Arlan Richardson

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

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Publications (196)826.15 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Over the past decade, a large number of discoveries have shown that interventions (genetic, pharmacological, and nutritional) increase the lifespan of invertebrates and laboratory rodents. Therefore, the possibility of developing antiaging interventions for humans has gone from a dream to a reality. However, it has also become apparent that we need more information than just lifespan to evaluate the translational potential of any proposed antiaging intervention to humans. Information is needed on how an intervention alters the "healthspan" of an animal, that is, how the physiological functions that change with age are altered. In this report, we describe the utility and the limitations of assays in mice currently available for measuring a wide range of physiological functions that potentially impact quality of life. We encourage investigators and reviewers alike to expect at minimum an overall assessment of health in several domains across several ages before an intervention is labeled as "increasing healthspan." In addition, it is important that investigators indicate any tests in which the treated group did worse or did not differ statistically from controls because overall health is a complex phenotype, and no intervention discovered to date improves every aspect of health. Finally, we strongly recommend that functional measurements be performed in both males and females so that sex differences in the rate of functional decline in different domains are taken into consideration. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Gerontological Society of America 2015.
    The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 08/2015; DOI:10.1093/gerona/glv080 · 4.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rapamycin, an mTOR inhibitor, has been shown to extend lifespan in a range of model organisms. It has been reported to extend lifespan in multiple strains of mice, administered chronically or acutely early or late in life. The ability of rapamycin to extend health (healthspan) as opposed to life is less well documented. To assess the effects chronic rapamycin treatment on healthspan, enteric rapamycin was given to male and female C57BL/6J mice starting at 4 months of age and continued throughout life. Repeated, longitudinal assessments of health in individual animals were made starting at 16 months of age (=12 months of treatment) until death. A number of health parameters were improved (female grip strength, female body mass and reduced sleep fragmentation in both sexes), others showed no significant difference, while at least one (male rotarod performance) was negatively affected. Rapamycin treatment affected many measures of health in a highly sex-specific manner. While sex-specific phenotypic effects of rapamycin treatment have been widely reported, in this study we document sex differences in the direction of phenotypic change. Rapamycin-fed males and females were both significantly different from controls; however the differences were in the opposite direction in measures of body mass, percent fat and resting metabolic rate, a pattern not previously reported.
    PLoS ONE 05/2015; 10(5):e0126644. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0126644 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Our previous studies showed that adult (8 month) mice lacking CuZn-superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD, Sod1KO mice) have neuromuscular changes resulting in dramatic accelerated muscle atrophy and weakness that mimics age-related sarcopenia. We have further shown that loss of CuZnSOD targeted to skeletal muscle alone results in only mild weakness and no muscle atrophy. In this study we targeted deletion of CuZnSOD specifically to neurons (nSod1KO mice) and determined the effect on muscle mass and weakness. The nSod1KO mice show a significant loss of CuZnSOD activity and protein level in brain and spinal cord but not in muscle tissue. The masses of the gastrocnemius, tibialis anterior and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles were not reduced in nSod1KO compared to wild type mice, even at 20 months of age, although the quadriceps and soleus muscles showed small but statistically significant reductions in mass in the nSod1KO mice. Maximum isometric specific force was reduced 8%-10% in the gastrocnemius and EDL muscle of nSod1KO mice, while soleus was not affected. Muscle mitochondrial ROS generation and oxidative stress measured by levels of reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (RONS) regulatory enzymes, protein nitration and F2-isoprostane levels were not increased in muscle from the nSod1KO mice. Although we did not find evidence of denervation in the nSod1KO mice, neuromuscular junction morphology was altered and the expression of genes associated with denervation (acetylcholine receptor subunit alpha (AChRα) and the transcription factors Runx1 and GADD45α) was increased, supporting a role for neuronal loss of CuZnSOD initiating alterations at the neuromuscular junction. These results and our previous studies support the concept that deficits in either the motor neuron or muscle alone are not sufficient to initiate a full sarcopenic phenotype and that deficits in both tissues are required to recapitulate the loss of muscle observed in Sod1KO mice.
    04/2015; 5:140-148. DOI:10.1016/j.redox.2015.04.005
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    ABSTRACT: Age-associated decline in organ function governs life span. We determined the effect of aging on lung function and cellular/molecular changes of 8- to 32-month old mice. Proteomic analysis of lung matrix indicated significant compositional changes with advanced age consistent with a profibrotic environment that leads to a significant increase in dynamic compliance and airway resistance. The excess of matrix proteins deposition was associated modestly with the activation of myofibroblasts and transforming growth factor-beta signaling pathway. More importantly, detection of senescent cells in the lungs increased with age and these cells contributed toward the excess extracellular matrix deposition observed in our aged mouse model and in elderly human samples. Mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR)/AKT activity was enhanced in aged mouse lungs compared with those from younger mice associated with the increased expression of the histone variant protein, MH2A, a marker for aging and potentially for senescence. Introduction in the mouse diet of rapamycin, significantly blocked the mTOR activity and limited the activation of myofibroblasts but did not result in a reduction in lung collagen deposition unless it was associated with prevention of cellular senescence. Together these data indicate that cellular senescence significantly contributes to the extracellular matrix changes associated with aging in a mTOR 1-dependent mechanism. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
    The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 01/2015; DOI:10.1093/gerona/glu241 · 4.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Obesity is a serious chronic disease that increases the risk of numerous co-morbidities including metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and cancer as well as increases risk of mortality leading some to suggest this represents accelerated aging. Obesity is associated with significant increases in oxidative stress in vivo and, despite the well-explored relationship between oxidative stress and aging, the role this plays in the increased mortality of obese subjects remains an unanswered question. Here, we addressed this by undertaking a comprehensive, longitudinal study of a group of high fat-fed obese mice and assessed both their changes in oxidative stress and in their performance in physiological assays known to decline with aging. In female C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet starting in adulthood, mortality was significantly increased in high fat-fed mice as was oxidative damage in vivo. High fat-feeding significantly accelerated the decline in performance in several assays, including activity, gait, and rotarod. However, we also found that obesity had little effect on other markers and actually improved performance in grip strength, a marker of muscular function. Together, this first comprehensive assessment of longitudinal functional changes in high fat-fed mice suggests that obesity may induce segmental acceleration of some of the aging process. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 01/2015; 576. DOI:10.1016/ · 3.04 Impact Factor
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    Arlan Richardson · Veronica Galvan · Ai-Ling Lin · Salvatore Oddo
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    ABSTRACT: The discovery that rapamycin increases lifespan in mice and restores/delays many aging phenotypes has led to the speculation that rapamycin has 'anti-aging' properties. The major question discussed in this review is whether a manipulation that has anti-aging properties can alter the onset and/or progression of Alzheimer's disease, a disease in which age is the major risk factor. Rapamycin has been shown to prevent (and possibly restore in some cases) the deficit in memory observed in the mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD-Tg) as well as reduce Aβ and tau aggregation, restore cerebral blood flow and vascularization, and reduce microglia activation. All of these parameters are widely recognized as symptoms central to the development of AD. Furthermore, rapamycin has also been shown to improve memory and reduce anxiety and depression in several other mouse models that show cognitive deficits as well as in 'normal' mice. The current research shows the feasibility of using pharmacological agents that increase lifespan, such as those identified by the National Institute on Aging Intervention Testing Program, to treat Alzheimer's disease. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Experimental Gerontology 12/2014; 176. DOI:10.1016/j.exger.2014.12.002 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nerve conduction velocity (NCV), the speed at which electrical signals propagate along peripheral nerves, is used in the clinic to evaluate nerve function in humans. A decline in peripheral nerve function is associated with a number of age-related pathologies. While several studies have shown that NCV declines with age in humans, there is little information on the effect of age on NCV in peripheral nerves in mice. In this study, we evaluated NCV in male and female C57Bl/6 mice ranging from 4 to 32 months of age. We observed a decline in NCV in both male and female mice after 20 months of age. Sex differences were detected in sensory NCV as well as the rate of decline during aging in motor nerves; female mice had slower sensory NCV and a slower age-related decline in motor nerves compared with male mice. We also tested the effect of dietary restriction on NCV in 30-month-old female mice. Dietary restriction prevented the age-related decline in sciatic NCV but not other nerves. Because NCV is clinically relevant to the assessment of nerve function, we recommend that NCV be used to evaluate healthspan in assessing genetic and pharmacological interventions that increase the life span of mice. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
    The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 12/2014; DOI:10.1093/gerona/glu208 · 4.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The inhibition of mTOR (mechanistic target of rapamycin) by the macrolide rapamycin has many beneficial effects in mice, including extension of lifespan and reduction or prevention of several age-related diseases. At the same time, chronic rapamycin treatment causes impairments in glucose metabolism including hyperglycemia, glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. It is unknown whether these metabolic effects of rapamycin are permanent or whether they can be alleviated. Here, we confirmed that rapamycin causes glucose intolerance and insulin resistance in both inbred and genetically heterogeneous mice fed either low fat or high fat diets, suggesting that these effects of rapamycin are independent of genetic background. Importantly, we also found that these effects were almost completely lost within a few weeks of cessation of treatment, showing that chronic rapamycin treatment does not induce permanent impairment of glucose metabolism. Somewhat surprisingly, chronic rapamycin also promoted increased accumulation of adipose tissue in high fat fed mice. However, this effect too was lost when rapamycin treatment was ended suggesting that this effect of rapamycin is also not permanent. The reversible nature of rapamycin's alterations of metabolic function suggests that these potentially detrimental side-effects might be managed through alternative dosing strategies or concurrent treatment options.
    Aging 09/2014; 6(9):742-54. · 4.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rapamycin, a drug that has been shown to increase lifespan in mice, inhibits the target of rapamycin (TOR) pathway, a major pathway that regulates cell growth and energy status. It has been hypothesized that rapamycin and dietary restriction (DR) extend lifespan through similar mechanisms/pathways. Using microarray analysis, we compared the transcriptome of white adipose tissue from mice fed rapamycin or DR-diet for six months. Multidimensional scaling and heatmap analyses showed that rapamycin had essentially no effect on the transcriptome as compared to DR. For example, only six transcripts were significantly altered by rapamycin while mice fed DR showed a significant change in over 1,000 transcripts. Using ingenuity pathway analysis, we found that stearate biosynthesis and circadian rhythm signaling were significantly changed by DR. Our findings showing that DR, but not rapamycin, have an effect on the transcriptome of the adipose tissue, suggesting that these two manipulations increase lifespan through different mechanisms/pathways.
    Mechanisms of Ageing and Development 07/2014; 140(1). DOI:10.1016/j.mad.2014.07.004 · 3.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This report is the first description of dosing procedures, pharmacokinetics, biochemical action, and general tolerability of the antiaging drug rapamycin in the common marmoset, a small and short-lived monkey. Eudragit-encapsulated rapamycin was given orally to trained marmosets in a short-term (3 weeks) and a long-term (14 months) study. Circulating trough rapamycin levels (mean = 5.2ng/mL; 1.93-10.73 ng/mL) achieved at roughly 1.0 mg/kg/day was comparable to those reported in studies of rodents and within the therapeutic range for humans. Long-term treated animals (6/8) indicated a reduction in mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 signaling as noted by a decrease in the phospho rpS6 to total rpS6 ratio after 2 weeks of treatment. All long-term treated subjects had detectable concentrations of rapamycin in liver (4.7-19.9 pg/mg) and adipose tissue (2.2-32.8 pg/mg) with reduced mammalian target of rapamycin signaling in these tissues. There was no evidence of clinical anemia, fibrotic lung changes, or mouth ulcers. The observed death rate in the long-term study was as expected given the animals' ages. The ability to rapidly and reliably dose socially housed marmosets with an oral form of rapamycin that is well tolerated and that demonstrates a suppression of the mammalian target of rapamycin pathway leads us to conclude that this species offers a viable model for rapamycin testing to establish safety and efficacy for long-term antiaging intervention.
    The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 07/2014; 70(5). DOI:10.1093/gerona/glu101 · 4.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rapamycin was found to increase (11% to 16%) the lifespan of male and female C57BL/6J mice most likely by reducing the increase in the hazard for mortality (i.e., the rate of aging) term in the Gompertz mortality analysis. To identify the pathways that could be responsible for rapamycin's longevity effect, we analyzed the transcriptome of liver from 25-month-old male and female mice fed rapamycin starting at 4 months of age. Few changes (<300 transcripts) were observed in transcriptome of rapamycin-fed males; however, a large number of transcripts (>4,500) changed significantly in females. Using multidimensional scaling and heatmap analyses, the male mice fed rapamycin were found to segregate into two groups: one group that is almost identical to control males (Rapa-1) and a second group (Rapa-2) that shows a change in gene expression (>4,000 transcripts) with more than 60% of the genes shared with female mice fed Rapa. Using ingenuity pathway analysis, 13 pathways were significantly altered in both Rapa-2 males and rapamycin-fed females with mitochondrial function as the most significantly changed pathway. Our findings show that rapamycin has a major effect on the transcriptome and point to several pathways that would likely impact the longevity.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e83988. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0083988 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Deletion of copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD) in Sod1(-/-) mice leads to accelerated loss of muscle mass and force during aging, but the losses do not occur with muscle-specific deletion of CuZnSOD. To determine how the role of motor neurons in the muscle declines, we generated transgenic Sod1(-/-) mice in which CuZnSOD was expressed under control of the synapsin 1 promoter (SynTgSod1(-/-) mice). SynTgSod1(-/-) mice expressed CuZnSOD in brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerve, but not in other tissues. Sciatic nerve CuZnSOD content in SynTgSod1(-/-) mice was ∼20% that of control mice, but no reduction in muscle mass or isometric force was observed in SynTgSod1(-/-) mice compared with control animals, whereas muscles of age-matched Sod1(-/-) mice displayed 30-40% reductions in mass and force. In addition, increased oxidative damage and adaptations in stress responses observed in muscles of Sod1(-/-) mice were absent in SynTgSod1(-/-) mice, and degeneration of neuromuscular junction (NMJ) structure and function occurred in Sod1(-/-) mice but not in SynTgSod1(-/-) mice. Our data demonstrate that specific CuZnSOD expression in neurons is sufficient to preserve NMJ and skeletal muscle structure and function in Sod1(-/-) mice and suggest that redox homeostasis in motor neurons plays a key role in initiating sarcopenia during aging.-Sakellariou, G. K., Davis, C. S., Shi, Y., Ivannikov, M. V., Zhang, Y., Vasilaki, A., Macleod, G. T., Richardson, A., Van Remmen, H., Jackson, M. J., McArdle, A., Brooks, S. V. Neuron-specific expression of CuZnSOD prevents the loss of muscle mass and function that occurs in homozygous CuZnSOD-knockout mice.
    The FASEB Journal 12/2013; 28(4). DOI:10.1096/fj.13-240390 · 5.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rapamycin (Rapa) and dietary restriction (DR) have consistently been shown to increase lifespan. To investigate whether Rapa and DR affect similar pathways in mice, we compared the effects of feeding mice ad libitum (AL), Rapa, DR, or a combination of Rapa and DR (Rapa + DR) on the transcriptome and metabolome of the liver. The principal component analysis shows that Rapa and DR are distinct groups. Over 2500 genes are significantly changed with either Rapa or DR when compared with mice fed AL; more than 80% are unique to DR or Rapa. A similar observation was made when genes were grouped into pathways; two-thirds of the pathways were uniquely changed by DR or Rapa. The metabolome shows an even greater difference between Rapa and DR; no metabolites in Rapa-treated mice were changed significantly from AL mice, whereas 173 metabolites were changed in the DR mice. Interestingly, the number of genes significantly changed by Rapa + DR when compared with AL is twice as large as the number of genes significantly altered by either DR or Rapa alone. In summary, the global effects of DR or Rapa on the liver are quite different and a combination of Rapa and DR results in alterations in a large number of genes and metabolites that are not significantly changed by either manipulation alone, suggesting that a combination of DR and Rapa would be more effective in extending longevity than either treatment alone.
    Aging cell 12/2013; 13(2). DOI:10.1111/acel.12175 · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Frailty is a geriatric syndrome associated with physical decline with aging. Using a proteomics-based screening method to screen plasma for potential biomarkers, we previously found inflammatory glycoproteins to be increased with frailty. The purpose of this study was to confirm if plasma levels of these glycoproteins, as well as of interleukin-6, are increased with frailty in a larger sample (n = 65) of community-dwelling older adults. Plasma levels of transferrin, fibrinogen, haptoglobin, and interleukin-6 were determined with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Differences in protein concentrations by frailty status were determined using analysis of variance. Higher levels of transferrin (p < .001), fibrinogen (p < .0001), and interleukin-6 (p = .0035) were associated with frailty status (nonfrail, prefrail, or frail) and frailty score (0-5) in this sample even after adjustment for age and sex. Haptoglobin did not differ by frailty status (p = .05). Our findings largely confirmed the findings of our nontargeted approach that inflammatory glycoproteins are increased with frailty. Future studies should include larger examinations of these associations and consider the potential usefulness of these glycoproteins as biomarkers for frailty.
    The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 11/2013; 69(2). DOI:10.1093/gerona/glt183 · 4.98 Impact Factor
  • Adam Salmon · Roy Liu · Daniel Pulliam · Arlan Richardson
    Free Radical Biology and Medicine 11/2013; 65:S117. DOI:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2013.10.685 · 5.71 Impact Factor
  • Arlan Richardson
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    ABSTRACT: The discovery that rapamycin increased the lifespan of mice was recognized by Science as one of the top 10 scientific breakthroughs of 2009. In addition to increasing lifespan, Neff and colleagues show that while rapamycin improves several functions/pathologies that change with age, it has little effect on the majority of the physiological and structural parameters they evaluated. What do these data tell us about the ability of rapamycin to delay aging and improve quality of life, i.e., prevent the fate of Tithonus?
    The Journal of clinical investigation 08/2013; 123(8):3204-6. DOI:10.1172/JCI70800 · 13.77 Impact Factor
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    Yuhong Liu · Wenbo Qi · Arlan Richardson · Holly Van Remmen · Yuji Ikeno · Adam B Salmon
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    ABSTRACT: The development of insulin resistance is the primary step in the etiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus. There are several risk factors associated with insulin resistance, yet the basic biological mechanisms that promote its development are still unclear. There is growing literature that suggests mitochondrial dysfunction and/or oxidative stress play prominent roles in defects in glucose metabolism. Here, we tested whether increased expression of CuZn-superoxide dismutase (Sod1) or Mn-superoxide dismutase (Sod2) prevented obesity-induced changes in oxidative stress and metabolism. Both Sod1 and Sod2 overexpressing mice were protected from high fat diet-induced glucose intolerance. Lipid oxidation (F2-isoprostanes) was significantly increased in muscle and adipose with high fat feeding. Mice with increased expression of either Sod1 or Sod2 showed a significant reduction in this oxidative damage. Surprisingly, mitochondria from the muscle of high fat diet-fed mice showed no significant alteration in function. Together, our data suggest that targeting reduced oxidative damage in general may be a more applicable therapeutic target to prevent insulin resistance than by improving mitochondrial function.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 07/2013; 438(1). DOI:10.1016/j.bbrc.2013.07.029 · 2.28 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

9k Citations
826.15 Total Impact Points


  • 2014–2015
    • University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
      Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
    • Washington University in St. Louis
      • Division of Hematology and oncology
      San Luis, Missouri, United States
  • 1992–2014
    • University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
      • • Department of Cellular and Structural Biology
      • • Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies
      • • Department of Physiology
      • • Division of Hospital Medicine
      San Antonio, Texas, United States
  • 1997–2013
    • University of Texas at San Antonio
      San Antonio, Texas, United States
  • 2007
    • Wayne State University
      • Department of Nutrition and Food Science
      Detroit, Michigan, United States
  • 1976–1991
    • Illinois State University
      • • Department of Chemistry
      • • School of Biological Sciences
      Normal, Illinois, United States