Insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor immunoreactive cells are selectively maintained in the paraventricular hypothalamus of calorically restricted mice
The mammalian lifespan is dramatically extended by both caloric restriction (CR) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) suppression. Both interventions involve neuroendocrine alterations directed by the hypothalamus. Yet, it remains unclear whether CR exerts its affects by altering central IGF-1 sensitivity. With this question in mind, we investigated the influence of CR and normal aging on hypothalamic IGF-1 sensitivity, by measuring the changes in IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R) populations. Taking IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R) immunoreactivity as an index of sensitivity to IGF-1, we counted IGF-1R immunoreactive and non-immunoreactive cells in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of Young-ad libitum fed (Young-Al, 6 weeks old), Old-ad libitum fed (Old-Al, 22 months old), and old calorically restricted (Old-CR, 22 months old) female B6D2F1 mice. An automated imaging microscopy system (AIMS) was used to generate cell counts for each cross-section of PVN hypothalamus. Ad libitum fed mice show a 37% reduction in IGF-1R immunoreactive cells and a 12% reduction in the total cell population of the PVN with aging. In comparison, caloric-restricted mice show a 33% reduction in IGF-1R immunoreactive cells and a notable 24% decrease in the total cell population with aging. This selective maintenance of IGF-1R expressing cells coupled with the simultaneous loss of non-immunoreactive cells, results in a higher percentage of IGF-1R immunoreactive cells in the PVNs of CR mice. Thus, the decline in the percentage of IGF-1 sensitive cells in the PVN with age is attenuated by CR.
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