cellular O2·− and peroxide production were similar in each group. Fibroblasts from control and Lewis dwarf rats exhibited similar antioxidant capacities and comparable sensitivity to H2O2, rotenone, high glucose, tunicamycin, thapsigargin, paraquat, and mitomycin, which cause apoptosis through increasing oxidative stress, mitochondrial damage, ATP depletion, and/or by damaging DNA, lipids and proteins. Fibroblasts from GH-replete rats exhibited significantly increased antioxidant capacities and superior resistance to H2O2, rotenone and bacterial lipopolysaccharide–induced cell death compared with cells from Lewis dwarf rats, whereas their sensitivity to the other stressors investigated was not statistically different. Thus, low circulating IGF-1 levels present in vivo in Lewis dwarf rats do not elicit long-lasting alterations in cellular reactive oxygen species generation and oxidative stress resistance, whereas life span–extending peripubertal GH treatment resulted in increased antioxidant capacity and increased resistance to cellular injury caused by some, but not all, oxidative stressors.
Oxidative stress resistance; Growth hormone; Fibroblast; Free radicals
There have been several reports describing elevation of oxidized RNA in aging or age-related diseases, however RNA oxidation has been assessed solely based on 8-hydroxy-guanosine levels. In this study, Aldehyde Reactive Probe (ARP), which was originally developed to detect DNA abasic sites was used to assess RNA oxidation. We found that ARP reacted with depurinated tRNAPhe or chemically synthesized RNA containing abasic sites quantitatively to as little as 10 fmoles, indicating that abasic RNA is recognized by ARP. RNA oxidized by Fenton-type reactions, γ-irradiation, or peroxynitrite increased ARP reactivity dose-dependently, indicating that ARP is capable of monitoring oxidized RNA mediated by reactive oxygen species or reactive nitrogen species. Furthermore, oxidative stress increased levels of ARP reactive RNA in cultured cells. These results indicate the versatility of the assay method for biologically relevant oxidation of RNA. Thus, we have developed a sensitive assay for analysis of oxidized RNA.
Aldehyde Reactive Probe (ARP); RNA oxidation assay; abasic site; depurination
Whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) is commonly used for treatment of primary and metastatic brain tumors; however, cognitive impairment occurs in 40–50% of brain tumor survivors. The etiology of the cognitive impairment following WBRT remains elusive. We recently reported that radiation-induced cerebrovascular rarefaction within hippocampal subregions could be completely reversed by systemic hypoxia. However, the effects of this intervention on learning and memory have not been reported. In this study, we assessed the time-course for WBRT-induced impairments in contextual and spatial learning and the capacity of systemic hypoxia to reverse WBRT-induced deficits in spatial memory. A clinical fractionated series of 4.5Gy WBRT was administered to mice twice weekly for 4 weeks, and after various periods of recovery, behavioral analyses were performed. To study the effects of systemic hypoxia, mice were subjected to 11% (hypoxia) or 21% oxygen (normoxia) for 28 days, initiated 1 month after the completion of WBRT. Our results indicate that WBRT induces a transient deficit in contextual learning, disruption of working memory, and progressive impairment of spatial learning. Additionally, systemic hypoxia completely reversed WBRT-induced impairments in learning and these behavioral effects as well as increased vessel density persisted for at least 2 months following hypoxia treatment. Our results provide critical support for the hypothesis that cerebrovascular rarefaction is a key component of cognitive impairment post-WBRT and indicate that processes of learning and memory, once thought to be permanently impaired after WBRT, can be restored.