Cross-sectional studies show that frailty is common in older people with cardiovascular disease. Whether older people at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease are more likely to become frail is unclear. We used multinomial logistic regression to examine the prospective relation between Framingham cardiovascular disease risk scores and incidence of physical frailty or pre-frailty, defined according to the Fried criteria, in 1,726 men and women aged 60 to over 90 years from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing who had no history of cardiovascular disease at baseline. Men and women with higher Framingham cardiovascular risk scores were more likely to become frail over the 4-year follow-up period. For a standard deviation higher score at baseline, the relative risk ratio (95 % confidence interval) for incident frailty, adjusted for sex and baseline frailty status, was 2.76 (2.18, 3.49). There was a significant association between Framingham cardiovascular risk score and risk of pre-frailty: 1.69 (1.46, 1.95). After further adjustment for other potential confounding factors, the relative risk ratios for frailty and pre-frailty were 2.15 (1.68, 2.75) and 1.50 (1.29, 1.74), respectively. The associations were unchanged after excluding incident cases of cardiovascular disease. Separate adjustment for each component of the risk score suggested that no single component was driving the associations between cardiovascular risk score and incident pre-frailty or frailty. Framingham cardiovascular risk scores may be useful for predicting the development of physical frailty in older people. We now need to understand the biological mechanisms whereby cardiovascular risk increases the risk of frailty.
Frailty; Cardiovascular risk; Cohort; Longitudinal study
Objective measures of physical capability are being used in a growing number of studies as biomarkers of healthy ageing. However, very little research has been done to assess the impact of physical capability on subsequent positive mental wellbeing, the maintenance of which is widely considered to be an essential component of healthy ageing. We aimed to test the associations of grip strength and walking, timed get up and go and chair rise speeds (assessed at ages 53 to 82 years) with positive mental wellbeing assessed using the Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) 5 to 10 years later. Data were drawn from five British cohorts participating in the Healthy Ageing across the Life Course research collaboration. Data from each study were analysed separately and then combined using random-effects meta-analyses. Higher levels of physical capability were consistently associated with higher subsequent levels of wellbeing; for example, a 1SD increase in grip strength was associated with an age and sex-adjusted mean difference in WEMWBS score of 0.81 (0.25, 1.37), equivalent to 10 % of a standard deviation (three studies, N = 3,096). When adjusted for body size, health status, living alone, socioeconomic position and neuroticism the associations remained albeit attenuated. The finding of these consistent modest associations across five studies, spanning early and later old age, highlights the importance of maintaining physical capability in later life and provides additional justification for using objective measures of physical capability as markers of healthy ageing.
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Physical capability; Positive mental wellbeing; Grip strength; Walking speed; Chair rise time
Lung function predicts mortality; whether it is associated with functional status in the general population remains unclear. This study examined the association of lung function with multiple measures of functioning in early old age. Data are drawn from the Whitehall II study; data on lung function (forced expiratory volume in 1 s, height FEV1), walking speed (2.44 m), cognitive function (memory and reasoning) and self-reported physical and mental functioning (SF-36) were available on 4,443 individuals, aged 50–74 years. In models adjusted for age, 1 standard deviation (SD) higher height-adjusted FEV1 was associated with greater walking speed (beta = 0.16, 95% CI: 0.13, 0.19), memory (beta = 0.09, 95% CI: 0.06, 0.12), reasoning (beta = 0.16, 95% CI: 0.13, 0.19) and self-reported physical functioning (beta = 0.13, 95% CI: 0.10, 0.16). Socio-demographic measures, health behaviours (smoking, alcohol, physical activity, fruit/vegetable consumption), body mass index (BMI) and chronic conditions explained two-thirds of the association with walking speed and self-assessed physical functioning and over 80% of the association with cognitive function. Our results suggest that lung function is a good ‘summary’ measure of overall functioning in early old age.
Ageing; Lung function; Cognitive function; Physical function
Lung function predicts mortality, whether it is associated with functional status in the general population remains unclear. This study examined the association of lung function with multiple measures of functioning in early old age. Data are drawn from the Whitehall II study; data on lung function (forced expiratory volume in one second, height FEV1), walking speed (over 2.44 m), cognitive function (memory and reasoning), and self-reported physical and mental functioning (SF-36) were available on 4443 individuals, aged 50–74 years. In models adjusted for age, one standard deviation (SD) higher height-adjusted FEV1 was associated with greater walking speed (beta=0.16, 95% CI: 0.13, 0.19), memory (beta=0.09, 95% CI: 0.06, 0.12), reasoning (beta=0.16, 95% CI: 0.13, 0.19), and self-reported physical functioning (beta=0.13, 95% CI: 0.10, 0.16). Socio-demographic measures, health behaviours (smoking, alcohol, physical activity, fruit/vegetable consumption), BMI and chronic conditions explained two-thirds of the association with walking speed and self-assessed physical functioning and over 80% of the association with cognitive function. Our results suggest that lung function is a good “summary” measure of overall functioning in early old age.
Aged; Aging; physiology; psychology; Cognition; physiology; Female; Health Status; Humans; Lung; physiology; Male; Middle Aged; Spirometry; Walking; physiology; ageing; lung function; cognitive function; physical function
A third of those over 80 years of age are likely to have dementia, the lack of a cure requires efforts directed at prevention and delaying the age of onset. We argue here for the importance of understanding the cognitive ageing process, seen as the decline in various cognitive functions from adulthood to old age. The impact of age on cognitive function is heterogeneous and the identification of risk factors associated with adverse cognitive ageing profiles would allow well-targeted interventions, behavioural or pharmacological, to delay and reduce the population burden of dementia. A shift away from binary outcomes such as dementia assessed at one point in time in elderly populations to research on cognitive ageing using repeated measures of cognitive function and starting earlier in the life course would allow the sources of variability in ageing to be better understood.
Alzheimer’s disease; Dementia; Cognitive ageing
A third of those over 80 years of age are likely to have dementia, the lack of a cure requires efforts directed at prevention and delaying the age of onset. We argue here for the importance of understanding the cognitive ageing process, seen as the decline in various cognitive functions from adulthood to old age. The impact of age on cognitive function is heterogeneous and the identification of risk factors associated with adverse cognitive ageing profiles would allow well targeted interventions, behavioural or pharmacological, to delay and reduce the population burden of dementia. A shift away from binary outcomes such as dementia assessed at one point in time in elderly populations to research on cognitive ageing using repeated measures of cognitive function and staring earlier in the lifecourse would allow the sources of variability in ageing to be better understood.
Aging; Alzheimer Disease; epidemiology; physiopathology; Cognition; Dementia; diagnosis; epidemiology; physiopathology; prevention & control; therapy; France; epidemiology; Humans; Prevalence; Risk Factors; World Health Organization
In humans the circulating concentrations of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and DHEA sulfate (DHEAS) decrease markedly during aging, and have been implicated in age-associated cognitive decline. This has led to the hypothesis that DHEA supplementation during aging may improve memory. In rodents, a cognitive anti-aging effect of DHEA and DHEAS has been observed but it is unclear whether this effect is mediated indirectly through conversion of these steroids to estradiol. Moreover, despite the demonstration of correlations between endogenous DHEA concentrations and cognitive ability in certain human patient populations, such correlations have yet to be convincingly demonstrated during normal human aging. This review highlights important differences between rodents and primates in terms of their circulating DHEA and DHEAS concentrations, and suggests that age-related changes within the human DHEA metabolic pathway may contribute to the relative inefficacy of DHEA replacement therapies in humans. The review also highlights the value of using nonhuman primates as a pragmatic animal model for testing the therapeutic potential of DHEA for age-associate cognitive decline in humans.
Dehydroepiandrosterone; Cognitive decline; Intracrinology; Neurosteroidogenesis
NK cell cytotoxicity (NKCC) reduces with age and this has been associated previously with increased mortality. The immune response is also modulated by stress, and here, we assessed the effect of the physical stress of hip fracture and the psychological stress of depression on NKCC in an aged immune system. NKCC was assessed in 101 hip fracture patients (81 female) 6 weeks and 6 months after injury and in 50 healthy age-matched controls (28 female). Thirty-eight patients were depressed at 6 weeks post-injury, and NKCC was reduced in patients who developed depression compared with non-depressed hip fracture patients (p = 0.004) or controls (p < 0.02). NKCC remained lower in the depressed patients compared to those without depression 6 months post-fracture (p = 0.017). We found reduced expression of perforin in NK cells of depressed hip fracture patients compared with controls at 6 weeks (p = 0.001) post-fracture. Serum cortisol levels were also elevated in patients with depression compared to non-depressed patients at 6 weeks (p = 0.01) and 6 months (p = 0.05). NK cells treated with dexamethasone showed a concentration-dependent reduction in NKCC and perforin expression. We propose that depression is the major factor affecting NK cell immunity after hip fracture.
NK cell; Stress; Immunesenescence; Cortisol
Curcumin is considered not only as a supplement of the diet but also as a drug in many types of diseases and even as a potential anti-aging compound. It can reduce inflammation that increases with age and accompanies almost all age-related diseases. It has been suggested that curcumin can play a beneficial role in the cardiovascular system. However, there are also data showing that curcumin can induce senescence in cancer cells, which is a beneficial effect in cancer therapy but an undesirable one in the case of normal cells. It is believed that cellular senescence accompanies age-related changes in the cardiovascular system. The aim of this study was to check if curcumin, in a certain range of concentrations, can induce senescence in cells building the vasculature. We have found that human vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells derived from aorta are very sensitive to curcumin treatment and can senesce upon treatment with cytostatic doses. We observed characteristic senescence markers but the number of DNA damage foci decreased. Surprisingly, in vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) activation of DNA damage response pathway downstream of ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) was observed. ATM silencing and the supplementation of antioxidants, N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) or trolox, did not reduce the number of senescent cells. Thus, we have shown that curcumin can induce senescence of cells building the vasculature, which is DNA damage and ATM independent and is not induced by increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) level. We postulate that an increase in the bioavailability of curcumin should be introduced very carefully considering senescence induction as a side effect.
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Curcumin; Sirtuins; VSMCs; ECs; Aging; Atherosclerosis
The number of centenarians is projected to rise rapidly. However, knowledge of evidence-based health care in this group is still poor. Hypertension is the most common condition that leads to multiple organ complications, disability, and premature death. No guidelines for the management of high blood pressure (BP) in centenarians are available. We have performed a cross-sectional study to characterize clinical and functional state of Polish centenarians, with a special focus on BP. The study comprised 86 consecutive 100.9 ± 1.2 years old (mean ± SD) subjects (70 women and 16 men). The assessment included structured interview, physical examination, geriatric functional assessment, resting electrocardiography, and blood and urine sampling. The subjects were followed-up on the phone. Subjects who survived 180 days (83 %) as compared to non-survivors had higher systolic BP (SBP), diastolic BP (DPB), mean arterial pressure (MAP), pulse pressure (PP), higher mini-mental state examination, Barthel Index of Activities of Daily Living and Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale scores, higher serum albumin and calcium levels, and total iron-binding capacity, while lower serum creatinine, cystatin C, folate, and C-reactive protein levels. SBP ≥140 mm Hg, DBP ≥90 mm Hg, MAP ≥100 mm Hg, and PP ≥40 mm Hg were associated with higher 180-day survival probability. Results suggest that mildly elevated blood pressure is a marker for better health status in Polish centenarians.
Centenarians; Blood pressure; Cognitive performance; Physical performance
A negative association between resting metabolic rate (RMR) and lifespan is the cornerstone of the rate of living and free-radical damage theories of aging. Empirical studies supporting a negative association of RMR to lifespan may arise from the correlation between RMR and both daily energy expenditure (DEE) and thermoregulatory activity energy expenditure (TAEE). We screened 540 female mice for higher and lower DEE and measured RMR in the resulting 324 (60 %). We then selected 92 mice in which there was no link between residual from the regression of RMR against body mass (BM) and residual of DEE against BM to separate the effects of these traits. Lifespan was not significantly related to body mass, DEE and TAEE, but significantly negatively related to RMR. Fat-free mass (FFM) and fat mass (FM) were both significantly positively related to RMR. After removing the effect of FFM on RMR, the association between RMR and lifespan remained significantly negative; however, after statistically removing the effect of FM on RMR, the significant association between RMR and lifespan disappeared. We conclude that the negative association between RMR and lifespan is primarily due to the effect of FM, with FM positively related to both RMR and mortality and hence RMR negatively to lifespan. In 40 additional screened mice, greater FM was also associated with greater oxidative damage to DNA.
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Metabolic rate; Lifespan; Body composition; Fat mass; Oxidative damage; Mice
Cross-sectional studies show that higher blood concentrations of inflammatory markers tend to be more common in frail older people, but longitudinal evidence that these inflammatory markers are risk factors for frailty is sparse and inconsistent. We investigated the prospective relation between baseline concentrations of the inflammatory markers C-reactive protein (CRP) and fibrinogen and risk of incident frailty in 2,146 men and women aged 60 to over 90 years from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. The relationship between CRP and fibrinogen and risk of incident frailty differed significantly by sex (p for interaction terms <0.05). In age-adjusted logistic regression analyses, for a standard deviation (SD) increase in CRP or fibrinogen, odds ratios (95 % confidence intervals) for incident frailty in women were 1.69 (1.32, 2.17) and 1.39 (1.12, 1.72), respectively. Further adjustment for other potential confounding factors attenuated both these estimates. For an SD increase in CRP and fibrinogen, the fully-adjusted odds ratio (95 % confidence interval) for incident frailty in women was 1.27 (0.96, 1.69) and 1.31 (1.04, 1.67), respectively. Having a high concentration of both inflammatory markers was more strongly predictive of incident frailty than having a high concentration of either marker alone. In men, there were no significant associations between any of the inflammatory markers and risk of incident frailty. High concentrations of the inflammatory markers CRP and fibrinogen are more strongly predictive of incident frailty in women than in men. Further research is needed to understand the mechanisms underlying this sex difference.
Frailty; Inflammation; C-reactive protein; Fibrinogen; Longitudinal study
Aged dogs spontaneously develop progressive decline in both cognitive and behavioral function, in addition to neuropathological changes, that collectively parallel several aspects of human aging and Alzheimer’s disease progression and likely contribute to the development of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome. In the current study, ethologically relevant spatial learning, retention, and reversal learning tasks were conducted, with the goal of expanding canine neuropsychological testing to pet dogs. Initially, dogs (N = 44, aged 7.8 ± 2.8 years, mean ± SD) had to learn which of two alternative routes successfully led out of a T-maze. Two weeks later, long-term memory retention was assessed, immediately followed by a reversal learning task in which the previously correct route out of the maze was reversed compared with the initial learning and memory retention tasks. No effects of age were evident on the learning or retention tasks. However, older (≥8 years) dogs were significantly impaired on the reversal learning task compared with younger ones (<8 years). Moreover, trial response latency was significantly increased in aged dogs across both the initial and reversal learning tasks but not on the retention task, which suggests that processing speed was impaired by increasing age during the acquisition of novel spatial information but not during performance of previously learned responses. Overall, the current study provides a framework for assessing cognitive function in pet dogs, which should improve understanding of the effects of aging on cognition in the dog population.
Aging; Cognitive impairment; Pet dog; Navigation task; Spatial cognition
Hippocampal neurogenesis, important for memory and mood function, wanes greatly in old age. Studies in rat models have implied that this decrease is not due to loss of neural stem cells (NSCs) in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus (DG) but rather due to an increased quiescence of NSCs. Additional studies have suggested that changes in the microenvironment, particularly declines in the concentrations of neurotrophic factors, underlie this change. In this study, we compared the expression of 84 genes that are important for NSC proliferation and neurogenesis between the DG of young (4 months old) and aged (24 months old) Fischer 344 rats, using a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction array. Interestingly, the expression of a vast majority of genes that have been reported previously to positively or negatively regulate NSC proliferation was unaltered with aging. Furthermore, most genes important for cell cycle arrest, regulation of cell differentiation, growth factors and cytokine levels, synaptic functions, apoptosis, cell adhesion and cell signaling, and regulation of transcription displayed stable expression in the DG with aging. The exceptions included increased expression of genes important for NSC proliferation and neurogenesis (Stat3 and Shh), DNA damage response and NF-kappaB signaling (Cdk5rap3), neuromodulation (Adora1), and decreased expression of a gene important for neuronal differentiation (HeyL). Thus, age-related decrease in hippocampal neurogenesis is not associated with a decline in the expression of selected genes important for NSC proliferation and neurogenesis in the DG.
Aging; Hippocampus; Dentate gyrus; Dentate neurogenesis; Genes; Gene expression; Hippocampal neurogenesis; Neural stem cells; Stem cells and aging; qRT-PCR
A previous genome-wide association study suggested that polymorphisms in the thyrotrophin-releasing hormone receptor (TRHR) gene contribute to fat-free mass (FFM) variation. The aim of the present study was to examine the association between polymorphisms in the TRHR gene with FFM and muscle strength in older women. Volunteers (n = 241; age = 66.65 ± 5.5 years) underwent quadriceps strength assessment using isokinetics and fat-free mass by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. TRHR polymorphisms and ancestry-informative markers were genotyped through standard procedures. No significant difference was observed for rs7832552. Regarding the rs16892496, ANCOVA revealed that appendicular fat-free mass (AFFM) and relative AFFM were significantly different between groups (p = 0.04 and p = 0.05, respectively). Individuals carrying A/A and A/C genotypes respectively showed, on average, an extra 1 kg and 900 g of AFFM when compared to C/C genotype carriers. Also, the C/C genotype group presented a significantly higher chance to have reduced muscle strength. The observations presented here provide further evidence that the rs16892496 polymorphism in the TRHR gene may play a role in FFM variation. Moreover, the results bring the novel insight that this genetic variant can present a modest contribution to muscle strength in older women.
Aging; Sarcopenia; Genetic variation
Calorie restriction decreases skeletal muscle apoptosis, and this phenomenon has been mechanistically linked to its protective action against sarcopenia of aging. Alterations in lipid composition of membranes have been related with the beneficial effects of calorie restriction. However, no study has been designed to date to elucidate if different dietary fat sources with calorie restriction modify apoptotic signaling in skeletal muscle. We show that a 6-month calorie restriction decreased the activity of the plasma membrane neutral sphingomyelinase, although caspase-8/10 activity was not altered, in young adult mice. Lipid hydroperoxides, Bax levels, and cytochrome c and AIF release/accumulation into the cytosol were also decreased, although caspase-9 activity was unchanged. No alterations in caspase-3 and apoptotic index (DNA fragmentation) were observed, but calorie restriction improved structural features of gastrocnemius fibers by increasing cross-sectional area and decreasing circularity of fibers in cross sections. Changing dietary fat with calorie restriction produced substantial alterations of apoptotic signaling. Fish oil augmented the protective effect of calorie restriction decreasing plasma membrane neutral sphingomyelinase, Bax levels, caspase-8/10, and −9 activities, while increasing levels of the antioxidant coenzyme Q at the plasma membrane, and potentiating the increase of cross-sectional area and the decrease of fiber circularity in cross sections. Many of these changes were not found when we used lard. Our data support that dietary fish oil with calorie restriction produces a cellular anti-apoptotic environment in skeletal muscle with a downregulation of components involved in the initial stages of apoptosis engagement, both at the plasma membrane and the mitochondria.
Apoptotic signaling; Calorie restriction; Dietary fat; Sarcopenia; Skeletal muscle
In the present work, we indicate that copper is involved in the senescence of human diploid fibroblasts and we describe mechanisms to explain it. Using different techniques, we show for the first time an accumulation of copper in cells during replicative senescence. This accumulation seems to be co-localized with lipofuscin. Second, we observed that an incubation of cells with copper sulfate induced oxidative stress, antioxidant response and premature senescence. Antioxidant molecules reduced the appearance of premature senescence. Third, we found that Nrf2 transcription factor was activated and regulated the expression of genes involved in antioxidant response while p38MAPK regulated the appearance of premature senescence.
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Aging; Senescence; Copper; Metals; p38MAPK; Oxidative stress; Human fibroblasts
Obestatin has been proposed to have anorexigenic and anti-ghrelin actions. The objective was to study obestatin concentrations in relation to handgrip strength, functional capacity and cognitive state in old women. The prospective study included 110 women (age, 76.93 ± 6.32) from the Mataró Ageing Study. Individuals were characterized by anthropometric variables, grip strength, Barthel and assessment of cognitive impairment [Mini Cognoscitive Examination (MCE) Spanish version], depressive status by the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and frailty by the Fried criteria. Obestatin was measured by IRMA. Obestatin showed negative correlation to handgrip at basal time point (r = −0.220, p = 0.023) and at 2-year follow-up (r = −0.344, p = 0.002). Obestatin, divided into quartiles, showed a negative lineal association with handgrip: 11.03 ± 4.88 kg in first, 8.75 ± 4.08 kg in second, 8.11 ± 3.66 kg in third and 7.61 ± 4.08 kg in fourth quartile (p = 0.018). Higher obestatin levels were associated to increased weakness (categorized by handgrip of frailty criteria): 2.24 ± 0.42 ng/ml in weak vs. 1.87 ± 0.57 ng/ml in non-weak (p = 0.01). The decrease of either MCE or Barthel scores at 2-year follow-up was significantly higher in individuals in the fourth quartile of obestatin in comparison with individuals in the first quartile (p = 0.046 and p = 0.019, respectively). No association was found between obestatin and GDS score and neither with frailty as a condition. Obestatin is associated to low muscle strength, and impaired functional and cognitive capacity in old women participating in the Mataró Ageing Study.
Obestatin; Muscle strength; Functional capacity; Cognition
Aging is associated with a progressive decline in skeletal muscle mass. It has been hypothesized that an attenuated muscle protein synthetic response to the main anabolic stimuli may contribute to the age-related loss of muscle tissue. The aim of the present study was to compare the muscle protein synthetic response following ingestion of a meal-like amount of dietary protein plus carbohydrate between healthy young and older men. Twelve young (21 ± 1 years) and 12 older (75 ± 1 years) men consumed 20 g of intrinsically l-[1-13C]phenylalanine-labeled protein with 40 g of carbohydrate. Ingestion of specifically produced intrinsically l-[1-13C]phenylalanine-labeled protein allowed us to assess the subsequent incorporation of casein-derived amino acids into muscle protein. Blood samples were collected at regular intervals, with muscle biopsies obtained prior to and 2 and 6 h after protein plus carbohydrate ingestion. The acute post-prandial rise in plasma glucose and insulin concentrations was significantly greater in the older compared with the younger males. Plasma amino acid concentrations increased rapidly following drink ingestion in both groups. However, plasma leucine concentrations were significantly lower at t = 90 min in the older when compared with the young group (P < 0.05). Muscle protein-bound l-[1-13C]phenylalanine enrichments increased to 0.0071 ± 0.0016 and 0.0072 ± 0.0013 mole percent excess (MPE) at 2 h and 0.0229 ± 0.0016 and 0.0213 ± 0.0024 MPE at 6 h following ingestion of the intrinsically labeled protein in the young and older males, respectively, with no differences between groups (P > 0.05). We conclude that the use of dietary protein-derived amino acids for muscle protein synthesis is not impaired in healthy older men following intake of protein plus carbohydrate.
Skeletal muscle; Aging; Sarcopenia; Amino acids; Anabolic resistance
The complex mixture of phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables provides protective health benefits, mainly through additive and/or synergistic effects. The presence of several bioactive compounds, such as polyphenols and caffeine, implicates coffee as a potential nutritional therapeutic in aging. Moderate (three to five cups a day) coffee consumption in humans is associated with a significant decrease in the risk of developing certain chronic diseases. However, the ability of coffee supplementation to improve cognitive function in aged individuals and the effect of the individual components in coffee, such as caffeine, have not been fully evaluated. We fed aged rats (19 months) one of five coffee-supplemented diets (0, 0.165, 0.275, 0.55, and 0.825 % of the diet) for 8 weeks prior to motor and cognitive behavior assessment. Aged rats supplemented with a 0.55 % coffee diet, equivalent to ten cups of coffee, performed better in psychomotor testing (rotarod) and in a working memory task (Morris water maze) compared to aged rats fed a control diet. A diet with 0.55 % coffee appeared to be optimal. The 0.165 % coffee-supplemented group (three cups) showed some improvement in reference memory performance in the Morris water maze. In a subsequent study, the effects of caffeine alone did not account for the performance improvements, showing that the neuroprotective benefits of coffee are not due to caffeine alone, but rather to other bioactive compounds in coffee. Therefore, coffee, in achievable amounts, may reduce both motor and cognitive deficits in aging.
Antioxidant; Anti-inflammatory; Spatial learning and memory; Chlorogenic acid
High levels of inflammatory mediators are associated with reduced physical capabilities and muscle function in the elderly. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) may affect the expression and synthesis of these molecules, thus influencing the intensity of the inflammatory response and susceptibility to certain diseases. Physical exercise may attenuate age-related chronic inflammation and improve physical performance. This study evaluated the interaction between the SNP rs1800629 in TNF-α, rs1800795 in IL6, and rs1800896 in IL10 and the effect of physical exercise on physical performance and inflammation in elderly women. There was a significant interaction between rs1800629 and the effect of exercise on physical performance and between the combined 3-SNP genotype and changes in physical performance in response to exercise. These SNPs did not influence the effect of exercise on inflammatory parameters. Elderly women with a combination of genotypes associated with an anti-inflammatory profile (low TNF-α and IL-6 production, high IL-10 production) showed better physical performance independent of exercise modality, evidence of an interactive influence of genetic and environmental factors on improving physical performance in elderly women.
Polymorphism; Cytokines; Physical exercise; Elderly
Neurotrophins are established molecular mediators of neuronal plasticity in the adult brain. We analyzed the impact of aging on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) protein isoforms, their receptors, and on the expression patterns of multiple 5′ exon-specific BDNF transcripts in the rat cortex and hippocampus throughout the life span of the rat (6, 12, 18, and 24 months of age). ProNGF was increased during aging in both structures. Mature NGF gradually decreased in the cortex, and, in 24-month-old animals, it was 30 % lower than that in adult 6-month-old rats. The BDNF expression did not change during aging, while proBDNF accumulated in the hippocampus of aged rats. Hippocampal total BDNF mRNA was lower in 12-month-old animals, mostly as a result of a decrease of BDNF transcripts 1 and 2. In contrast to the region-specific regulation of specific exon-containing BDNF mRNAs in adult animals, the same BDNF RNA isoforms (containing exons III, IV, or VI) were present in both brain structures of aged animals. Deficits in neurotrophin signaling were supported by the observed decrease in Trk receptor expression which was accompanied by lower levels of the two main downstream effector kinases, pAkt and protein kinase C. The proteolytic processing of p75NTR observed in 12-month-old rats points to an additional regulatory mechanism in early aging. The changes described herein could contribute to reduced brain plasticity underlying the age-dependent decline in cognitive function.
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Aging; BDNF and proBDNF; NGF and proNGF; BDNF mRNA isoforms; Cortex and hippocampus
Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) is an endogenous inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase implicated in several age-related biological mechanisms such as telomere shortening and cell senescence. We tested the hypothesis that ADMA blood level is an independent predictor of mortality in elderly. This is a longitudinal population-based cohort study. Participants are a representative cohort of 1,025 men and women (age range 65–102 years) living in Chianti area, Tuscany, Italy. The plasma ADMA was measured by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. During the follow-up (95 ± 32 months), 384 individuals died, of whom 141 (37 %) died of cardiovascular (CV) causes. In adjusted analyses, the plasma ADMA was the strongest predictor of all-cause mortality (HR (0.1 μMol/L) 1.26, 95 % CI 1.10–1.44, P < 0.001) with a non-significant trend for CV mortality (HR 1.22, P = 0.07). The predictive effect of the ADMA level on mortality was statistically significant among participants with low to low-normal l-arginine levels (≤60 μMol/L), but not in those with l-arginine >60 μMol/L. Notwithstanding the association of ADMA with all-cause mortality was robust, this biomarker failed to add predictive power to a simple model based on the risk factors in the elderly (area under the ROC curve 0.85 ± 0.01 vs. 0.84 ± 0.01). ADMA is a strong independent predictor of mortality in the older population, and l-arginine modifies the effect of ADMA on survival. The mechanisms for this association should be targeted by future studies.
ADMA; Elderly; Cardiovascular risk factor; Survival; Population study