Age-associated systemic, chronic inflammation is partially attributed to increased self (auto)-reactivity, resulting from disruption of central tolerance in the aged, involuted thymus. This involution causally results from gradually decreased expression of the transcription factor FOXN1 in thymic epithelial cells (TECs), while exogenous FOXN1 in TECs can partially rescue age-related thymic involution. Given the findings that TECs induced from FOXN1-overexpressing embryonic fibroblasts can generate an ectopic de novo thymus under the kidney capsule and intra-thymically injected naturally young TECs can lead to middle-aged thymus regrowth, we attempted to extend these two findings by combining them as a novel thymic rejuvenation strategy with two types of promoter-driven (Rosa26CreERT and FoxN1Cre) Cre-mediated FOXN1-reprogrammed embryonic fibroblasts (FREFs). We engrafted these two-types of FREFs directly into the aged murine thymus. We found significant regrowth of the native aged thymus with rejuvenated architecture and function in both males and females, exhibiting increased thymopoiesis and reinforced thymocyte negative selection, along with reduced senescent T cells and auto-reactive T cell-mediated inflammation in old mice. Therefore, this strategy has preclinical significance and presents a strategy to potentially rescue decreased thymopoiesis and perturbed negative selection to significantly, albeit partially, restore defective central tolerance and reduce subclinical autoimmune symptoms in the elderly.
Jiyoung Oh, Weikan Wang, Rachel Thomas, Dong-Ming Su
Produced by senescent cells, the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) is a potential driver of age-related dysfunction. We tested whether circulating concentrations of SASP proteins reflect age and medical risk in humans. We first screened senescent endothelial cells, fibroblasts, preadipocytes, epithelial cells, and myoblasts to identify candidates for human profiling. We then tested associations between circulating SASP proteins and clinical data from individuals throughout the life span and older adults undergoing surgery for prevalent but distinct age-related diseases. A community-based sample of people aged 20–90 years (retrospective cross-sectional) was studied to test associations between circulating SASP factors and chronological age. A subset of this cohort aged 60–90 years and separate cohorts of older adults undergoing surgery for severe aortic stenosis (prospective longitudinal) or ovarian cancer (prospective case-control) were studied to assess relationships between circulating concentrations of SASP proteins and biological age (determined by the accumulation of age-related health deficits) and/or postsurgical outcomes. We showed that SASP proteins were positively associated with age, frailty, and adverse postsurgery outcomes. A panel of 7 SASP factors composed of growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15), TNF receptor superfamily member 6 (FAS), osteopontin (OPN), TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1), ACTIVIN A, chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 3 (CCL3), and IL-15 predicted adverse events markedly better than a single SASP protein or age. Our findings suggest that the circulating SASP may serve as a clinically useful candidate biomarker of age-related health and a powerful tool for interventional human studies.
Marissa J. Schafer, Xu Zhang, Amanika Kumar, Elizabeth J. Atkinson, Yi Zhu, Sarah Jachim, Daniel L. Mazula, Ashley K. Brown, Michelle Berning, Zaira Aversa, Brian Kotajarvi, Charles J. Bruce, Kevin L. Greason, Rakesh M. Suri, Russell P. Tracy, Steven R. Cummings, Thomas A. White, Nathan K. LeBrasseur
Tissue regeneration capacity declines with aging in association with heightened oxidative stress. Expression of the oxidant-generating enzyme, NADPH oxidase 4 (Nox4) is elevated in aged mice with diminished capacity for fibrosis resolution. Bromodomain-containing protein 4 (Brd4) is a member of the bromodomain and extraterminal (BET) family of proteins that function as epigenetic “readers” of acetylated lysine groups on histones. In this study, we explored the role of Brd4 and its interaction with the p300 acetyltransferase in the regulation of Nox4, and the in-vivo efficacy of a BET inhibitor to reverse established age-associated lung fibrosis. BET inhibition interferes with the association of Brd4, p300, and acetylated histone H4K16 with the Nox4 promoter in lung fibroblasts stimulated with the pro-fibrotic cytokine, transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1). This Brd4-Nox4 epigenetic axis is constitutively upregulated in fibroblasts from human subjects with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. A number of BET inhibitors, including I-BET-762, JQ1, and OTX015, downregulate Nox4 gene expression and activity. Aged mice with established and persistent lung fibrosis recovered capacity for fibrosis resolution with OTX015 treatment. This study implicates epigenetic regulation of Nox4 by Brd4 and p300, and supports BET/Brd4 inhibition as an effective strategy for the treatment of age-related fibrotic lung disease.
Yan Y. Sanders, Xing Lyu, Q. Jennifer Zhou, Zheyi Xiang, Denise Stanford, Sandeep Bodduluri, Steven M. Rowe, Victor J. Thannickal
NOD-like receptor 12 (NLRP12) is a member of the nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat containing receptor inflammasome family that plays a central role in innate immunity. We previously showed that DNA damage upregulated NLRP12 in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) of mice deficient in the DNA repair gene Fanca. However, the role of NLRP12 in HSC maintenance is not known. Here, we show that persistent DNA damage–induced NLRP12 improves HSC function in both mouse and human models of DNA repair deficiency and aging. Specifically, treatment of Fanca–/– mice with the DNA cross-linker mitomycin C or ionizing radiation induces NLRP12 upregulation in phenotypic HSCs. NLRP12 expression is specifically induced by persistent DNA damage. Functionally, knockdown of NLRP12 exacerbates the repopulation defect of Fanca–/– HSCs. Persistent DNA damage–induced NLRP12 was also observed in the HSCs from aged mice, and depletion of NLRP12 in these aged HSCs compromised their self-renewal and hematopoietic recovery. Consistently, overexpression of NLRP12 substantially improved the long-term repopulating function of Fanca–/– and aged HSCs. Finally, persistent DNA damage–induced NLRP12 maintains the function of HSCs from patients with FA or aged donors. These results reveal a potentially novel role of NLRP12 in HSC maintenance and suggest that NLRP12 targeting has therapeutic potential in DNA repair disorders and aging.
Qiqi Lin, Limei Wu, Zhilin Ma, Fabliha Ahmed Chowdhury,1, Habibul Hasan Mazumder, Wei Du
Although aging represents the most important epidemiologic risk factor for fibrotic disease, the reasons for this are incompletely understood. Excess collagen deposition in tissues is the sine qua non of tissue fibrosis and can be viewed as an imbalance between collagen production and collagen degradation. Yet we still lack a detailed understanding of the changes that take place during development, maturation and aging in extracellular-matrix (ECM) dynamics. Resolution of fibrosis is impaired in aging and this impairment may explain why age is the most important risk factor for fibrotic diseases such as Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. However, ECM dynamics and impaired resolution of fibrosis in aging remain understudied. Here we show that cell-mediated collagen uptake and degradation are diminished in aged animals and this finding correlates with downregulation of the collagen endocytic receptor Mrc2. We identify Myeloid Zinc Finger-1 as a novel transcriptional regulator of Mrc2 and both this transcription factor and Mrc2 are downregulated in multiple tissues and organisms in an age-dependent manner. Thus, cell-mediated degradation of collagen is an essential process that promotes resolution of fibrosis and impairment in this process contributes to age-related fibrosis.
Michael J. Podolsky, Christopher D. Yang, Carlos Lizama, Ritwik Datta, Steven K. Huang, Stephen L. Nishimura, Sarah L. Dallas, Paul Wolters, Claude Jourdan Le Saux, Kamran Atabai
The maintenance of functional independence is the top priority of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Defects in mitochondrial energetics may compromise physical performance and independence. We investigated associations of the presence and severity of kidney disease with in vivo muscle energetics and the association of muscle energetics with physical performance. We performed measures of in vivo leg and hand muscle mitochondrial capacity (ATPmax) and resting ATP turnover (ATPflux) using 31phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy and oxygen uptake (O2 uptake) by optical spectroscopy in 77 people (53 participants with CKD and 24 controls). We measured physical performance using the 6-minute walk test. Participants with CKD had a median estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of 33 ml/min per 1.73 m2. Participants with CKD had a –0.19 mM/s lower leg ATPmax compared with controls but no difference in hand ATPmax. Resting O2 uptake was higher in CKD compared with controls, despite no difference in ATPflux. ATPmax correlated with eGFR and serum bicarbonate among participants with GFR <60. ATPmax of the hand and leg correlated with 6-minute walking distance. The presence and severity of CKD associate with muscle mitochondrial capacity. Dysfunction of muscle mitochondrial energetics may contribute to reduced physical performance in CKD.
Bryan Kestenbaum, Jorge Gamboa, Sophia Liu, Amir S. Ali, Eric Shankland, Thomas Jue, Cecilia Giulivi, Lucas R. Smith, Jonathan Himmelfarb, Ian H. de Boer, Kevin Conley, Baback Roshanravan
Clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential is prevalent in elderly individuals and associated with increased risks of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease. However, mouse models to study the dynamics of clonal hematopoiesis and its consequences on the cardiovascular system under homeostatic conditions are lacking. We employed a model of clonal hematopoiesis using adoptive transfer of unfractionated ten-eleven translocation 2 (Tet2)-deficient bone marrow cells into non-irradiated mice. Consistent with age-related clonal hematopoiesis observed in humans, these mice displayed a progressive expansion of Tet2-deficient cells in multiple hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell fractions and blood cell linages. The expansion of the Tet2 mutant fraction was also observed in bone marrow-derived CCR2+ myeloid cell populations within the heart, but there was negligible impact on the yolk sac-derived CCR2– cardiac-resident macrophage population. Transcriptome profiling revealed an enhanced inflammatory signature in the donor-derived macrophages isolated from the heart. Mice receiving Tet2-deficient bone marrow cells spontaneously developed age-related cardiac dysfunction characterized by greater hypertrophy and fibrosis. Altogether we show that Tet2-deficient hematopoiesis contributes to cardiac dysfunction in a non-conditioned setting that faithfully models the human clonal hematopoiesis in unperturbed bone marrow. Our data support clinical findings that clonal hematopoiesis per se may contribute to diminished health span.
Ying Wang, Soichi Sano, Yoshimitsu Yura, Zhonghe Ke, Miho Sano, Kosei Oshima, Hayato Ogawa, Keita Horitani, Kyung-Duk Min, Emiri Miura-Yura, Anupreet Kour, Megan A. Evans, María A. Zuriaga, Karen K. Hirschi, Jose J. Fuster, Eric M. Pietras, Kenneth Walsh
Aging is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Although the impact of aging has been extensively studied, little is known regarding the aging processes in cells of the heart. Here we analyzed the transcriptomes of hearts of 12-week-old and 18-month-old mice by single-nucleus RNA-sequencing. Among all cell types, aged fibroblasts showed most significant differential gene expression, increased RNA dynamics, and network entropy. Aged fibroblasts exhibited significantly changed expression patterns of inflammatory, extracellular matrix organization angiogenesis, and osteogenic genes. Functional analyses indicated deterioration of paracrine signatures between fibroblasts and endothelial cells in old hearts. Aged heart-derived fibroblasts had impaired endothelial cell angiogenesis and autophagy and augmented proinflammatory response. In particular, expression of Serpine1 and Serpine2 were significantly increased and secreted by old fibroblasts to exert antiangiogenic effects on endothelial cells, an effect that could be significantly prevented by using neutralizing antibodies. Moreover, we found an enlarged subpopulation of aged fibroblasts expressing osteoblast genes in the epicardial layer associated with increased calcification. Taken together this study provides system-wide insights and identifies molecular changes of aging cardiac fibroblasts, which may contribute to declined heart function.
Ramon Vidal, Julian Uwe Gabriel Wagner, Caroline Braeuning, Cornelius Fischer, Ralph Patrick, Lukas Tombor, Marion Muhly-Reinholz, David John, Magdalena Kliem, Thomas Conrad, Nuno Guimarães-Camboa, Richard Harvey, Stefanie Dimmeler, Sascha Sauer
With increased life expectancy worldwide, there is an urgent need for improving preventive measures that delay the development of age-related degenerative diseases. Here, we report evidence from mouse and human studies that this goal can be achieved by maintaining optimal hydration throughout life. We demonstrate that restricting the amount of drinking water shortens mouse lifespan with no major warning signs up to 14 months of life, followed by sharp deterioration. Mechanistically, water restriction yields stable metabolism remodeling toward metabolic water production with greater food intake and energy expenditure, an elevation of markers of inflammation and coagulation, accelerated decline of neuromuscular coordination, renal glomerular injury, and the development of cardiac fibrosis. In humans, analysis of data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study revealed that hydration level, assessed at middle age by serum sodium concentration, is associated with markers of coagulation and inflammation and predicts the development of many age-related degenerative diseases 24 years later. The analysis estimates that improving hydration throughout life may greatly decrease the prevalence of degenerative diseases, with the most profound effect on dementia, heart failure (HF), and chronic lung disease (CLD), translating to the development of these diseases in 3 million fewer people in the United States alone.
Michele D. Allen, Danielle A. Springer, Maurice B. Burg, Manfred Boehm, Natalia I. Dmitrieva
Abnormalities in purine availability or purinergic receptor density are commonly seen in patients with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), but the underlying mechanisms relating altered receptor function to LUTS are unknown. Here we provide extensive evidence for the reciprocal interplay of multiple receptors responding to ATP, ADP (adenosine diphosphate), and adenosine, agonists that regulate bladder function significantly. ADP stimulated P2Y12 receptors, causing bladder smooth muscle (BSM) contraction, whereas adenosine signaling through potentially newly defined A2b receptors, actively inhibited BSM purinergic contractility. The modulation of adenylyl cyclase-cAMP signaling via A2b and P2Y12 interaction actively regulated bladder contractility by modulating intracellular calcium levels. KO mice lacking the receptors display diametrically opposed bladder phenotypes, with P2Y12-KO mice exhibiting an underactive bladder (UAB) phenotype with increased bladder capacity and reduced voiding frequency, whereas A2b-KO mice have an overactive bladder (OAB), with decreased capacity and increased voiding frequency. The opposing phenotypes in P2Y12-KO and A2b-KO mice not only resulted from dysregulated BSM contractility, but also from abnormal BSM cell growth. Finally, we demonstrate that i.p. administration of drugs targeting P2Y12 or A2b receptor rescues these abnormal phenotypes in both KO mice. These findings strongly indicate that P2Y12 and A2b receptors are attractive therapeutic targets for human patients with LUTS.
Yuan Hao, Lu Wang, Huan Chen, Warren G. Hill, Simon C. Robson, Mark L. Zeidel, Weiqun Yu
No posts were found with this tag.