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
BACKGROUND. At the onset of exercise, the speed at which PCr decreases towards a new steady state (PCr on-kinetics), reflects the readiness to activate mitochondrial ATP synthesis, which is secondary to Acetyl-CoA availability in skeletal muscle. We hypothesized that PCr on-kinetics are slower in metabolically compromised and older individuals, and associated with low carnitine acetyl-transferase (CrAT) protein activity and compromised physical function. METHODS. We applied 31P-Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) to assess PCr on-kinetics in two cohorts of human volunteers. Cohort 1: patients with type 2 diabetes, obese, lean trained and untrained individuals. Cohort 2: young and older individuals with normal physical activity and older trained. Previous results of CrAT protein activity and acetylcarnitine content in muscle tissue were used to explore the underlying mechanisms of PCr on-kinetics, along with various markers of physical function. RESULTS. PCr on-kinetics were significantly slower in metabolically compromised and older individuals (indicating mitochondrial inertia) as compared to young and older trained volunteers, regardless of in vivo skeletal muscle oxidative capacity (P<0.001). Mitochondrial inertia correlated with reduced CrAT protein activity, low acetylcarnitine content and also with functional outcomes (P<0.001). CONCLUSION. PCr on-kinetics are significantly slower in metabolically compromised and older individuals with normal physical activity compared to young and older trained, regardless of in vivo skeletal muscle oxidative capacity, indicating greater mitochondrial inertia. Thus, PCr on-kinetics are a currently unexplored signature of skeletal muscle mitochondrial metabolism, tightly linked to functional outcomes. Skeletal muscle mitochondrial inertia might emerge as a target of intervention to improve physical function. TRIAL REGISTRATION. clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01298375 and clinicaltrials.gov: NCT03666013. FUNDING. R.M and M.H were granted with an EFSD/Lilly grant from the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (EFSD). V.S was supported by an ERC staring grant (Grant no. 759161) "MRS in Diabetes".
Rodrigo F. Mancilla, Lucas Lindeboom, Lotte Grevendonk, Joris Hoeks, Timothy R. Koves, Deborah M. Muoio, Patrick Schrauwen, Vera Schrauwen-Hinderling, Matthijs K.C. Hesselink
The central physiological role of the bone marrow renders the bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) particularly sensitive to aging. With bone aging, BMSCs acquire a differentiation potential bias in favor of adipogenesis over osteogenesis, and the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Herein, we investigated the factors underlying age-related changes in the bone marrow, and their roles in BMSCs differentiation. Antibody array revealed that C-C motif chemokine ligand 3 (CCL3) accumulation occurred in the serum of naturally aged mice along with bone aging phenotypes, including bone loss, bone marrow adiposity, and imbalanced BMSCs differentiation. In vivo Ccl3 deletion could rescue these phenotypes in aged mice. CCL3 improved the adipogenic differentiation potential of BMSCs, with a positive feedback loop between CCL3 and C/EBPα. CCL3 activated C/EBPα expression via STAT3, while C/EBPα activated CCL3 expression through direct promoter binding, facilitated by DNA hypo-methylation. Moreover, CCL3 inhibited BMSCs osteogenic differentiation potential by blocking β-catenin activity mediated by ERK-activated DKK-1 upregulation. Blocking CCL3 in vivo via neutralization antibodies ameliorated trabecular bone loss and bone marrow adiposity in aged mice. This study provides insights regarding age-related bone loss and bone marrow adiposity pathogenesis, and lays a foundation for the identification of new targets for senile osteoporosis treatment.
Degang Yu, Shuhong Zhang, Chao Ma, Sen Huang, Long Xu, Jun Liang, Huiwu Li, Qiming Fan, Guangwang Liu, Zanjing Zhai
Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1; MIM #160900) is an autosomal dominant disorder, clinically characterized by progressive muscular weakness and multisystem degeneration. The broad phenotypes observed in DM1 patients resemble the appearance of an accelerated aging process. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these phenotypes remain largely unknown. Transcriptomic analysis of fibroblasts derived from DM1 patients and healthy individuals revealed a decrease in cell cycle activity, cell division, and DNA damage response in DM1, all of which related to the accumulation of cellular senescence. The data from transcriptome analyses were corroborated in human myoblasts and blood samples as well as in mouse and Drosophila models of the disease. Serial passage studies in vitro confirmed the accelerated increase in senescence and the acquisition of a senescence-associated secretory phenotype in DM1 fibroblasts, whereas DM1 Drosophila model showed reduced longevity and impaired locomotor activity. Moreover, functional studies highlighted the impact of BMI1 and downstream p16INK4A/RB and ARF/p53/p21CIP pathways in DM1-associated cellular phenotypes. Importantly, treatment with the senolytic compounds, Quercetin, Dasatinib, or Navitoclax, reversed the accelerated aging phenotypes in both DM1 fibroblasts in vitro and in Drosophila in vivo. Our results identified the accumulation of senescence as part of DM1 pathophysiology and therefore, demonstrated the efficacy of senolytic compounds in the pre-clinical setting.
Mikel García-Puga, Ander Saenz-Antoñanzas, Gorka Gerenu, Alex Arrieta, Roberto Fernandez-Torron, Miren Zulaica, Amets Saenz, Joseba Elizazu, Gisela Nogales-Gadea, Shahinaz M. Gadalla, Marcos J. Araúzo-Bravo, Adolfo Lopez de Munain, Ander Matheu
BACKGROUND. During ageing there is a functional decline in the pool of muscle stem cells (MuSCs) which influences the functional and regenerative capacity of skeletal muscle. Preclinical evidence have suggested that Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) and Pterostilbene (PT) can improve muscle regeneration e.g. by increasing MuSC function. The objective of the present study was to investigate if NRPT-supplementation promotes skeletal muscle regeneration after muscle injury in elderly humans by improved recruitment of MuSCs. METHODS. 32 elderly men and women (55-80 yr) were randomized to daily supplementation with either NRPT (1000 mg NR + 200 mg PT) or matched placebo. Two weeks after initiation of supplementation, a skeletal muscle injury was induced by electrically-induced eccentric muscle work. Skeletal muscle biopsies were obtained pre, 2h, 2, 8, and 30 days post injury. RESULTS. A substantial skeletal muscle injury was induced by the protocol and associated with release of myoglobin and creatine kinase, muscle soreness, tissue edema, and a decrease in muscle strength. MuSC content, proliferation and cell size revealed a large demand for recruitment post injury but was not affected by NRPT. Furthermore, histological analyses of muscle fiber area, internal nuclei and embryonic Myosin Heavy Chain showed no effect of NRPT supplementation. CONCLUSION. Daily supplementation with 1000 mg NR+200 mg PT is safe but does not improve recruitment of the MuSC pool or other measures of muscle recovery in response to injury or subsequent regeneration in elderly subjects. TRIAL REGISTRATION. NCT03754842. FUNDING. Novo Nordisk Foundation (Ref. NNF17OC0027242) given to JTT and NJ. JTT, ED, SC, MVD, KT, and TM are supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR). CBMR is an independent Research Center at the University of Copenhagen that is partially funded by an unrestricted donation from the Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF18CC0034900).
Jonas Brorson Jensen, Ole Lindgård Dollerup, Andreas Buch Møller, Tine B. Billeskov, Emilie Dalbram, Sabina Chubanava, Mads V. Damgaard, Ryan W. Dellinger, Kajetan Trošt, Thomas Moritz, Steffen Ringgaard, Niels Møller, Jonas T. Treebak, Jean Farup, Niels Jessen
Older people exhibit dysregulated innate immunity to respiratory viral infections, including influenza and SARS-CoV-2, to increase morbidity and mortality. Nanoparticles are a potential practical therapeutic that could reduce exaggerated innate immune responses within the lungs during viral infection. However, such therapeutics have not been examined for effectiveness during respiratory viral infection, particular in aged hosts. Here, we employed a lethal model of influenza viral infection in vulnerable aged mice to examine the ability of biodegradable, cargo-free nanoparticles, designated ONP-302, to resolve innate immune dysfunction and improve outcomes during infection. We administered ONP-302 via intravenous injection to aged mice at day 3 post-infection when the hyperinflammatory innate immune response is already established. During infection, we found that ONP-302 treatment reduced the numbers of inflammatory monocytes within the lungs and increased their number in both the liver and spleen, without impacting viral clearance. Importantly, cargo-free nanoparticles reduced lung damage, histological lung inflammation and improved gas exchange and, ultimately, the clinical outcomes in influenza-infected aged mice. In conclusion, ONP-302 improves outcomes in influenza-infected aged mice. Thus, our study provides fundamental information concerning a practical therapeutic which, if translated clinically, could improve disease outcomes for vulnerable older patients suffering from respiratory viral infections.
William J. Kelley, Kathleen M. Wragg, Judy Chen, Tushar Murthy, Qichen Xu, Michael T. Boyne II, Joseph R. Podojil, Adam Elhofy, Daniel R. Goldstein
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