Mechanisms of ageing and development

Publisher: Elsevier


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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) exists in multiple copies per cell and is essential for oxidative phosphorylation. Depleted or mutated mtDNA promotes numerous human diseases and may contribute to aging. Reduced TORC1 signaling in the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, extends chronological lifespan (CLS) in part by generating a mitochondrial ROS (mtROS) signal that epigenetically alters nuclear gene expression. To address the potential requirement for mtDNA maintenance in this response, we analyzed strains lacking the mitochondrial base-excision repair enzyme Ntg1p. Extension of CLS by mtROS signaling and reduced TORC1 activity, but not caloric restriction, was abrogated in ntg1Δ strains that exhibited mtDNA depletion without defects in respiration. The DNA damage response (DDR) kinase Rad53p, which transduces pro-longevity mtROS signals, is also activated in ntg1Δ strains. Restoring mtDNA copy number alleviated Rad53p activation and re-established CLS extension mtROS-mediated longevity signaling, indicating that Rad53p senses mtDNA depletion directly. Finally, DDR kinases regulate nucleus-mitochondria localization dynamics of Ntg1p. From these results, we conclude that the DDR pathway senses mtDNA instability and regulates Ntg1p in response. Furthermore, Rad53p senses multiple mitochondrial stresses in a hierarchical manner to elicit specific physiological outcomes, exemplified by mtDNA depletion overriding the ability of Rad53p to transduce an adaptive mtROS longevity signal.
    Mechanisms of ageing and development 12/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Sharing an intense transgenomic metabolism with the host, the intestinal microbiota is an essential factor for several aspects of the human physiology. However, several age-related factors, such as changes diet, lifestyle, inflammation and frailty, force the deterioration of this intestinal microbiota-host mutualistic interaction, compromising the possibility to reach longevity. In this scenario, the NU-AGE project involves the development of dietary interventions specifically tailored to the maintenance of a healthy trajectory of the intestinal microbiome, counteracting all processes connected to the pathophysiology of the human aging.
    Mechanisms of ageing and development 12/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Cognitive decline in elderly people often derives from the interaction between aging-related changes and age-related diseases and covers a large spectrum of clinical manifestations, from intact cognition through mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Epidemiological evidence supports the hypothesis that modifiable lifestyle-related factors are associated with cognitive decline, opening new avenues for prevention. Diet in particular has become the object of intense research in relation to cognitive aging and neurodegenerative disease. We reviewed the most recent findings in this rapidly expanding field. Some nutrients, such as vitamins and fatty acids, have been studied longer than others, but strong scientific evidence of an association is lacking even for these compounds. Specific dietary patterns, like the Mediterranean diet, may be more beneficial than a high consumption of single nutrients or specific food items. A strong link between vascular risk factors and dementia has been shown, and the association of diet with several vascular and metabolic diseases is well known. Other plausible mechanisms underlying the relationship between diet and cognitive decline, such as inflammation and oxidative stress, have been established. In addition to the traditional etiological pathways, new hypotheses, such as the role of the intestinal microbiome in cognitive function, have been suggested and warrant further investigation.
    Mechanisms of ageing and development 12/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The level of coenzyme Q (CoQ) has been shown to decrease in an age-dependent manner in several types of animals. However, whether CoQ-dependent mitochondrial function decreases with aging remains unclear. In this study, we found that mitochondrial complexes I and II exhibited significantly reduced oxygen consumption in the brains of aged male mice relative to young male mice, although this decrease in oxygen consumption was not accompanied by a change in the CoQ9 or CoQ10 content. Nevertheless, the administration of exogenous CoQ10 significantly increased the content of CoQ10 and CoQ9 in the brain mitochondria of aged male mice and restored complex I- and II-mediated oxygen consumption to levels comparable to those observed in young mice. These results indicate that mitochondrial oxygen consumption in the brain decreases in aged male mice. Furthermore, these results suggest that exogenous CoQ10 restores mitochondrial oxygen use to levels equivalent to those observed in young mice.
    Mechanisms of ageing and development 12/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The health status of the oldest old, the fastest increasing population segment worldwide, progressively becomes more heterogeneous, and this peculiarity represents a major obstacle to their classification. We compared the effectiveness of four previously proposed criteria (0040, 0030, 0055 and 0010) in 1160 phenotypically fully characterized Italian siblings of 90 years of age and older (90+, mean age: 93 years; age range: 90–106 years) belonging to 552 sib-ships, recruited in Northern, Central and Southern Italy within the EU-funded project GEHA, followed for a six-year-survival. Main findings were: (i) “healthy” subjects varied within a large range, i.e. 5.2% (Gondo), 8.7% (Evert), 17.7% (Franceschi), and 28.5% (Andersen-Ranberg); (ii) Central Italy subjects showed better health than those from Northern and Southern Italy; (iii) mortality risk was correlated with health status independently of geographical areas; and (iv) 90+ males, although fewer in number, were healthier than females, but with no survival advantage. In conclusion, we identified a modified version of Andersen-Ranberg criteria, based on the concomitant assessment of two basic domains (cognitive, SMMSE; physical, ADL), called “Simple Model of Functional Status” (SMFS), as the most effective proxy to distinguish healthy from not-healthy subjects. This model showed that health status was correlated within sib-ships, suggesting a familial/genetic component.
    Mechanisms of ageing and development 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular disease increases in incidence with age and is the commonest cause of morbidity and mortality among elderly people. Large-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+)(MaxiK) channel, with pore-forming α-subunit and modulatory β1-subunit, is a key regulator of vascular tone. This study explored functional and molecular evidence of MaxiK alteration with aging in the mesenteric artery(MA). Young, Middle-aged, and Old male Wistar rats were used. Selective MaxiK channel blocker(Iberiotoxin) induced a significant increase of vascular tension in MA in all three age groups. However, these effects were greatly decreased in Old animals. The amplitude and frequency of spontaneous transient outward currents were significantly decreased with aging. Single channel recording revealed that aging induced a decrease of the open probability and the mean open time, but an increase of the mean closed time of MaxiK channel. The Ca(2+)/voltage sensitivity of MaxiK was also decreased. Western blotting showed that the protein expression of MaxiK β1- and α-subunit was significantly reduced with aging, and the suppression of β1 subunits was larger than that of α subunits. These data suggest that aging decreases capability of MaxiK channel in regulating vascular tone in the MA, which may be partially mediated by unparallel downregulation of α- and β1-subunit expression.
    Mechanisms of ageing and development 09/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Mycobacteria are an important group of pathogenic bacteria. We generated a series of DNA repair deficient strains of Mycobacterium smegmatis, a model organism, to understand the importance of various DNA repair proteins (UvrB, Ung, UdgB, MutY and Fpg) in survival of the pathogenic strains. Here, we compared tolerance of the M. smegmatis strains to genotoxic stress (ROS and RNI) under aerobic, hypoxic and recovery conditions of growth by monitoring their survival. We show an increased susceptibility of mycobacteria to genotoxic stress under hypoxia. UvrB deficiency led to high susceptibility of M. smegmatis to the DNA damaging agents. Ung was second in importance in strains with single deficiencies. Interestingly, we observed that while deficiency of UdgB had only a minor impact on the strain's susceptibility, its combination with Ung deficiency resulted in severe consequences on the strain's survival under genotoxic stress suggesting a strong interdependence of different DNA repair pathways in safeguarding genomic integrity. Our observations reinforce the possibility of targeting DNA repair processes in mycobacteria for therapeutic intervention during active growth and latency phase of the pathogen. High susceptibility of the UvrB, or the Ung/UdgB deficient strains to genotoxic stress may be exploited in generation of attenuated strains of mycobacteria.
    Mechanisms of ageing and development 09/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The formation of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), a key intermediate of DNA demethylation, is driven by the ten eleven translocation (TET) family of proteins that oxidize 5-methylcytosine (5mC) to 5hmC. To determine whether methylation/demethylation status is altered during the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD), levels of TET1, 5mC and subsequent intermediates, including 5hmC, 5-formylcytosine (5fC) and 5-carboxylcytosine (5caC) were quantified in nuclear DNA from the hippocampus/parahippocampal gyrus (HPG) and the cerebellum of 5 age-matched normal controls, 5 subjects with preclinical AD (PCAD) and 7 late-stage AD (LAD) subjects by immunochemistry. The results showed significantly (p<0.05) increased levels of TET1, 5mC, and 5hmC in the HPG of PCAD and LAD subjects. In contrast, levels of 5fC and 5caC were significantly (p < 0.05) decreased in the HPG of PCAD and LAD subjects. Overall, the data suggest altered methylation/demethylation patterns in vulnerable brain regions prior to the onset of clinical symptoms in AD suggesting a role in the pathogenesis of the disease.
    Mechanisms of ageing and development 09/2013;