Experimental Gerontology

Published by Elsevier BV

Print ISSN: 0531-5565


Age-dependent changes of protein structure
  • Article

February 1983


23 Reads


Nelly N. Orlovska


Anatoly G. Sukhomudrenko
The significantly increased helical content is observed in muscle aldolase molecule of old rabbits. The unfolding and refolding of protein conformation followed by circular dichroism, fluorescence and enzyme activity showed the recovery of initial conformation after the denaturation. The protein folds into the form that existed prior to denaturation--"young" into "young" and "old" into "old"--the conformational differences between them being restored. This suggests that the primary structure modifications prior to the folding of the native protein conformation are the origin of the age-dependent differences of aldolase structure and function.

Effect of centrophenoxine and BCE-001 treatment on lateral diffusion of proteins in the hepatocyte plasma membrane as revealed by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching in rat liver smears

February 1989


14 Reads

The average lateral diffusion coefficient of proteins (D) in the cell membrane of hepatocytes has been measured in liver smears by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), based on the so-called peroxide-induced autofluorescence (PIAF) deriving from the oxidation of riboflavin bound to membrane proteins. It has been previously shown that D displays a significant negative linear age correlation. The in vivo effects of two drugs were tested on this parameter. Young (2.7 months) and old (24-26 months) male rats received centrophenoxine (CPH) or a new drug (BCE-001) by either intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection or per os through a gastric tube for 26 to 42 days. D was measured on a double-blind basis in the hepatocyte plasma membrane of treated and control groups. The CPH and BCE-001 treatments did not affect the value of D in the young rats. However, the latter drug increased their growth rate. An increase of D in old animals was induced by treatment with either drug. When the drug effects in old rats were compared, BCE-001 proved to be more efficient than CPH, and at the same time was able to significantly retard the age-dependent loss of body weight characteristic of these animals at the age of approximately 2 years. Our results are in good accord with the predictions of the membrane hypothesis of aging as regards the role of properly placed OH. free radical scavengers in the improvement of membrane and overall cell function.

Drosophila Aging 2005/06

January 2007


42 Reads

Drosophila continues to be a model system of choice to study the genetics of aging. It has a short lifespan and small genome size, but nevertheless contains a complex organ and endocrine system that allows studying the role of conserved signal transduction pathways with sophisticated genetic tools. Oxidative stress and metabolic changes along with intersecting signaling systems Insulin Receptor (InR), Target of Rapamycin (TOR) and Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK) have emerged as some of the major players in aging. Sleep and organ-specific aging has also been the subject of recent progress in understanding aging.

The effect of 1,2,4-thiotriazolyl 5-mercaptoacetic acid new derivatives on lipid peroxidation in the heart from adult and old rats during stress

May 2002


11 Reads

The effect of 3-(4-pyridyl)-1,2,4-thiotriazolyl 5-mercaptoacetic acid kalium salt (Rumosol) and 3-(4-pyridyl)-1,2,4-thiotriazolyl 5-mercaptoacetic acid morpholinium salt (drug 2) on the concentration of Schiff base in myocardium of adult (10-12 months) and old (22-25 months) Wistar rats during immobilized stress were investigated. Here we show that the accumulation of Schiff base in the heart from both age groups was inhibited after injection of derivatives of 1,2,4-thiotriazolyl 5-mercaptoacetic acid prior to immobilization. Drug 2 possessed a two-fold higher pronounced capacity against Rumosol to inhibit the accumulation of Schiff base in the heart during stress. In myocardium from old rats, drug 2 decreased more effectively the stress-induced stimulation of lipid peroxidation as compared to dimethyl sulfoxide.

Age and gender effects on 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3-regulated gene expression

November 1995


57 Reads

Julie A. Johnson






Several factors involved in regulation of bone mineral metabolism were compared in male and female Fischer 344 rats of different ages (1, 2.5, 6, and 18 months). Plasma 1,25-(OH)2D3 concentrations decreased with age in rats of both genders. Abundance of calbindin-D28K and its mRNA in kidney and calbindin-D9K and its mRNA in duodenum also decreased with age in both male and female rats. Renal 24-hydroxylase activity and 24-hydroxylase mRNA content were elevated significantly in 18-month-old males and females, compared with younger ages. These data suggest that increased renal catabolism of 1,25-(OH)2D3 may be responsible for low plasma 1,25-(OH)2D3 concentrations observed in older animals. Plasma PTH and 1,25-(OH)2D3 concentrations, renal 24-hydroxylase enzyme activity and 24-hydroxylase mRNA content, duodenal 24-hydroxylase mRNA abundance, and duodenal calbindin-D9K and calbindin-D9K mRNA content were greater in males than in females at 2.5 months of age. Lower plasma 1,25-(OH)2D3 concentrations in females seem to explain observed gender differences in expression of 1,25-(OH)2D3-stimulated genes. The combined effects of these gender differences at ages when peak bone density is being developed may contribute to the greater incidence of osteoporosis in females than in males.

1,25-Dihydroxy-vitamin D-3 (calcitriol)-dependent protein phosphorylation in rat duodenum: effects of ageing

January 2000


20 Reads

We have examined the ability of 1,25(OH)2-vitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3; calcitriol], the hormonal form of vitamin D3, to stimulate the phosphorylation of proteins in rat duodenum from young (3 months) and aged (22-24 months) rats. Brief (30 s) exposure of duodenum preincubated with 32P-orthophosphate to the hormone increased the labeling of whole tissue proteins, an effect that was greatly diminished in aged animals. The response was dose-dependent, with maximal stimulation achieved at 1 nM calcitriol (+113% and +10% for young and aged rats, respectively). Phosphoproteins were resolved by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and identified by autoradiography. The hormone potentiated the phosphorylation predominantly on serine, threonine, and tyrosine residues of five acidic proteins of relative molecular masses of 66, 48, 45, 28, and 16 kDa. Moreover, the effects of calcitriol were exerted at the membrane level and varied as a function of exposure time. Direct treatment of purified basal lateral membranes for 30 s with the hormone (1 nM) stimulated the incorporation of 32P of a 66 kDa protein by 75% and of a 48 and 45 kDa proteins by 60%. The effects of the hormone on basal lateral membrane protein phosphorylation were suppressed by the PKA, PKC, and tyrosine kinase inhibitors, Rp-cAMPS, bisindolylmaleimide, and genistein, respectively. In basal lateral membrane isolated from old animals, only minor changes in calcitriol-induced protein phosphorylation of the 66-kDa protein were observed. Taken together, these results suggest that calcitriol modulates duodenal membrane protein phosphorylation, at least in part through PKA, PKC, and tyrosine kinases, and that this mechanism is severely altered with ageing. The identity of the proteins whose phosphorylation was stimulated by calcitriol and their physiological role is currently under investigation.

1,25(OH)2D3 inhibits bone marrow adipogenesis in senescence accelerated mice (SAM-P/6) by decreasing the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma 2 (PPARγ2)

March 2004


32 Reads

Senile osteoporosis is the endpoint of a continuum that starts after the third decade of life when peak bone mass is attained and then is followed by a progressive and irreversible decline in bone mass. One of the mechanisms that could explain this is the increasing levels of adipogenesis in bone marrow seen with increasing age, probably due to alterations in the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). Senescence accelerated mice (SAM-P/6) constitute an accepted model for senile osteoporosis since their loss of bone mineral density is clearly due to high levels of adipogenesis and a deficit in osteoblastogenesis. It is known that MSC expressing a ligand-activated transcription factor known as peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor gamma 2 (PPARgamma2) are committed to differentiate into adipocytes. The regulation of PPARgamma2 activation may play a role in the control of adipogenic differentiation of MSC and thus contribute to their differentiation into osteoblasts in order to form new bone. Our previous studies have shown that the active form of vitamin D (1,25(OH)(2)D(3)) plays a role as a bone forming agent because it induces osteoblastogenesis and inhibits adipogenesis in bone marrow of SAM-P/6 mice. To elucidate the role of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) on the expression of PPARgamma2 we treated 4-month old SAM-P/6 mice with 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) (18pmol/24 h) or vehicle during 6 weeks. Initially we found that with aging the levels of PPARgamma2 expression increase in bone marrow of SAM-P/6 (P<0.001) We then measured the changes in the expression of PPARgamma2 by semi-quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and immunofluorescence. We found a significant reduction of PPARgamma2-expressing cells in 1,25(OH)(2)D(3)-treated (32% +/-6) as compared to vehicle (76% +/-5) treated mice (p<0.01) In summary, this study shows that the administration of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) in an in vivo model of senile osteoporosis is associated with reduction in PPARgamma2 a key transcription factor for the adipose differentiation of MSC.

1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 increases the toxicity of hydrogen peroxide: the role of calcium and heat shock

February 1990


11 Reads

1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25-(OH)2D3] increases synthesis of heat shock proteins in monocytes and U937 cells and protects these cells from thermal injury. We therefore examined whether 1,25-(OH)2D3 would also modulate the susceptibility to H2O2-induced oxidative stress. Prior incubation for 24 h with 1,25-(OH)2D3 (25 pM or higher) produced unexpected increased H2O2 toxicity. Since cellular Ca2+ may be a mediator of cell injury, we investigated the effects of altering extracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]e) on 1,25-(OH)2D3-enhanced H2O2 toxicity, as well as the effects of 1,25-(OH)2D3 and H2O2 on cytosolic-free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]f). Basal [Ca2+]f in medium containing 1.5 mM Ca2+ as determined by fura-2 fluorescence was higher in 1,25-(OH)2D3-pretreated cells than control cells (137 versus 112 nM, p less than 0.005). H2O2 induced a rapid increase in [Ca2+]f (to greater than 300 nM) in both 1,25-(OH)2D3-treated and control cells, which was prevented by a reduction in [Ca2+]e to less than basal [Ca2+]f. The 1,25-(OH)2D3-induced increase in H2O2 toxicity was also prevented by preincubation with 1,25-(OH)2D3 in Ca2(+)-free medium or by exposing the cells to H2O2 in the presence of EGTA. Preexposure of cells to 45 degrees C for 20 min, 4 h earlier, partially prevented the toxic effects of H2O2 particularly in 1,25-(OH)2D3-treated cells, even in the presence of physiological levels of [Ca2+]e. Thus, 1,25-(OH)2D3 potentiates H2O2-induced injury probably by increasing cellular Ca2+ stores. The protective effects of heat shock are probably exerted at a site distal to the toxic effects of Ca2+. The 1,25-(OH)2D3-induced amplification of the heat shock response likely represents a mechanism for counteracting the Ca2(+)-associated enhanced susceptibility of oxidative injury due to 1,25-(OH)2D3.

Single dose treatment with PARP-inhibitor INO-1001 improves aging-associated cardiac and vascular dysfunction

August 2007


37 Reads

Overproduction of reactive oxygen species in aging tissues has been implicated in the pathogenesis of aging-associated cardiovascular dysfunction. Oxidant-induced DNA-damage activates the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) pathway, leading to tissue injury. In this study we investigated the acute effects of the PARP inhibitor INO-1001 on aging-associated cardiac and endothelial dysfunction. Using a pressure-volume conductance catheter, left ventricular pressure-volume analysis of young and aging rats was performed before and after a single injection of INO-1001. Endothelium-dependent and -independent vasorelaxation of isolated aortic rings were investigated by using acetylcholine and sodium nitroprusside. Aging animals showed a marked reduction of myocardial contractility and endothelium-dependent relaxant responsiveness of aortic rings. Single dose INO-1001-treatment resulted in acute improvement in their cardiac and endothelial function. Immunohistochemistry for nitrotyrosine and poly(ADP-ribose) confirmed enhanced nitro-oxidative stress and PARP-activation in aging animals. Acute treatment with INO-1001 decreased PARP-activation, but did not affect nitrotyrosine-immunoreactivity. Our results demonstrate that the aging-associated chronic cardiovascular dysfunction can be improved, at least, short term, by a single treatment course with a PARP-inhibitor, supporting the role of the nitro-oxidative stress -- PARP -- pathway in the age-related functional decline of the cardiovascular system. Pharmacological inhibition of PARP may represent a novel therapeutic utility to improve aging-associated cardiovascular dysfunction.

Month of birth and survival to age 105+: Evidence from the age validation study of German semi-supercentenarians

November 2005


46 Reads

Using data from Germany, we examine if month of birth influences survival up to age 105. Since age reporting at the highest ages is notoriously unreliable we draw on age-validated information from a huge age validation project of 1487 alleged German semi-supercentenarians aged 105+. We use month of birth as an exogenous indicator for seasonal changes in the environment around the time of birth. We find that the seasonal distribution of birth dates changes with age. For 925 age-validated semi-supercentenarians the seasonality is more pronounced than at the time of their birth (1880-1900). Among the December-born the relative risk of survival from birth to age 105+is 16% higher than the average, among the June-born, 23% lower. The month-of-birth pattern in the survival risk of the German semi-supercentenarians resembles closely the month-of-birth pattern in remaining life expectancy at age 50 in Denmark.

Association between serum paraoxonase (PON1) gene promoter T(-107)C polymorphism, PON1 activity and HDL levels in healthy Sicilian octogenarians

August 2004


45 Reads

Age is associated with an enhanced low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation and atherosclerosis, thus, subjects over 80 years without cardiovascular disease provide a model to investigate the protective factors against atherosclerosis. Serum paraoxonase (PON1), an high density lipoprotein (HDL)-bound enzyme, prevents LDL oxidation. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the contribution of the PON1 promoter T(-107)C and coding region Gln192Arg (Q192R) and Leu55Met (L55M) polymorphisms to the resistance to develop cardiovascular events in Sicilian healthy octogenarians. Distribution of PON1 genotypes and activity, and biochemical parameters, were compared between 100 octogenarians and 200 adults. Individuals in the elderly group displayed significant higher levels of HDL-C (P < 0.001) and PON1 activity (P < 0.001). The analysis of PON1 genotypes distribution showed an higher percentage of (-107)CC among octogenarians compared with controls. A significant difference among T(-107)C genotypes respect to PON1 activity and HDL-C levels occurred in both groups. The CC genotype was associated with higher PON1 activity and HDL levels compared to the TT genotypes. In conclusion, our results provide a strong evidence that in healthy Sicilians ageing may be characterized by a low frequency of PON1 (-107)T 'risk' allele and by an high frequency of favourable genotypes such as (-107)CC, influencing PON1 activity and HDL-C levels.

[C-11]-DASB microPET imaging in the aged rat: Frontal and meso-thalamic increases in serotonin transporter binding

December 2011


98 Reads

Whereas molecular imaging studies in the aging human brain have predominantly demonstrated reductions in serotonin transporter (5-HTT) availability, the majority of the rodent studies, using autoradiographic methods, report increases in neural 5-HTT levels with age. To our knowledge, however, no previous rodent studies have assessed this topic in vivo, and therefore it remains unclear whether this discrepancy arises from methodological or inter-species differences. We performed an [(11)C]-DASB microPET study to evaluate the effects of aging on 5-HTT availability in the rat brain. To generate binding potential estimates, quantitative tracer kinetic modeling was applied using the simplified reference tissue model. A global increase in whole-brain [(11)C]-DASB binding potential was observed in the aged rats in comparison to the control group. More specifically, regional analyses revealed a highly significant increase in 5-HTT binding in the medial frontal cortex, and more modest increments in the midbrain/thalamus. Our results suggest that the frontal cortex represents a site of robust age-related alterations in the rat serotonergic system, and stress the need for further research assessing this topic in the human frontal cortex. Moreover, these findings suggest that the reported discrepancies between rodent and human data may reflect a divergence in the aging processes affecting human and rat serotonergic terminals.

A murine model for evaluating metastatic potential: Characterization of a 90–110-kDa metastasis-binding protein

September 1992


13 Reads

Reliable discriminatory tests to predict metastatic disease would clearly facilitate the management of cancer in the elderly. We have recently identified a 90-110-kilodalton (kDa) cell surface glycoprotein that is differentially expressed in benign and malignant murine adrenal carcinoma cells. In view of the proteins highly glycosylated nature, we have tested its ability to bind to a panel of agarose-bound lectins. Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), a lectin specific for terminal sialic acid and N-acetylglucosamine (G1cNAc), had a strong affinity for the metastasis-related protein but failed to detect such a glycoprotein in nonmetastatic cells. Treatment of cells with sialidase to remove terminal sialic acids did not affect the affinity of the protein for the lectin, indicating the presence of terminal G1cNAc. We show by in situ that this metastatic binding protein (MBP) is regionally concentrated on the surface of invasive cells but absent in cells unable to invade. We postulate that MBP plays an active role in cell migration through interactions with beta-1,4 galactosytransferase and basement membrane glycoproteines.

The non-synonymous polymorphism at position 114 of the WRN protein affects cholesterol efflux in vitro and correlates with cholesterol levels in vivo

March 2013


39 Reads

Werner syndrome (WS) is a recessive disorder characterized by the premature onset of a number of age-related diseases. The objective of the present study was to examine the degree of associations between non-synonymous coding Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in the WRN gene and markers of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension using meta-analyses publically available and to test their effect in WS fibroblasts. The P-value, after genomic control correction, for each non-synonymous coding SNP present in the WRN gene were retrieved from the International Consortium for Blood Pressure Genome-Wide Association Study, the Genome Wide Associations Scans for Total Cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides, and the Meta-Analyses of Glucose and Insulin-related traits Consortium. For SNPs significantly associated with cholesterol traits, we generated expression vectors containing the amino acid changes and measured cholesterol uptake and efflux in transfected WS fibroblasts. One SNP (rs2230009) changing a valine for an isoleucine at position 114 of the WRN protein was nominally associated with cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol measurements (P-values<0.05). Interestingly, a WRN cDNA expression vector bearing a valine at position 114 instead of isoleucine significantly affected cholesterol efflux in WS fibroblasts. These results implicate a functional effect of this WRN polymorphism on cholesterol metabolism.

Control of calcium channels in neuroblastoma cells (N1E-115)

February 1990


12 Reads

Neuroblastoma cells (N1E-115) were used as models of transient (T) and long-lasting (L) Ca++ channels. The whole cell version of the patch clamp technique was used to measure inward Ca++ currents, and the fluorescent indicator, Fura-2, was used to measure changes in intracellular Ca++. Cells were cultured and selected during recording so that predominantly T or L channel currents were measured. T channel currents did not respond to dihydropyridine or parathyroid hormone, whereas L channel currents did. BAY-K-8644 increased and nifedipine decreased L channel currents. After a 15 mM KCl challenge, cells with predominantly T channels responded with a transient change in intracellular Ca++, while cells with predominantly L channels showed a sustained response. PTH inhibited the increase in intracellular Ca++ in cells with L channels, but not in those with T channels. PTH may be an example of an endogenous calcium channel blocker, at least in neuroblastoma cells.

Ischemia-reperfusion in the adult mouse heart: Influence of age☆11Both authors contributed equally to this work.

September 1999


76 Reads

Age-related changes in the mouse heart after ischemia-reperfusion have not been well characterized. To test the hypothesis that advanced age was associated with increased susceptibility to myocardial injury after ischemia/reperfusion, we studied the hearts of young adult and old mice. In young adult (6-8 months) and aged (22-24 months) C57 BL/6 mice, we performed left anterior descending coronary artery ligation and subjected the hearts to 45 min of ischemia followed by varying periods of reperfusion of 15 min, 1 h, 4 h, and 24 h. We found that there was a significant age difference in the size of the infarct between the young adult and old hearts. There was also greater damage in the old hearts in terms of contraction band necrosis, myofiber tears, DNA fragmentation, and mitochondrial disruption. Thus, the old heart is more susceptible to injury after ischemia-reperfusion. This may be partly due to an age-associated decrease in coronary circulation and collateral flow, as well as other factors.

Sex-specific longevity associations defined by Tyrosine Hydroxylase-Insulin-Insulin Growth Factor 2 haplotypes on the 11p15.5 chromosomal region

December 2001


28 Reads

By studies in centenarians, it was recently found that an STR marker of the Tyrosine Hydroxylase (TH, 11p15.5) gene is associated with human longevity. The aim of the present study was to continue the exploration of the 11p15.5 chromosomal region in human longevity by analyzing two additional RFLP markers, which lie in the Insulin (INS) and Insulin Growth Factor 2 (IGF2) genes. Both the genes, which are localized downstream TH, are indeed good candidates in longevity, as ascertained on the basis of laboratory studies in experimental models. Neither INS nor IGF2 markers did reveal association with longevity. Nevertheless, linkage disequilibrium analyses showed sex-specific longevity associations defined by both TH-INS and TH-IGF2 haplotypes. On the whole, the results reinforce the involvement of the chromosomal region spanning from TH to IGF2 loci in controlling the longevity phenotype in humans.

In vivo imaging of muscarinic receptors in the aging female brain with (R,R)[123I]-I-QNB and single photon emission tomography

April 2005


61 Reads

The effect of age on brain muscarinic receptor density is unclear. Some in vivo neuroimaging studies have reported a large age-related reduction in muscarinic receptor density; however, others have reported increases or no change. The variability in these results most likely arises because of the heterogeneity of the populations studied, differences in quantification methods employed, and a paucity of subtype selective ligands. Thus, we used the m(1)/m(4) selective probe (R,R)[(123)I]-I-QNB to investigate age-related differences in brain muscarinic receptors in healthy females. We included 10 younger subjects (age range 26-37) and 22 older women (age range 57-82 years). The older women had significantly lower (R,R)[(123)I]-I-QNB binding in widespread brain regions including cerebral cortex and hippocampus. Across all subjects, regional binding was significantly negatively correlated with age. Thus, in this population of healthy women, there was an age-related reduction in muscarinic receptor density. This may contribute to age-related differences in cognitive function and risk for Alzheimer's disease.

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