BACKGROUND. The relation between the menopause transition (MT) and changes in body composition or weight remains uncertain. We hypothesized that, independent of chronological aging, the MT would have a detrimental influence on body composition. METHODS. Participants were from the longitudinal Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) cohort. We assessed body composition by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Multivariable mixed effects regressions fitted piece-wise linear models to repeated measures of outcomes as a function of time before or after the final menstrual period (FMP). Covariates were age at FMP, race, study site, and hormone therapy. RESULTS. Fat and lean mass increased prior to the MT. At the start of the MT, rate of fat gain doubled, and lean mass declined; gains and losses continued until 2 years after the FMP. After that, the trajectories of fat and lean mass decelerated to zero slope. Weight climbed linearly during premenopause without acceleration at the MT. Its trajectory became flat after the MT. CONCLUSION. Accelerated gains in fat mass and losses of lean mass are MT-related phenomena. The rate of increase in the sum of fat mass and lean mass does not differ between premenopause and the MT; thus, there is no discernable change in rate of weight gain at the start of the MT. FUNDING. NIH, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), through the National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Nursing Research, and NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (U01NR004061, U01AG012505, U01AG012535, U01AG012531, U01AG012539, U01AG012546, U01AG012553, U01AG012554, and U01AG012495).
Gail A. Greendale, Barbara Sternfeld, MeiHua Huang, Weijuan Han, Carrie Karvonen-Gutierrez, Kristine Ruppert, Jane A. Cauley, Joel S. Finkelstein, Sheng-Fang Jiang, Arun S. Karlamangla
Cancer incidence increases with age, but paradoxically, cancers have been found to grow more quickly in young mice compared with aged ones. The cause of differential tumor growth has been debated and, over time, attributed to faster tumor cell proliferation, decreased tumor cell apoptosis, and/or increased angiogenesis in young animals. Despite major advances in our understanding of tumor immunity over the past 2 decades, little attention has been paid to comparing immune cell populations in young and aged mice. Using mouse colon adenocarcinoma model MC38 implanted in young and mature mice, we show that age substantially influences the number of tumor-infiltrating cytotoxic CD8+ T cells, which control cancer progression. The different tumor growth pace in young and mature mice was abrogated in RAG1null mice, which lack mature T and B lymphocytes, and upon selective depletion of endogenous CD8+ cells. Transcriptome analysis further indicated that young mice have decreased levels of the Itga4 gene (CD49d, VLA-4) in tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes when compared with mature mice. Hypothesizing that VLA-4 can have a tumor-protective effect, we depleted the protein, which resulted in accelerated tumor growth in mature mice. These observations may explain the paradoxical growth rates observed in murine cancers, point to the central role of VLA-4 in controlling tumor growth, and open new venues to therapeutic manipulation.
Juhyun Oh, Angela Magnuson, Christophe Benoist, Mikael J. Pittet, Ralph Weissleder
Physiological and premature aging are frequently associated with an accumulation of prelamin A, a precursor of lamin A, in the nuclear envelope of various cell types. Here, we aimed to underpin the hitherto unknown mechanisms by which prelamin A alters myonuclear organization and muscle fiber function. By experimentally studying membrane-permeabilized myofibers from various transgenic mouse lines, our results indicate that, in the presence of prelamin A, the abundance of nuclei and myosin content is markedly reduced within muscle fibers. This leads to a concept by which the remaining myonuclei are very distant from each other and are pushed to function beyond their maximum cytoplasmic capacity, ultimately inducing muscle fiber weakness.
Yotam Levy, Jacob A. Ross, Marili Niglas, Vladimir A. Snetkov, Steven Lynham, Chen-Yu Liao, Megan J. Puckelwartz, Yueh-Mei Hsu, Elizabeth M. McNally, Manfred Alsheimer, Stephen D.R. Harridge, Stephen G. Young, Loren G. Fong, Yaiza Español, Carlos Lopez-Otin, Brian K. Kennedy, Dawn A. Lowe, Julien Ochala
The maintenance of effective immunity over time is dependent on the capacity of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) to sustain the pool of immunocompetent mature cells. Decline of immune competence with old age may stem from HSC defects, including reduced self-renewal potential and impaired lymphopoiesis, as suggested in murine models. To obtain further insights into aging-related alteration of hematopoiesis, we performed a comprehensive study of blood hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) from older humans. In the elderly, HPCs present active oxidative phosphorylation and are pressed to enter cell cycling. However, p53-p21 and p15 cell senescence pathways, associated with telomerase activity deficiency, strong telomere attrition, and oxidative stress, are engaged, thus limiting cell cycling. Moreover, survival of old HPCs is impacted by pyroptosis, an inflammatory form of programmed cell death. Lastly, telomerase activity deficiency and telomere length attrition of old HPCs may be passed on to progeny cells such as naive T lymphocytes, further highlighting the poor hematopoietic potential of the elderly. This pre-senescent profile is characteristic of the multiple intrinsic and extrinsic factors affecting HPCs in elderly individuals and represents a major obstacle in terms of immune reconstitution and efficacy with advanced age.
Tinhinane Fali, Véronique Fabre-Mersseman, Takuya Yamamoto, Charles Bayard, Laura Papagno, Solène Fastenackels, Rima Zoorab, Richard A. Koup, Jacques Boddaert, Delphine Sauce, Victor Appay
Macrophage aging is pathogenic in diseases of the elderly, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in older adults. However, the role of microRNAs, which modulate immune processes, in regulating macrophage dysfunction and thereby promoting age-associated diseases is underexplored. Here, we report that microRNA-150 (miR-150) coordinates transcriptomic changes in aged murine macrophages, especially those associated with aberrant lipid trafficking and metabolism in AMD pathogenesis. Molecular profiling confirmed that aged murine macrophages exhibit dysregulated ceramide and phospholipid profiles compared with young macrophages. Of translational relevance, upregulation of miR-150 in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells was also significantly associated with increased odds of AMD, even after controlling for age. Mechanistically, miR-150 directly targets stearoyl-CoA desaturase-2, which coordinates macrophage-mediated inflammation and pathologic angiogenesis, as seen in AMD, in a VEGF-independent manner. Together, our results implicate miR-150 as pathogenic in AMD and provide potentially novel molecular insights into diseases of aging.
Jonathan B. Lin, Harsh V. Moolani, Abdoulaye Sene, Rohini Sidhu, Pamela Kell, Joseph B. Lin, Zhenyu Dong, Norimitsu Ban, Daniel S. Ory, Rajendra S. Apte
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a highly prevalent and devastating condition for which no curative treatment is available. Exaggerated lung cell senescence may be a major pathogenic factor. Here, we investigated the potential role for mTOR signaling in lung cell senescence and alterations in COPD using lung tissue and derived cultured cells from patients with COPD and from age- and sex-matched control smokers. Cell senescence in COPD was linked to mTOR activation, and mTOR inhibition by low-dose rapamycin prevented cell senescence and inhibited the proinflammatory senescence-associated secretory phenotype. To explore whether mTOR activation was a causal pathogenic factor, we developed transgenic mice exhibiting mTOR overactivity in lung vascular cells or alveolar epithelial cells. In this model, mTOR activation was sufficient to induce lung cell senescence and to mimic COPD lung alterations, with the rapid development of lung emphysema, pulmonary hypertension, and inflammation. These findings support a causal relationship between mTOR activation, lung cell senescence, and lung alterations in COPD, thereby identifying the mTOR pathway as a potentially new therapeutic target in COPD.
Amal Houssaini, Marielle Breau, Kanny Kebe, Shariq Abid, Elisabeth Marcos, Larissa Lipskaia, Dominique Rideau, Aurelien Parpaleix, Jin Huang, Valerie Amsellem, Nora Vienney, Pierre Validire, Bernard Maitre, Aya Attwe, Christina Lukas, David Vindrieux, Jorge Boczkowski, Genevieve Derumeaux, Mario Pende, David Bernard, Silke Meiners, Serge Adnot
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease involving both cartilage and synovium. The canonical Wnt/β-catenin pathway, which is activated in OA, is emerging as an important regulator of tissue repair and fibrosis. This study seeks to examine Wnt pathway effects on synovial fibroblasts and articular chondrocytes as well as the therapeutic effects of Wnt inhibition on OA disease severity. Mice underwent destabilization of the medial meniscus surgery and were treated by intra-articular injection with XAV-939, a small-molecule inhibitor of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Wnt/β-catenin signaling was highly activated in murine synovial fibroblasts as well as in OA-derived human synovial fibroblasts. XAV-939 ameliorated OA severity associated with reduced cartilage degeneration and synovitis in vivo. Wnt inhibition using mechanistically distinct small-molecule inhibitors, XAV-939 and C113, attenuated the proliferation and type I collagen synthesis in synovial fibroblasts in vitro but did not affect human OA-derived chondrocyte proliferation. However, Wnt modulation increased COL2A1 and PRG4 transcripts, which are downregulated in chondrocytes in OA. In conclusion, therapeutic Wnt inhibition reduced disease severity in a model of traumatic OA via promoting anticatabolic effects on chondrocytes and antifibrotic effects on synovial fibroblasts and may be a promising class of drugs for the treatment of OA.
Caressa Lietman, Brian Wu, Sarah Lechner, Andrew Shinar, Madhur Sehgal, Evgeny Rossomacha, Poulami Datta, Anirudh Sharma, Rajiv Gandhi, Mohit Kapoor, Pampee P. Young
Klotho is a renal protein involved in phosphate homeostasis, which is downregulated in renal disease. It has long been considered an antiaging factor. Two Klotho gene transcripts are thought to encode membrane-bound and secreted Klotho. Indeed, soluble Klotho is detectable in bodily fluids, but the relative contributions of Klotho secretion and of membrane-bound Klotho shedding are unknown. Recent advances in RNA surveillance reveal that premature termination codons, as present in alternative Klotho mRNA (for secreted Klotho), prime mRNAs for degradation by nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD). Disruption of NMD led to accumulation of alternative Klotho mRNA, indicative of normally continuous degradation. RNA IP for NMD core factor UPF1 resulted in enrichment for alternative Klotho mRNA, which was also not associated with polysomes, indicating no active protein translation. Alternative Klotho mRNA transcripts colocalized with some P bodies, where NMD transcripts are degraded. Moreover, we could not detect secreted Klotho in vitro. These results suggest that soluble Klotho is likely cleaved membrane-bound Klotho only. Furthermore, we found that, especially in acute kidney injury, splicing of the 2 mRNA transcripts is dysregulated, which was recapitulated by various noxious stimuli in vitro. This likely constitutes a novel mechanism resulting in the downregulation of membrane-bound Klotho.
Rik Mencke, Geert Harms, Jill Moser, Matijs van Meurs, Arjan Diepstra, Henri G. Leuvenink, Jan-Luuk Hillebrands
Biological aging is associated with immune activation (IA) and declining immunity due to systemic inflammation. It is widely accepted that HIV infection causes persistent IA and premature immune senescence despite effective antiretroviral therapy and virologic suppression; however, the effects of combined HIV infection and aging are not well defined. Here, we assessed the relationship between markers of IA and inflammation during biological aging in HIV-infected and -uninfected populations. Antibody response to seasonal influenza vaccination was implemented as a measure of immune competence and relationships between IA, inflammation, and antibody responses were explored using statistical modeling appropriate for integrating high-dimensional data sets. Our results show that markers of IA, such as coexpression of HLA antigen D related (HLA-DR) and CD38 on CD4+ T cells, exhibit strong associations with HIV infection but not with biological age. Certain variables that showed a strong relationship with aging, such as declining naive and CD38+ CD4 and CD8+ T cells, did so regardless of HIV infection. Interestingly, the variable of biological age was not identified in a predictive model as significantly impacting vaccine responses in either group, while distinct IA and inflammatory variables were closely associated with vaccine response in HIV-infected and -uninfected populations. These findings shed light on the most relevant and persistent immune defects during virological suppression with antiretroviral therapy.
Lesley R. de Armas, Suresh Pallikkuth, Varghese George, Stefano Rinaldi, Rajendra Pahwa, Kristopher L. Arheart, Savita Pahwa
Decreased cortical thickness and increased cortical porosity are the key anatomic changes responsible for osteoporotic fractures in elderly women and men. The cellular basis of these changes is unbalanced endosteal and intracortical osteonal remodeling by the osteoclasts and osteoblasts that comprise the basic multicellular units (BMUs). Like humans, mice lose cortical bone with age, but unlike humans, this loss occurs in the face of sex steroid sufficiency. Mice are therefore an ideal model to dissect age-specific osteoporotic mechanisms. Nevertheless, lack of evidence for endosteal or intracortical remodeling in mice has raised questions about their translational relevance. We show herein that administration of the antiosteoclastogenic cytokine osteoprotegerin to Swiss Webster mice ablated not only osteoclasts, but also endosteal bone formation, demonstrating the occurrence of BMU-based endosteal remodeling. Femoral cortical thickness decreased in aged male and female C57BL/6J mice, as well as F1 hybrids of C57BL/6J and BALB/cBy mice. This decrease was greater in C57BL/6J mice, indicating a genetic influence. Moreover, endosteal remodeling became unbalanced because of increased osteoclast and decreased osteoblast numbers. The porosity of the femoral cortex increased with age but was much higher in females of both strains. Notably, the increased cortical porosity resulted from de novo intracortical remodeling by osteon-like structures. Age-dependent cortical bone loss was associated with increased osteocyte DNA damage, cellular senescence, the senescence-associated secretory phenotype, and increased levels of RANKL. The demonstration of unbalanced endosteal and intracortical remodeling in old mice validates the relevance of this animal model to involutional osteoporosis in humans.
Marilina Piemontese, Maria Almeida, Alexander G. Robling, Ha-Neui Kim, Jinhu Xiong, Jeff D. Thostenson, Robert S. Weinstein, Stavros C. Manolagas, Charles A. O’Brien, Robert L. Jilka
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