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1.  The negative effect of prolonged somatotrophic/insulin signaling on an adult bone marrow-residing population of pluripotent very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs) 
Age  2012;35(2):315-330.
It is well known that attenuated insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling (IIS) has a positive effect on longevity in several animal species, including mice. Here, we demonstrate that a population of murine pluripotent very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs) that reside in bone marrow (BM) is protected from premature depletion during aging by intrinsic parental gene imprinting mechanisms and the level of circulating insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I). Accordingly, an increase in the circulating level of IGF-I, as seen in short-lived bovine growth hormone (bGH)-expressing transgenic mice, which age prematurely, as well as in wild-type animals injected for 2 months with bGH, leads to accelerated depletion of VSELs from bone marrow (BM). In contrast, long-living GHR-null or Ames dwarf mice, which have very low levels of circulating IGF-I, exhibit a significantly higher number of VSELs in BM than their littermates at the same age. However, the number of VSELs in these animals decreases after GH or IGF-I treatment. These changes in the level of plasma-circulating IGF-I corroborate with changes in the genomic imprinting status of crucial genes involved in IIS, such as Igf-2-H19, RasGRF1, and Ig2R. Thus, we propose that a chronic increase in IIS contributes to aging by premature depletion of pluripotent VSELs in adult tissues.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11357-011-9364-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s11357-011-9364-8
PMCID: PMC3592960  PMID: 22218782
VSELs; IGF-1; GH; Aging
2.  Deletion of growth hormone receptor gene but not visceral fat removal decreases expression of apoptosis-related genes in the kidney—potential mechanism of lifespan extension 
Age  2011;34(2):295-304.
Mice homozygous for the targeted disruption of the growth hormone (GH) receptor (Ghr) gene (GH receptor knockout; GHRKO; KO) are hypoinsulinemic, highly insulin sensitive, normoglycemic, and long-lived. Visceral fat removal (VFR) is a surgical intervention which improves insulin signaling in normal (N) mice and rats and extends longevity in rats. We have previously demonstrated decreased expression level of certain pro-apoptotic genes in skeletal muscles and suggested that this may contribute to the regulation of longevity in GHRKO mice. Alterations in apoptosis-related genes expression in the kidneys also may potentially lead to lifespan extension. In this context, we decided to examine the renal expression of the following genes: caspase-3, caspase-9, caspase-8, bax, bad, bcl-2, Smac/DIABLO, Apaf-1, p53, and cytochrome c1 (cyc1) in male GHRKO and N mice subjected to VFR or sham surgery, at approximately 6 months of age. The kidneys were collected 2 months after VFR. As a result, caspase-3, caspase-9, and bax expressions were decreased in KO mice as compared to N animals. Expressions of Smac/DIABLO, caspase-8, bcl-2, bad, and p53 did not differ between KOs and N mice. VFR did not change the expression of the examined genes in KO or N mice. In conclusion, endocrine abnormalities in GHRKO mice result in decreased expression of pro-apoptotic genes and VFR did not alter the examined genes expression in N and KO mice. These data are consistent with a model in which alterations of GH signaling and/or insulin sensitivity lead to increased lifespan mediated by decreased renal expression of pro-apoptotic genes.
doi:10.1007/s11357-011-9232-6
PMCID: PMC3312636  PMID: 21431351
Apoptosis; GHRKO mice; Kidney; Gene expression; Caspases; Visceral fat removal
3.  C-reactive protein and glucose regulation in familial longevity 
Age  2011;33(4):623-630.
Earlier, we showed that the offspring from exceptionally long-lived families have a more favorable glucose metabolism when compared with controls. As chronic low-grade inflammation has been regarded as a strong risk factor for insulin resistance, we evaluated if and to what extent the favorable glucose metabolism in offspring from long-lived families could be explained by differences in subclinical inflammation, as estimated from circulating levels of C-reactive protein. We found no difference between the two groups in C-reactive protein levels or in the distribution of C-reactive protein haplotypes. However, among controls higher levels of C-reactive protein were related to higher glucose levels, whereas among offspring levels of C-reactive protein were unrelated to glucose levels. It is a limitation of the current study that its cross-sectional nature does not allow for assessment of cause–effect relationships. One possible interpretation of these data is that the offspring from long-lived families might be able to regulate glucose levels more tightly under conditions of low-grade inflammation. To test this hypothesis, our future research will be focused on assessing the robustness of insulin sensitivity in response to various challenges in offspring from long-lived families and controls.
doi:10.1007/s11357-011-9206-8
PMCID: PMC3220397  PMID: 21246407
C-reactive protein; Insulin resistance; Humans; Longevity
4.  Introduction 
Age  2006;28(2):123-124.
doi:10.1007/s11357-006-9012-x
PMCID: PMC2464725  PMID: 19943134

Results 1-4 (4)