[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rapamycin has been shown to extend lifespan in rodent models, but the effects on metabolic health and function have been widely debated in both clinical and translational trials. Prior to rapamycin being used as a treatment to extend both lifespan and healthspan in the human population, it is vital to assess the side effects of the treatment on metabolic pathways in animal model systems, including a closely related non-human primate model. In this study, we found that long-term treatment of marmoset monkeys with orally-administered encapsulated rapamycin resulted in no overall effects on body weight and only a small decrease in fat mass over the first few months of treatment. Rapamycin treated subjects showed no overall changes in daily activity counts, blood lipids, or significant changes in glucose metabolism including oral glucose tolerance. Adipose tissue displayed no differences in gene expression of metabolic markers following treatment, while liver tissue exhibited suppressed G6Pase activity with increased PCK and GPI activity. Overall, the marmosets revealed only minor metabolic consequences of chronic treatment with rapamycin and this adds to the growing body of literature that suggests that chronic and/or intermittent rapamycin treatment results in improved health span and metabolic functioning. The marmosets offer an interesting alternative animal model for future intervention testing and translational modeling.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is growing evidence that oxidative stress plays an integral role in the processes by which obesity causes type 2 diabetes. We previously identified that mice lacking the protein oxidation repair enzyme methionine sulfoxide reductase A (MsrA) are particularly prone to obesity-induced insulin resistance suggesting an unrecognized role for this protein in metabolic regulation. The goals of this study were to test whether increasing the expression of MsrA in mice can protect against obesity-induced metabolic dysfunction and to elucidate the potential underlying mechanisms. Mice with increased levels of MsrA in the mitochon-dria (TgMito MsrA) or in the cytosol (TgCyto MsrA) were fed a high fat/high sugar diet and parameters of glucose homeostasis were monitored. Mitochondrial content, markers of mitochondrial proteostasis and mitochondrial energy utilization were assessed. TgMito MsrA, but not TgCyto MsrA, mice remain insulin sensitive after high fat feeding, though these mice are not protected from obesity. This metabolically healthy obese phenotype of TgMito MsrA mice is not associated with changes in mitochondrial number or biogenesis or with a reduction of proteostatic stress in the mitochondria. However, our data suggest that increased mitochondrial MsrA can alter metabolic homeostasis under diet-induced obesity by activating AMPK signaling, thereby defining a potential mechanism by which this genetic alteration can prevent insulin resistance without affecting obesity. Our data suggest that identification of targets that maintain and regulate the integrity of the mitochondrial prote-ome, particular against oxidative damage, may play essential roles in the protection against metabolic disease.
PLoS ONE 10/2015; 10(10):e0139844. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0139844 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined the effect of rapamycin on the life span of a mouse model of type 2 diabetes, db/db mice. At 4 months of age, male and female C57BLKSJ-lepr (db/db) mice (db/db) were placed on either a control diet, lacking rapamycin or a diet containing rapamycin and maintained on these diets over their life span. Rapamycin was found to reduce the life span of the db/db mice. The median survival of male db/db mice fed the control and rapamycin diets was 349 and 302 days, respectively, and the median survival of female db/db mice fed the control and rapamycin diets was 487 and 411 days, respectively. Adjusting for gender differences, rapamycin increased the mortality risk 1.7-fold in both male and female db/db mice. End-of-life pathological data showed that suppurative inflammation was the main cause of death in the db/db mice, which is enhanced slightly by rapamycin treatment.
The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 10/2015; DOI:10.1093/gerona/glv170 · 5.42 Impact Factor
[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 · 5.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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 · 3.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several decades of research have shown that macromolecular damage increases with age and that damage to protein, DNA, lipids,
and other macromolecular components appears to be important factors in specific age-related diseases. The strongest evidence
that macromolecular damage is a causative factor in aging comes from studies using manipulations that increase life span.
However, it is currently unclear whether damage to macromolecules plays a role in the actual processes of aging. In other
words, is macromolecular damage driven by aging or is it that damage to a key molecular component directly causes aging?
The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 06/2014; 69 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S28-32. DOI:10.1093/gerona/glu056 · 5.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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