Recent scientific studies have advanced the notion of chronic inflammation as a major risk factor underlying aging and age-related diseases. In this review, low-grade, unresolved, molecular inflammation is described as an underlying mechanism of aging and age-related diseases, which may serve as a bridge between normal aging and age-related pathological processes. Accumulated data strongly suggest that continuous (chronic) up-regulation of pro-inflammatory mediators (e.g., TNF-α, IL-1β, 6, COX-2, iNOS) are induced during the aging process due to an age-related redox imbalance that activates many pro-inflammatory signaling pathways, including the NF-κB signaling pathway. These pro-inflammatory molecular events are discussed in relation to their role as basic mechanisms underlying aging and age-related diseases. Further, the anti-inflammatory actions of aging-retarding caloric restriction and exercise are reviewed. Thus, the purpose of this review is to describe the molecular roles of age-related physiological functional declines and the accompanying chronic diseases associated with aging. This new view on the role of molecular inflammation as a mechanism of aging and age-related pathogenesis can provide insights into potential interventions that may affect the aging process and reduce age-related diseases, thereby promoting healthy longevity.
molecular inflammation; aging; calorie restriction; exercise; cytokines; oxidative stress; inflammatory diseases; age-related diseases; obesity; sarcopenia; dementia; atherosclerosis; cancer; osteoporosis
Ferulate (4-hydroxy-3-methoxycinnamic acid) is a well-known phenolic compound that scavenges free radicals and exerts anti-inflammatory effects. Forkhead box O3a (FOXO3a), a transcription factor that plays important roles in aging processes, decreases with age and is negatively regulated through phosphorylation by phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling. The present study investigated the efficacy of short-term ferulate feeding on age-related changes in PI3K/Akt/FOXO3a and upstream insulin signaling pathways in aged rats. In addition, changes in manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) and catalase expression were examined because of their dependence on PI3K/Akt/FOXO3a activity. Short-term feeding experiments were done with a diet containing ferulate that was given to aged rats at doses of 3 or 6 mg kg−1 day−1 for 10 days. Results showed that FOXO3a activity was increased in the ferulate-fed old group compared with the control old group. Also, ferulate suppressed the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway that is responsible for FOXO3a inhibition in aged rats. Plasma insulin levels and the upstream insulin signaling pathway were also modulated by ferulate correspondingly with PI3K/Akt/FOXO3a activity. The age-related decrease in two major antioxidant enzymes, MnSOD and catalase, was blunted by ferulate, which was accompanied by FOXO3a transcriptional activity. The significance of the present study is the finding that short-term feeding of ferulate effectively modulates age-related renal FOXO3a, PI3K/Akt and insulin signaling pathways, and MnSOD and catalase expression, all of which may be beneficial for attenuating the aging process.
Ferulate; FOXO3a; Aging; PI3K/Akt; MnSOD; Catalase
Angiotensin II (Ang II), a major effector of the renin–angiotensin system, is now recognized as a pro-inflammatory mediator. This Ang II signaling, which causes transcription of pro-inflammatory genes, is regulated through nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB). At present, the molecular mechanisms underlying the effect of aging on Ang II signaling and NF-κB activation are not fully understood. The purpose of this study was to document altered molecular events involved in age-related changes in Ang II signaling and NF-κB activation. Experimentations were carried out using kidney tissues from Fischer 344 rats at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months of age, and the rat endothelial cell line, YPEN-1 for the detailed molecular work. Results show that increases in Ang II and Ang II type 1 receptor during aging were accompanied by the generation of reactive species. Increased Ang II activated NF-κB by phosphorylating IκBα and p65. Increased phosphorylation of p65 at Ser 536 was mediated by the enhanced phosphorylation of IκB kinase αβ, while phosphorylation site Ser 276 of p65 was mediated by upregulated mitogen-activated and stress-activated protein kinase-1. These altered molecular events in aged animals were partly verified by experiments using YPEN-1 cells. Collectively, our findings provide molecular insights into the pro-inflammatory actions of Ang II, actions that influence the phosphorylation of p65-mediated NF-κB activation during aging. Our study demonstrates the age-related pleiotropic nature of the physiologically important Ang II can change into a deleterious culprit that contributes to an increased incidence of many chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, and dementia.
Ang II; Aging; NF-κB; p65 phosphorylation; Inflammation
In this study, we explored the mechanisms by which the angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI), enalapril, and the Ang II receptor blocker (ARB), losartan suppress oxidative stress and NF-κB activation-induced inflammatory responses in aged rat kidney. The experimentations were carried out utilizing aged (24-month-old) Brown Norway x Fischer 344 (F1) male rats which were randomized into 3 groups and administered enalapril (40 mg/kg), losartan (30 mg/kg) or placebo for 6 months (daily p.o.). The level of reactive species (RS), peroxynitrite (ONOO−), GSH/GSSG and lipid peroxidation were measured. The activity of the pro-inflammatory transcription factor NF-κB, and gene expression of proteins in upstream signaling cascades were measured by electro-mobility shift assay (EMSA) and Western blotting. Enalapril and losartan differentially attenuated redox imbalance and the redox-sensitive transcription factor, NF-κB pathway. Furthermore, stimulation of the NF-κB activation pathway by phosphorylation of p65 was attenuated by both compounds. Moreover, mediation of phosphorylation of p65 by phosphorylation of IκB kinase αβ (IKKαβ) and mitogen- and stress-activated protein kinase-1 (MSK1), were also inhibited by enalapril and losartan. Finally, both compounds also lowered expression of NF-κB-dependent inflammatory genes, such as cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2),) and inducible NO synthase (iNOS). Only losartan lowered levels of 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX). These findings indicate that enalapril and losartan differentially suppress inflammatory responses via inhibition of oxidative stress-induced NF-κB activation in aged rat kidney.
Advanced glycation endproducts (AGE) are oxidative products formed from the reaction between carbohydrates and a free amino group of proteins that are provoked by reactive species (RS). It is also known that AGE enhance the generation of RS and that the binding of AGE to a specific AGE receptor (RAGE) induces the activation of the redox-sensitive, pro-inflammatory transcription factor, nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-ĸB). In this current study, we investigated the anti-oxidative effects of short-term kaempferol supplementation on the age-related formation of AGE and the binding activity of RAGE in aged rat kidney. We further investigated the suppressive action of kaempferol against AGE's ability to stimulate activation of pro-inflammatory NF-ĸB and its molecular mechanisms. For this study, we utilized young (6 months old), old (24 months old), and kaempferol-fed (2 and 4 mg/kg/day for 10 days) old rats. In addition, for the molecular work, the rat endothelial cell line, YPEN-1 was used. The results show that AGE and RAGE were increased during aging and that these increases were blunted by kaempferol. In addition, dietary kaempferol reduced age-related increases in NF-κB activity and NF-ĸB-dependant pro-inflammatory gene activity. The most significant new finding from this study is that kaempferol supplementation prevented age-related NF-κB activation by suppressing AGE-induced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase (NADPH oxidase). Taken together, our results demonstrated that dietary kaempferol exerts its anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory actions by modulating the age-related NF-κB signaling cascade and its pro-inflammatory genes by suppressing AGE-induced NADPH oxidase activation. Based on these data, dietary kaempferol is proposed as a possible anti-AGE agent that may have the potential for use in anti-inflammation therapies.
Kaempferol; Aging; NF-κB; AGE; NADPH oxidase; Anti-inflammation
Although systems biology is a perfect framework for investigating system-level declines during aging, only a few reports have focused on a comprehensive understanding of system-level changes in the context of aging systems. The present study aimed to understand the most sensitive biological systems affected during aging and to reveal the systems underlying the crosstalk between aging and the ability of calorie restriction (CR) to effectively slow-down aging. We collected and analyzed 478 aging- and 586 CR-related mouse genes. For the given genes, the biological systems that are significantly related to aging and CR were examined according to three aspects. First, a global characterization by Gene Ontology (GO) was performed, where we found that the transcriptome (a set of genes) for both aging and CR were strongly related in the immune response, lipid metabolism, and cell adhesion functions. Second, the transcriptional modularity found in aging and CR was evaluated by identifying possible functional modules, sets of genes that show consistent expression patterns. Our analyses using the given functional modules, revealed systemic interactions among various biological processes, as exemplified by the negative relation shown between lipid metabolism and the immune response at the system level. Third, transcriptional regulatory systems were predicted for both the aging and CR transcriptomes. Here, we suggest a systems biology framework to further understand the most important systems as they age.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11357-009-9106-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Aging; Calorie restriction; Systems biology; Transcriptome analysis
Adipogenesis and ectopic lipid accumulation during aging have a great impact on the aging process and the pathogenesis of chronic diseases with age. However, at present, information on the age-related molecular changes in lipid redistribution patterns and their potential nutritional interventions is sparse. We investigated the mechanism underlying age-related lipid redistribution and its modulation using 5-, 17-, and 24-month-old male Fischer 344 rats fed ad libitum (AL) or a 3-week-long CR (40% less than AL) diet. Results revealed that the activities of adipogenic transcription factors were decreased in the white adipose tissue (WAT) of aged AL rats. In contrast, the skeletal muscle of aged AL rats showed increased fat accumulation through decreased carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 activity, which was blunted by short-term CR. This study suggests an age-related shift in lipid distribution by reducing the adipogenesis of WAT while increasing intramyocellular lipid accumulation, and that CR can modulate age-related adipogenesis and ectopic lipid accumulation.
Aging; Calorie restriction; Lipid accumulation; Peroxisome proliferators-activated receptors; Sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1; Skeletal muscle
Aging can be characterized in all living organisms as the inevitable biological changes that occur with advancing age. The aging process is time-dependent and leads to functional declines and increased incidences of disease. The underlying pathphysiologic processes of aging may best be explained using several interacting biological processes: genomic activity, oxidative stress, and age-related disease processes, all of which modify the rate and progression of aging. In this report, we describe a database, termed AgingDB, used to retrieve information on the biomolecules known to be modulated during the aging process and by the life-prolonging action of caloric restriction (CR). To enhance the usefulness of AgingDB, we include data collected from studies of CR’s anti-oxidative action on gene expression, oxidative stress, and many chronic age-related diseases. We organized AgingDB into two sections A) apoptosis and the various mitochondrial biomolecules that play a role in aging; B) nuclear transcription factors known to be_sensitive to oxidative environment. AgingDB features an imagemap of biomolecular signal pathways and visualized information that includes protein-protein interactions of biomolecules. Authorized users can submit a new biomolecule or edit an existing biomolecule to reflect latest developments. By making available the most update information through AgingDB, we expect to assist researchers who are exploring the molecular basis of age-related changes modified by the life-prolonging action of CR. For the reader’s convenience and accessibility, AgingDB is freely available at http://agingdb.bio.pusan.ac.kr/.
Oxidative stress is claimed to be a major cause of aging. Recent data suggest that calorie restriction (CR) prolongs life span by its ability to retard aging, possibly by regulating the intracellular redox status through its antioxidative actions. Currently, there is little information showing the influences of age and CR on the redox-sensitive transcription factor activator protein-1 (AP-1). In the present study, we investigated how age affects the status of AP-1 and whether CR modulates the age effect. For our study, we used the kidney from male Fischer 344 rats, ages 6, 12, 18, and 24 months fed ad libitum (AL) or a CR diet. Results from our study showed that AP-1 binding activity markedly increases with age, while CR keeps this activity at the level of 6-month-old rats. We found that c-Jun and c-Fos protein levels increase during aging, and that aging induces phosphorylation of c-Jun, which might enhance AP-1 transcriptional activity. For CR’s action, we found that in the nucleus of aged rats, AP-1 activation was blunted by decreasing c-Jun and c-Fos levels and inhibiting c-Jun protein phosphorylation. Results also indicated that matrix metalloproteinase-13 and heme oxygenase-1, which have an AP-1 binding site in their promoter regions, have a similar tendency toward AP-1 binding activity. Based on the data of these findings, we concluded that AP-1 activity increases in rat kidney with age and that CR reduces AP-1 activity.
Xanthine oxidase (XOD), one of the major intracellular sources of superoxide production, is well characterized as a causative factor in ischemia/reperfusion related damage. In the present study, we investigated age-effect on the status of XOD, an enzyme interconvertible with xanthine dehydrogenase (XDH) under oxidative stress. We also examined the modulation of the enzyme using the anti-oxidative action of dietary restriction (DR). We obtained evidence showing XOD activity to be significantly increased by DR, peaking at 24 months, although no progressive, age-related changes were noticed. On the other hand, while XDH activity decreased in ad libitum fed rats with age, DR maintained higher activity levels at 18 and 24 months of age. During aging, the conversion of XDH to XOD was slightly increased, as indicated by the XOD/XDH ratio. One novel finding of the present study is DR’s ability to elevate the uric acid level, which likely augments the anti-oxidative defense system, thereby buffering against oxidatively stressed conditions during aging. Based on what is known about the antioxidative abilities of DR and uric acid, we propose that the high uric acid levels we observed in DR rats may well serve as part of a defense strategy to protect redox balance.
xanthine oxidase; xanthine dehydrogenase; oxidative stress; aging; uric acid
The exquisite sensitivity of mitochondrial transcription to oxidant stress suggests that chronic, low level oxidative stress may impair mitochondrial gene expression during the aging process. In this study, we assessed the effects of age and of life-prolonging, anti-oxidative dietary restriction (DR) regimens on sensitivity of mitochondrial transcription to oxidant stress. Studies were carried out using liver mitochondria isolated from male Fischer 344 rats of different ages (6, 12, 18, or 24 months) fed ad libitum (AL) or maintained on DR. Transcriptional capacity was assessed in isolated mitochondria challenged with different doses of either hydrophilic or hydrophobic peroxyl radicals generated by AAPH [2,2′-azobis-(2-amidino-propane) hydrochloride] or AMVN [2, 2′-azobis-(2,4,-dimethyl-valeronitrile), respectively].
The most striking effect was that DR increased resistance to AMVN nearly 400% at 6 months and nearly 700% at 24 months, relative to resistance in AL rats. Results also suggest that resistance to both AAPH and AMVN was decreased slightly in older AL rats, but was maintained in the DR rats. These results show that DR augments the defense systems that protect one of the mitochondria’s most vulnerable systems. This augmentation is one of the largest magnitude effects of DR yet observed against oxidative challenge.
Mitochondria; transcription; oxidative stress; free radicals; dietary restriction; aging
Heptadecane is a volatile component of Spirulina platensis, and blocks the de novo synthesis of fatty acids and ameliorates several oxidative stress-related diseases. In a redox state disrupted by oxidative stress, pro-inflammatory genes are upregulated by the activation of NF-kB via diverse kinases. Thus, the search and characterization of new substances that modulate NF-kB are lively research topics. In the present study, heptadecane was examined in terms of its ability to suppress inflammatory NF-kB activation via redox-related NIK/IKK and MAPKs pathway in aged rats. In the first part of the study, Fischer 344 rats, aged 9 and 20 months, were administered on average approximately 20 or 40 mg/Kg body weight over 10 days. The potency of heptadecane was investigated by examining its ability to suppress the gene expressions of COX-2 and iNOS (both NF-κB-related genes) and reactive species (RS) production in aged kidney tissue. In the second part of the study, YPEN-1 cells (an endothelial cell line) were used to explore the molecular mechanism underlying the anti-inflammatory effect of heptadecane by examining its modulation of NF-kB and NF-kB signal pathway. Results showed that heptadecane exhibited a potent anti-oxidative effect by protecting YPEN-1 cells from tert-butylhydroperoxide induced oxidative stress. Further molecular investigations revealed that heptadecane attenuated RS-induced NF-kB via the NIK/IKK and MAPKs pathways in YPEN-1 cells and aged kidney tissues. Based on these results, we conclude that heptadecane suppresses age-related increases in pro-inflammatory gene expressions by reducing NF-kB activity by upregulating the NIK/IKK and MAPKs pathways induced by RS. These findings provide molecular insight of the mechanisms by which heptadecane exerts its antiinflammatory effect in aged kidney tissues. We conclude that heptadecane suppresses age-related increases in pro-inflammatory gene expressions then travel upstream set by step by reducing NF-kB activity by downregulating the NIK/IKK and MAPKs pathways induced by RS.
Autophagy is a major degradative process responsible for the disposal of cytoplasmic proteins and dysfunctional organelles via the lysosomal pathway. During the autophagic process, cells form double-membraned vesicles called autophagosomes that sequester disposable materials in the cytoplasm and finally fuse with lysosomes. In the present study, we investigated the inhibition of autophagy by a synthesized compound, MHY1485, in a culture system by using Ac2F rat hepatocytes. Autophagic flux was measured to evaluate the autophagic activity. Autophagosomes were visualized in Ac2F cells transfected with AdGFP-LC3 by live-cell confocal microscopy. In addition, activity of mTOR, a major regulatory protein of autophagy, was assessed by western blot and docking simulation using AutoDock 4.2. In the result, treatment with MHY1485 suppressed the basal autophagic flux, and this inhibitory effect was clearly confirmed in cells under starvation, a strong physiological inducer of autophagy. The levels of p62 and beclin-1 did not show significant change after treatment with MHY1485. Decreased co-localization of autophagosomes and lysosomes in confocal microscopic images revealed the inhibitory effect of MHY1485 on lysosomal fusion during starvation-induced autophagy. These effects of MHY1485 led to the accumulation of LC3II and enlargement of the autophagosomes in a dose- and time- dependent manner. Furthermore, MHY1485 induced mTOR activation and correspondingly showed a higher docking score than PP242, a well-known ATP-competitive mTOR inhibitor, in docking simulation. In conclusion, MHY1485 has an inhibitory effect on the autophagic process by inhibition of fusion between autophagosomes and lysosomes leading to the accumulation of LC3II protein and enlarged autophagosomes. MHY1485 also induces mTOR activity, providing a possibility for another regulatory mechanism of autophagy by the MHY compound. The significance of this study is the finding of a novel inhibitor of autophagy with an mTOR activating effect.