Mitochondria are critical for neurophysiology, and mitochondrial dysfunction constitutes a characteristic pathology in both brain aging and Alzheimer disease (AD). Whether mitochondrial deficiency in brain aging and AD is mechanistically linked, however, remains controversial. We report a correlation between intrasynaptosomal amyloid β 42 (Aβ42) and synaptic mitochondrial bioenergetics inefficiency in both aging and amnestic mild cognitive impairment, a transitional stage between normal aging and AD. Experiments using a mouse model expressing nonmutant humanized Aβ (humanized Aβ-knockin [hAβ-KI] mice) confirmed the association of increased intramitochondrial sequestration of Aβ42 with exacerbated synaptic mitochondrial dysfunction in an aging factor- and AD risk–bearing context. Also, in comparison with global cerebral Aβ, intramitochondrial Aβ was relatively preserved from activated microglial phagocytosis in aged hAβ-KI mice. The most parsimonious interpretation of our results is that aging-related mitochondrial Aβ sequestration renders synaptic mitochondrial dysfunction in the transitional stage between normal aging and AD. Mitochondrial dysfunction in both brain aging and the prodromal stage of AD may follow a continuous transition in response to escalated intraneuronal, especially intramitochondrial Aβ, accumulation. Moreover, our findings further implicate a pivotal role of mitochondria in harboring early amyloidosis during the conversion from normal to pathological aging.
Kun Jia, Jing Tian, Tienju Wang, Lan Guo, Zhenyu Xuan, Russell H. Swerdlow, Heng Du
Aged skin is prone to viral infections, but the mechanisms responsible for this immunosenescent immune risk are unclear. We observed that aged murine and human skin expressed reduced antiviral proteins (AVPs) and circadian regulators including Bmal1 and Clock. Bmal1 and Clock were found to control rhythmic AVP expression in skin and such circadian-control of AVPs was diminished by disruption of immune cell interleukin 27 signaling and deletion of Bmal1/Clock genes in mouse skins, as well as siRNA-mediated knockdown of CLOCK in human primary keratinocytes. We found that treatment of circadian enhancing agents, nobiletin and SR8278, reduced infection of herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1) in epidermal explants and human keratinocytes in a BMAL1/CLOCK-dependent manner. Circadian enhancing treatment also reversed susceptibility of aging murine skin and human primary keratinocytes to viral infection. These findings reveal an evolutionarily conserved and age-sensitive circadian regulation of cutaneous antiviral immunity, underscoring circadian restoration as an antiviral strategy in aging populations.
Stephen Kirchner, Vivian Lei, Paul T. Kim, Meera Patel, Jessica L. Shannon, David Corcoran, Dalton Hughes, Diana K. Waters, Kafui Dzirasa, Detlev Erdmann, Jörn Coers, Amanda S. MacLeod, Jennifer Y. Zhang
BACKGROUND. The locus coeruleus (LC) is the primary source of norepinephrine in the brain and regulates arousal and sleep. Animal research shows that it plays important roles in the transition between sleep and wakefulness, and between slow wave sleep and rapid eye movement sleep (REMS). It is unclear, however, whether the activity of the LC predicts sleep variability in humans. METHODS. We used 7 Tesla functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, sleep electroencephalography (EEG) and a sleep questionnaire to test whether the LC activity during wakefulness was associated with sleep quality in 33 healthy younger (~22y; 28 women) and 19 older (~61y; 14 women) individuals. RESULTS. We found that, in older, but not in younger participants, higher LC activity, as probed during an auditory attentional task, was associated with worse subjective sleep quality and with lower power over the EEG theta band during REMS. The results remained robust even when accounting for the age-related changes in the integrity of the LC. CONCLUSION. These findings suggest that LC activity correlates with the perception of the sleep quality and an essential oscillatory mode of REMS, and that the LC may be an important target in the treatment of sleep and age-related diseases. FUNDING. This work was supported by Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FRS-FNRS, T.0242.19 & J. 0222.20). Action de Recherche Concertée – Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles (ARC SLEEPDEM 17/27-09), Fondation Recherche Alzheimer (SAO-FRA 2019/0025), University of Liège, European Regional Development Fund (Radiomed & Biomed-Hub).
Ekaterina Koshmanova, Alexandre Berger, Elise Beckers, Islay Campbell, Nasrin Mortazavi, Roya Sharifpour, Ilenia Paparella, Fermin Balda, Christian Berthomier, Christian Degueldre, Eric Salmon, Laurent Lamalle, Christine Bastin, Maxime Van Egroo, Christophe Phillips, Pierre Maquet, Fabienne Collette, Vincenzo Muto, Daphne Chylinski, Heidi I.L. Jacobs, Puneet Talwar, Siya Sherif, Gilles Vandewalle
Age-associated sarcopenia, characterized by a progressive loss in muscle mass and strength, is the largest cause of frailty and disability in the elderly worldwide. Current treatments involve nonpharmacological guidelines that few subjects can abide by, highlighting the need for effective drugs. Preclinical models were employed to test the benefits of RJx-01, a combination drug composed of metformin and galantamine, on sarcopenia. In worms, RJx-01 treatment improved lifespan, locomotion, pharyngeal pumping, and muscle fiber organization. The synergistic effects of RJx-01 were recapitulated in a transgenic mouse model that displays an exacerbated aging phenotype (Opa1–/–). In these mice, RJx-01 ameliorated physical performance, muscle mass and force, neuromuscular junction stability, and systemic inflammation. RJx-01 also improved physical performance and muscle strength in 22-month-old WT mice and also improved skeletal muscle ultrastructure, mitochondrial morphology, autophagy, lysosomal function, and satellite cell content. Denervation and myofiber damage were decreased in RJx-01–treated animals compared with controls. RJx-01 improved muscle quality rather than quantity, indicating that the improvement in quality underlies the beneficial effects of the combination drug. The studies herein indicate synergistic beneficial effects of RJx-01 in the treatment of sarcopenia and support the pursuit of RJx-01 in a human clinical trial as a therapeutic intervention for sarcopenia.
Caterina Tezze, Francesco Ivan Amendolagine, Leonardo Nogara, Martina Baraldo, Stefano Ciciliot, Diletta Arcidiacono, Alice Zaramella, Giulio Masiero, Giulia Ferrarese, Stefano Realdon, Bert Blaauw, Giel Detienne, Ann T.J. Beliën, Marco Sandri, Evi M. Mercken
Chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment (CRCI) or “chemo brain” is a devastating neurotoxic sequela of cancer-related treatments, especially for the elderly individuals. Here we show that PTPRO, a tyrosine phosphatase, is highly enriched in the hippocampus, and its level is tightly associated with neurocognitive function but declined significantly during aging. To understand the protective role of PTPRO in CRCI, a mouse model was generated by treating Ptpro–/– female mice with doxorubicin (DOX) because Ptpro–/– female mice are more vulnerable to DOX, showing cognitive impairments and neurodegeneration. By analyzing PTPRO substrates that are neurocognition-associated tyrosine kinases, we found that SRC and EPHA4 are highly phosphorylated/activated in the hippocampi of Ptpro–/– female mice, with increased sensitivity to DOX-induced CRCI. On the other hand, restoration of PTPRO in the hippocampal CA3 region significantly ameliorate CRCI in Ptpro–/– female mice. In addition, we found that the plant alkaloid berberine (BBR) is capable of ameliorating CRCI in aged female mice by upregulating hippocampal PTPRO. Mechanistically, BBR upregulates PTPRO by downregulating miR-25-3p, which directly targeted PTPRO. These findings collectively demonstrate the protective role of hippocampal PTPRO against CRCI.
Zhimeng Yao, Hongmei Dong, Jianlin Zhu, Liang Du, Yichen Luo, Qing Liu, Shixin Liu, Yusheng Lin, Lu Wang, Shuhong Wang, Wei Wei, Keke Zhang, Qingjun Huang, Xiaojun Yu, Weijiang Zhao, Haiyun Xu, Xiaofu Qiu, Yunlong Pan, Xingxu Huang, Sai-Ching Jim Yeung, Dianzheng Zhang, Hao Zhang
Elderly individuals frequently report cognitive decline, while various studies indicate hippocampal functional declines with advancing age. Hippocampal function is influenced by ghrelin through hippocampus-expressed growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR). Liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide 2 (LEAP2) is an endogenous GHSR antagonist that attenuates ghrelin signaling. Here, we measured plasma ghrelin and LEAP2 levels in a cohort of cognitively normal individuals older than 60 and found that LEAP2 increased with age while ghrelin (also referred to in literature as “acyl-ghrelin”) marginally declined. In this cohort, plasma LEAP2/ghrelin molar ratios were inversely associated with Mini-Mental State Examination scores. Studies in mice showed an age-dependent inverse relationship between plasma LEAP2/ghrelin molar ratio and hippocampal lesions. In aged mice, restoration of the LEAP2/ghrelin balance to youth-associated levels with lentiviral shRNA Leap2 downregulation improved cognitive performance and mitigated various age-related hippocampal deficiencies such as CA1 region synaptic loss, declines in neurogenesis, and neuroinflammation. Our data collectively suggest that LEAP2/ghrelin molar ratio elevation may adversely affect hippocampal function and, consequently, cognitive performance; thus, it may serve as a biomarker of age-related cognitive decline. Moreover, targeting LEAP2 and ghrelin in a manner that lowers the plasma LEAP2/ghrelin molar ratio could benefit cognitive performance in elderly individuals for rejuvenation of memory.
Jing Tian, Lan Guo, Tienju Wang, Kun Jia, Russell H. Swerdlow, Jeffrey M. Zigman, Heng Du
Synaptic plasticity impairment plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and emerging evidence has shown that microRNAs (miRNAs) are alternative biomarkers and therapeutic targets for synaptic dysfunctions in AD. In this study, we found that the level of miR-431 was downregulated in the plasma of amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and AD patients. In addition, it was decreased in the hippocampus and plasma of APPswe/PS1dE9 (APP/PS1) mice. Lentivirus mediated miR-431 overexpression in the hippocampus CA1 ameliorated synaptic plasticity and memory deficits of APP/PS1 mice, while it didn't affect the Aβ levels. Smad4 was identified as a target of miR-431, and Smad4 knockdown modulated the expression of synaptic proteins including SAP102, and protected against synaptic plasticity and memory dysfunctions in APP/PS1 mice. Furthermore, Smad4 overexpression reversed the protective effects of miR-431, indicating that miR-431 attenuated synaptic impairment at least partially by Smad4 inhibition. Thus, these results indicated that miR-431/Smad4 might be a potential therapeutic target for AD treatment.
Jianwei Ge, Zhiwei Xue, Shu Shu, Linjie Yu, Ruomeng Qin, Wenyuan Tao, Pinyi Liu, Xiaohong Dong, Zhen Lan, Xinyu Bao, Lei Ye, Yun Xu, Xiaolei Zhu
Spinal motor neurons have been implicated in the loss of motor function that occurs with advancing age. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms that impair the function of these neurons during aging remain unknown. Here, we show that motor neurons do not die in old female and male mice, rhesus monkeys, and humans. Instead, these neurons selectively and progressively shed excitatory synaptic inputs throughout the soma and dendritic arbor during aging. Thus, aged motor neurons contain a motor circuitry with a reduced ratio of excitatory to inhibitory synapses that may be responsible for the diminished ability to activate motor neurons to commence movements. An examination of the motor neuron translatome (ribosomal transcripts) in male and female mice reveals genes and molecular pathways with roles in glia-mediated synaptic pruning, inflammation, axonal regeneration, and oxidative stress that are upregulated in aged motor neurons. Some of these genes and pathways are also found altered in motor neurons affected with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and responding to axotomy, demonstrating that aged motor neurons are under significant stress. Our findings show mechanisms altered in aged motor neurons that could serve as therapeutic targets to preserve motor function during aging.
Ryan W. Castro, Mikayla C. Lopes, Robert E. Settlage, Gregorio Valdez
Elevated blood glucose levels, or hyperglycemia, can increase brain excitability and amyloid-beta (Aβ) release offering a mechanistic link between type-2-diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Since the cellular mechanisms governing this relationship are poorly understood, we explored whether ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels, which couple changes in energy availability with cellular excitability, play a role in AD pathogenesis. First, we demonstrate that KATP channel subunits, Kir6.2/KCNJ11 and SUR1/ABCC8 are expressed on excitatory and inhibitory neurons in the human brain and cortical expression of KCNJ11 and ABCC8 changes with Alzheimer’s pathology in humans and mice. Next, we explored whether eliminating neuronal KATP channel activity uncoupled the relationship between metabolism, excitability, and Aβ pathology in a novel mouse model of cerebral amyloidosis and neuronal KATP channel ablation (e.g. APP/PS1, Kir6.2-/- mouse). Using both acute and chronic paradigms, we demonstrate that Kir6.2-KATP channels are metabolic sensors that regulate hyperglycemic-dependent increases in interstitial fluid levels of Aβ, amyloidogenic processing of APP, and amyloid plaque formation, which may be dependent on lactate release. These studies identify a new role for Kir6.2-KATP channels in Alzheimer’s disease and suggest that pharmacological manipulation of Kir6.2-KATP channels holds therapeutic promise in reducing Aβ pathology in diabetic or prediabetic patients.
John Grizzanti, William R. Moritz, Morgan C. Pait, Molly Stanley, Sarah D. Kaye, Caitlin M. Carroll, Nicholas J. Constantino, Lily J. Deitelzweig, James A. Snipes, Derek Kellar, Emily E. Caesar, Ryan J. Pettit-Mee, Stephen M. Day, Jonathon P. Sens, Noelle I. Nicol, Jasmeen Dhillon, Maria S. Remedi, Drew D. Kiraly, Celeste M. Karch, Colin G. Nichols, David M. Holtzman, Shannon L. Macauley
Adipose tissue macrophages (ATMs) play an important role in obesity and inflammation, and they accumulate in adipose tissue (AT) with aging. Furthermore, increased ATM senescence has been shown in obesity-related AT remodeling and dysfunction. However, ATM senescence and its role are unclear in age-related AT dysfunction. Here, we show that ATMs (a) acquire a senescence-like phenotype during chronological aging; (b) display a global decline of basic macrophage functions such as efferocytosis, an essential process to preserve AT homeostasis by clearing dysfunctional or apoptotic cells; and (c) promote AT remodeling and dysfunction. Importantly, we uncover a major role for the age-associated accumulation of osteopontin (OPN) in these processes in visceral AT. Consistently, loss or pharmacologic inhibition of OPN and bone marrow transplantation of OPN–/– mice attenuate the ATM senescence-like phenotype, preserve efferocytosis, and finally restore healthy AT homeostasis in the context of aging. Collectively, our findings implicate pharmacologic OPN inhibition as a viable treatment modality to counter ATM senescence-mediated AT remodeling and dysfunction during aging.
Daigo Sawaki, Yanyan Zhang, Amel Mohamadi, Maria Pini, Zaineb Mezdari, Larissa Lipskaia, Suzain Naushad, Lucille Lamendour, Dogus Murat Altintas, Marielle Breau, Hao Liang, Maissa Halfaoui, Thaïs Delmont, Mathieu Surenaud, Déborah Rousseau, Takehiko Yoshimitsu, Fawzia Louache, Serge Adnot, Corneliu Henegar, Philippe Gual, Gabor Czibik, Geneviève Derumeaux
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