Autophagy in the heart and liver during normal aging and calorie restriction.
ABSTRACT Autophagy is a highly regulated intracellular process for the degradation of cellular constituents and essential for the maintenance of a healthy cell. We evaluated the effects of age and life-long calorie restriction on autophagy in heart and liver of young (6 months) and old (26 months) Fisher 344 rats. We observed that the occurrence of autophagic vacuoles was higher in heart than liver. The occurrence of autophagic vacuoles was not affected by age in either tissue, but was increased with calorie restriction in heart but not in liver. Next, we examined the expression of proteins involved in the formation and maturation of autophagosomes (beclin-1, LC3, Atg7, Atg9) or associated with autolysosomes and lysosomes (LAMP-1; cathepsin D). In hearts of both ad libitum-fed and calorie-restricted rats, we observed an increase in expression of beclin-1 and procathepsin D, but not mature cathepsin D, and a decrease in expression of LAMP-1 because of aging. In hearts, calorie restriction stimulated the expression of Atg7 and Atg9 and the lipidation of Atg8 (elevated LC3-II/I ratios) in aged rats. In hearts of ad libitum-fed rats, expression of Atg7 and lipidation of Atg8 were unaffected by age, while the cellular levels of Atg9 were lower in aged animals. Furthermore, we observed that the age- and diet-dependent expression levels of those proteins differed between heart and liver. In conclusion, autophagy in heart and liver did not decrease with age in ad libitum-fed rats, but was enhanced by calorie restriction in the heart. Thus, calorie restriction may mediate some of its beneficial effects by stimulating autophagy in the heart, indicating the potential for cardioprotective therapies.
Article: Mitochondrial function in permeabilized cardiomyocytes is largely preserved in the senescent rat myocardium.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The aging heart is characterized by a progressive decline in contractile function and diastolic relaxation. Amongst the factors implicated in these changes is a progressive replacement fibrosis secondary to cardiomyocyte death, oxidative damage, and energetic deficit, each of which may be secondary to impaired mitochondrial function. Here, we performed an in-depth examination of mitochondrial function in saponin-permeabilized cardiomyocyte bundles, a preparation where all mitochondria are represented and their structure intact, from young adult (YA) and senescent (SEN) rats (n = 8 per group). When accounting for increased fibrosis (+19%, P<0.01) and proportional decrease in citrate synthase activity in the SEN myocardium (-23%, P<0.05), mitochondrial respiration and reactive oxygen species (H(2)O(2)) emission across a range of energized states was similar between age groups. Accordingly, the abundance of electron transport chain proteins was also unchanged. Likewise, except for CuZnSOD (-37%, P<0.05), the activity of antioxidant enzymes was unaltered with aging. Although time to mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening was decreased (-25%, P<0.05) in the SEN heart, suggesting sensitization to apoptotic stimuli, this was not associated with a difference in apoptotic index measured by ELISA. Collectively, our results suggest that the function of existing cardiac ventricular mitochondria is relatively preserved in SEN rat heart when measured in permeabilized cells.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(8):e43003. · 4.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The epidemic of heart failure continues apace, and development of novel therapies with clinical efficacy has lagged. Now, important insights into the molecular circuitry of cardiovascular autophagy have raised the prospect that this cellular pathway of protein quality control may be a target of clinical relevance. Whereas basal levels of autophagy are required for cell survival, excessive levels - or perhaps distinct forms of autophagic flux - contribute to disease pathogenesis. Our challenge will be to distinguish mechanisms that drive adaptive versus maladaptive autophagy and to manipulate those pathways for therapeutic gain. Recent evidence suggests this may be possible. Here, we review the fundamental biology of autophagy and its role in a variety of forms of cardiovascular disease. We discuss ways in which this evolutionarily conserved catabolic mechanism can be manipulated, discuss studies presently underway in heart disease, and provide our perspective on where this exciting field may lead in the future. This article is part of a special issue entitled ''Key Signaling Molecules in Hypertrophy and Heart Failure.''Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 06/2011; 51(4):584-93. · 5.17 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Recent advances in our understanding of the biology of muscle, and how anabolic and catabolic stimuli interact to control muscle mass and function, have led to new interest in the pharmacological treatment of muscle wasting. Loss of muscle occurs as a consequence of several chronic diseases (cachexia) as well as normal aging (sarcopenia). Although many negative regulators [Atrogin-1, muscle ring finger-1, nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB), myostatin, etc.] have been proposed to enhance protein degradation during both sarcopenia and cachexia, the adaptation of mediators markedly differs among these conditions. Sarcopenic and cachectic muscles have been demonstrated to be abundant in myostatin- and apoptosis-linked molecules. The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) is activated during many different types of cachexia (cancer cachexia, cardiac heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), but not many mediators of the UPS change during sarcopenia. NF-κB signaling is activated in cachectic, but not in sarcopenic, muscle. Some studies have indicated a change of autophagic signaling during both sarcopenia and cachexia, but the adaptation remains to be elucidated. This review provides an overview of the adaptive changes in negative regulators of muscle mass in both sarcopenia and cachexia.Journal of cachexia, sarcopenia and muscle. 01/2012; 3(2):77-94.