bims-senagi Biomed News
on Senescence and aging
Issue of 2021‒01‒03
fifty-six papers selected by
Maria Grazia Vizioli
Mayo Clinic

  1. Aging (Albany NY). 2020 Dec 22. 12
      Progeroid murine models represent an emerging tool to investigate mechanisms of aging in an expedient and efficient manner. One prominent mechanism of aging is the accumulation of DNA damage and subsequent increase in cellular senescence, leading to age related pathologies. Ercc1-/Δ hypomorphic mice, which have a reduced level of the ERCC1-XPF DNA repair endonuclease complex, accumulate spontaneously occurring endogenous DNA damage similar to naturally aged mice, but at a faster rate. The resulting genomic damage gives rise to a senescent cell burden that is comparable to that of a naturally aged mouse. In fact, the expression of senescence and senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) markers in 4-5-month-old Ercc1-/Δ mice, along with other measurements of senescence, were equivalent and never exceeded the extent of that found in naturally aged mice. Furthermore, many features of both natural murine aging and human aging are present in Ercc1-/Δ mice. An emerging use of these mice is the ability to study age-related signaling pathways, including identifying different types of senescent cells and their key senescent cell anti-apoptotic pathways (SCAPs). Most importantly, this model represents a rapid, cost-effective mouse model for the evaluation in vivo of senolytic drugs and other gerotherapeutics.
    Keywords:  DNA damage; DNA repair; aging; cellular senescence; senolytic
  2. Aging Cell. 2020 Dec 23. e13283
      The mitochondrial free radical theory of aging suggests that accumulating oxidative damage to mitochondria and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) plays a central role in aging. Circulating cell-free mtDNA (ccf-mtDNA) isolated from blood may be a biomarker of disease. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are small (30-400 nm), lipid-bound vesicles capable of shuttling proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids as part of intercellular communication systems. Here, we report that a portion of ccf-mtDNA in plasma is encapsulated in EVs. To address whether EV mtDNA levels change with human age, we analyzed mtDNA in EVs from individuals aged 30-64 years cross-sectionally and longitudinally. EV mtDNA levels decreased with age. Furthermore, the maximal mitochondrial respiration of cultured cells was differentially affected by EVs from old and young donors. Our results suggest that plasma mtDNA is present in EVs, that the level of EV-derived mtDNA is associated with age, and that EVs affect mitochondrial energetics in an EV age-dependent manner.
    Keywords:  aging; biomarker; circulating cell-free mitochondrial DNA; exosomes; extracellular vesicles; intercellular communication; microvesicles; mitochondrial DNA
  3. Aging Cell. 2020 Dec 30. e13294
      Cellular senescence, a state of irreversible growth arrest triggered by various stressors, engages in a category of pathological processes, whereby senescent cells accumulate in mitotic tissues. Senolytics as novel medicine against aging and various diseases through the elimination of senescent cells has emerged rapidly in recent years. Exercise is a potent anti-aging and anti-chronic disease medicine, which has shown the capacity to lower the markers of cellular senescence over the past decade. However, whether exercise is a senolytic medicine for aging and various diseases remains unclear. Here, we have conducted a systematic review of the published literature studying the senolytic effects of exercise or physical activity on senescent cells under various states in both human and animal models. Exercise can reduce the markers of senescent cells in healthy humans, while it lowered the markers of senescent cells in obese but not healthy animals. The discrepancy between human and animal studies may be due to the relatively small volume of research and the variations in markers of senescent cells, types of cells/tissues, and health conditions. These findings suggest that exercise has senolytic properties under certain conditions, which warrant further investigations.
    Keywords:  cellular senescence; exercise; senescent cells; senolytic medicine; senolytics
  4. J Cell Biol. 2021 Feb 01. pii: e202010162. [Epub ahead of print]220(2):
      Senescence is a cellular program that prevents the replication of old, damaged, or cancerous cells. Senescent cells become growth arrested and undergo changes in their morphology, chromatin organization, and metabolism, and produce a bioactive secretome. This secretome, the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP), mediates many of the pathophysiological effects associated with senescent cells, for example, recruiting and activating immune cells such as macrophages. The relation between senescent cells and macrophages is intriguing: senescent cells recruit macrophages, can induce them to undergo senescence, or can influence their polarization. Senescent cells and macrophages share multiple phenotypic characteristics; both have a high secretory status, increased lysosome numbers, or the ability to activate the inflammasome. Senescent cells accumulate during aging and disease, and killing them results in widespread benefits. Here we discuss similarities between senescent cells and macrophages and interpret the latest developments in macrophage biology to understand the molecular mechanisms of cellular senescence. We describe evidence and effects of senescence in macrophages and speculate on the ontogeny of the senescent-like state in macrophages. Finally, we examine the macrophage-senescent cell interplay and its impact on macrophage effector functions during inflammatory conditions and in the tumor microenvironment.
  5. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2020 Dec 22.
      Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a coenzyme for redox reactions, making it central to energy metabolism. NAD+ is also an essential cofactor for non-redox NAD+-dependent enzymes, including sirtuins, CD38 and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases. NAD+ can directly and indirectly influence many key cellular functions, including metabolic pathways, DNA repair, chromatin remodelling, cellular senescence and immune cell function. These cellular processes and functions are critical for maintaining tissue and metabolic homeostasis and for healthy ageing. Remarkably, ageing is accompanied by a gradual decline in tissue and cellular NAD+ levels in multiple model organisms, including rodents and humans. This decline in NAD+ levels is linked causally to numerous ageing-associated diseases, including cognitive decline, cancer, metabolic disease, sarcopenia and frailty. Many of these ageing-associated diseases can be slowed down and even reversed by restoring NAD+ levels. Therefore, targeting NAD+ metabolism has emerged as a potential therapeutic approach to ameliorate ageing-related disease, and extend the human healthspan and lifespan. However, much remains to be learnt about how NAD+ influences human health and ageing biology. This includes a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms that regulate NAD+ levels, how to effectively restore NAD+ levels during ageing, whether doing so is safe and whether NAD+ repletion will have beneficial effects in ageing humans.
  6. Cells. 2020 12 10. pii: E2659. [Epub ahead of print]9(12):
      The progressive accumulation of apoptosis-resistant and secretory active senescent cells (SCs) in animal and human aged tissues may limit lifespan and healthspan and lead to age-related diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and metabolic syndrome. Thus, SCs are suggested targets in anti-aging therapy. In the last two decades, a number of nanomaterials have gained much attention as innovative tools in theranostic applications due to their unique properties improving target visualization, drug and gene delivery, controlled drug release, effective diagnosis, and successful therapy. Although the healthcare industry has focused on a plethora of applications of nanomaterials, it remains elusive how nanomaterials may modulate cellular senescence, a hallmark of aging. In this review paper, we consider novel nanotechnology-based strategies for healthspan promotion and the prevention of age-related dysfunctions that are based on the delivery of therapeutic compounds capable to preferentially killing SCs (nano-senolytics) and/or modulating a proinflammatory secretome (nano-senomorphics/nano-senostatics). Recent examples of SC-targeted nanomaterials and the mechanisms underlying different aspects of the nanomaterial-mediated senolysis are presented and discussed.
    Keywords:  cellular senescence; nanomaterials; nanotherapeutic-mediated senolysis; senolytics; senotherapy
  7. Biology (Basel). 2020 Dec 21. pii: E485. [Epub ahead of print]9(12):
      Cellular senescence represents a robust tumor-protecting mechanism that halts the proliferation of stressed or premalignant cells. However, this state of stable proliferative arrest is accompanied by the Senescence-Associated Secretory Phenotype (SASP), which entails the copious secretion of proinflammatory signals in the tissue microenvironment and contributes to age-related conditions, including, paradoxically, cancer. Novel therapeutic strategies aim at eliminating senescent cells with the use of senolytics or abolishing the SASP without killing the senescent cell with the use of the so-called "senomorphics". In addition, recent works demonstrate the possibility of modifying the composition of the secretome by genetic or pharmacological intervention. The purpose is not to renounce the potent immunostimulatory nature of SASP, but rather learning to modulate it for combating cancer and other age-related diseases. This review describes the main molecular mechanisms regulating the SASP and reports the evidence of the feasibility of abrogating or modulating the SASP, discussing the possible implications of both strategies.
    Keywords:  SASP; age-related disease; cancer therapy; inflammation; senescence; senolytic; senomorphic
  8. Front Pharmacol. 2020 ;11 601325
      Age-related disorders such as chronic kidney disease (CKD) are increasingly prevalent globally and pose unprecedented challenges. In many aspects, CKD can be viewed as a state of accelerated and premature aging. Aging kidney and CKD share many common characteristic features with increased cellular senescence, a conserved program characterized by an irreversible cell cycle arrest with altered transcriptome and secretome. While developmental senescence and acute senescence may positively contribute to the fine-tuning of embryogenesis and injury repair, chronic senescence, when unresolved promptly, plays a crucial role in kidney fibrogenesis and CKD progression. Senescent cells elicit their fibrogenic actions primarily by secreting an assortment of inflammatory and profibrotic factors known as the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Increasing evidence indicates that senescent cells could be a promising new target for therapeutic intervention known as senotherapy, which includes depleting senescent cells, modulating SASP and restoration of senescence inhibitors. In this review, we discuss current understanding of the role and mechanism of cellular senescence in kidney fibrosis. We also highlight potential options of targeting senescent cells for the treatment of CKD.
    Keywords:  chronic kidney disease; kidney fibrosis; premature aging; senescence; senescence-associated secretory phenotype; senotherapy
  9. Mech Ageing Dev. 2020 Dec 28. pii: S0047-6374(20)30221-9. [Epub ahead of print] 111425
      Decline in ovarian reserve with advancing age is associated with reduced fertility and the emergence of metabolic disturbances, osteoporosis, and neurodegeneration. Recent studies have provided insight into connections between ovarian insufficiency and systemic aging, although the basic mechanisms that promote ovarian reserve depletion remain unknown. Here, we sought to determine if chronological age is linked to changes in ovarian cellular senescence, transcriptomic, and epigenetic mechanisms in a mouse model. Histological assessments and transcriptional analyses revealed the accumulation of lipofuscin aggresomes and senescence-related transcripts (Cdkn1a, Cdkn2a, Pai-1 and Hmgb1) significantly increased with advancing age. Transcriptomic profiling and pathway analyses following RNA sequencing, revealed an upregulation of genes related to pro-inflammatory stress and cell-cycle inhibition, whereas genes involved in cell-cycle progression were downregulated; which could be indicative of senescent cell accumulation. The emergence of these senescence-related markers preceded the dramatic decline in primordial follicle reserve observed. Whole Genome Oxidative Bisulfite Sequencing (WGoxBS) found no genome-wide or genomic context-specific DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation changes with advancing age. These findings suggest that cellular senescence may contribute to ovarian aging, and thus, declines in ovarian follicular reserve. Cell-type-specific analyses across the reproductive lifespan are needed to fully elucidate the mechanisms that promote ovarian insufficiency.
    Keywords:  Aging; Cellular senescence; DNA methylation; Epigenetics; Ovary
  10. J Cell Physiol. 2020 Dec 24.
      Senescent cells can secrete a plethora of cytokines which induce senescent phenotype of neighboring cells and was called senescence-associated secretory phenotype. Previously, it was believed that cancer was caused by the infinite division and uncontrolled proliferation of cells. Based on this, anticancer treatments were all aimed at killing cancer cells. Cancer is now considered an age-related disease. Cancer cells are not exogenous, but one of the worst results of injuries which initially induce cell senescence. Therefore, reversing cell senescence can fundamentally prevent and treat cancer. Though current anticancer treatments induce the cancer cells apoptosis, they induce senescence of normal cells at the same time, thus promoting the occurrence and development of cancer and forming a vicious circle. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are nano-sized vesicles which partially mirror their parent cells. In the tumor microenvironment, EVs of senescent cells can change the expression profile of cancer cells, contributing to their resistance to chemotherapy. There is growing evidence indicates that stem cell EVs exert effective antiaging and anticancer actions by transferring functional microRNAs and proteins. This review will summarize the therapeutic role of stem cell EVs in reversing aging and cancer, which suggests the broad clinical application perspective.
    Keywords:  cancer; cell senescence; extracellular vesicles (EVs); miRNA; stem cell
  11. Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 2020 Dec 30.
      The study of cell senescence is a burgeoning field. Senescent cells can modify the cellular microenvironment through the secretion of a plethora of biologically active products referred to as the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). The consequences of these paracrine signals can be either beneficial for tissue homeostasis, if senescent cells are properly cleared and SASP activation is transient, or result in organ dysfunction, when senescent cells accumulate within the tissues and SASP activation is persistent. Several studies have provided evidence for a role of senescence and SASP in promoting age-related diseases or driving organismal ageing. The hype about senescence has been further amplified by the fact that a group of drugs, named senolytics, have been used to successfully ameliorate the burden of age-related diseases and increase health and life span in mice. Ablation of senescent cells in the brain prevents disease progression and improve cognition in murine models of neurodegenerative conditions. The role of senescence in cancer has been more thoroughly investigated, and it is now accepted that senescence is a double-edged sword that can paradoxically prevent or promote tumourigenesis in a context dependent manner. In addition, senescence induction followed by senolytic treatment is starting to emerge as a novel therapeutic avenue that could improve current anti-cancer therapies and reduce tumour recurrence. In this review, we discuss recent findings supporting a role of cell senescence in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases and in brain tumours. A better understanding of senescence is likely to result in the development of novel and efficacious anti-senescence therapies against these brain pathologies.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; Cell senescence; Parkinson’s disease; SASP; craniopharyngioma; diffuse midline glioma; glioblastoma multiforme; low-grade glioma; medulloblastoma; multiple sclerosis; senolytic
  12. Ageing Res Rev. 2020 Dec 29. pii: S1568-1637(20)30386-X. [Epub ahead of print] 101251
      As the world's population progressively ages, the burden on the socio-economic and health systems is escalating, demanding sustainable and lasting solutions. Cellular senescence, one of the hallmarks of ageing, is a state of irreversible cell cycle arrest that occurs in response to various genotoxic stressors and is considered an important factor in the development of many age-related diseases and therefore a potential therapeutic target. Here, the role of senescent cells in age-related diseases is discussed, focusing on their formation and main characteristics. The mechanisms leading to senescent cells are presented, including replicative and premature senescence as well as senescence that occurs in various physiological processes, such as wound healing. The second part comprises a comprehensive description of various biomarkers currently used for the detection of senescent cells along with the investigated therapeutic approaches, namely senolytics, senomorphics and the clearance of senescent cells by the immune system. Potential delivery systems suitable for such therapies and model organisms to study senescence are also briefly examined. This in-depth overview of cellular senescence contributes to a deeper understanding of a rapidly evolving area aimed to tackle the age-related diseases in a more mechanistic way, as well as highlights future research opportunities.
    Keywords:  age-related diseases; antiaging research; biomarkers; senescent cells; senolytics; senomorphics
  13. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2020 Dec 29. pii: S1382-6689(20)30252-0. [Epub ahead of print] 103575
      Telomeres are "protective messengers" at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes that protect them from degradation, end to end fusion and recombination. Admittedly, telomeres progressively shorten with age that can also be significantly accelerated by pathological conditions, which are often considered as potential contributors for cellular senescence. It is commonly believed that constant accumulation of senescent cells may lead to dysfunctional tissues and organs, thereby accelerating aging process and subsequent occurrence of age-related diseases. In particular, epidemiological data has indicated a significant association between environmental pollutants exposure and a high incidence of age-related diseases. Moreover, there is growing evidence that environmental toxicity has a detrimental impact on telomere length. Overall, a consensus is emerging that environmental pollutants exposure could lead to accelerated telomere erosion and further induce premature senescence, which may be responsible for the acceleration of aging and the high morbidity and mortality rates of age-related diseases.
    Keywords:  age-related diseases; aging; cellular senescence; environmental pollutants exposure; telomere length; telomeres
  14. Mech Ageing Dev. 2020 Dec 28. pii: S0047-6374(20)30224-4. [Epub ahead of print] 111428
      Many cellular stresses induce cellular senescence and the irreversible arrest of cell proliferation in different cell types. Although blocked in their capacity to divide, senescent cells are metabolically active and are characterized by a different metabolic phenotype as compared to non-senescent cells. Changes observed in senescent cells depend from the cell type and lead to an adaptative flexibility in the type of metabolism. This metabolic reprogramming is needed to cope with survival and with the energetic demands of the senescent program that include the increased secretion of senescence-associated secretory phenotype factors.
    Keywords:  Cellular senescence; immune cells; metabolism; non-immune cells
  15. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Dec 22. pii: E37. [Epub ahead of print]22(1):
      Sarcopenia has a significant negative impact on healthspan in the elderly and effective pharmacologic interventions remain elusive. We have previously demonstrated that sarcopenia is associated with reduced activity of the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase (SERCA) pump. We asked whether restoring SERCA activity using pharmacologic activation in aging mice could mitigate the sarcopenia phenotype. We treated 16-month male C57BL/6J mice with vehicle or CDN1163, an allosteric SERCA activator, for 10 months. At 26 months, maximal SERCA activity was reduced 41% in gastrocnemius muscle in vehicle-treated mice but maintained in old CDN1163 treated mice. Reductions in gastrocnemius mass (9%) and in vitro specific force generation in extensor digitorum longus muscle (11%) in 26 versus 16-month-old wild-type mice were also reversed by CDN1163. CDN1163 administered by intra-peritoneal injection also prevented the increase in mitochondrial ROS production in gastrocnemius muscles of aged mice. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that these effects are at least in part mediated by enhanced cellular energetics by activation of PGC1-α, UCP1, HSF1, and APMK and increased regenerative capacity by suppression of MEF2C and p38 MAPK signaling. Together, these exciting findings are the first to support that pharmacological targeting of SERCA can be an effective therapy to counter age-related muscle dysfunction.
    Keywords:  sarcopenia; sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium-transporting ATPase; skeletal muscle
  16. Front Pharmacol. 2020 ;11 553690
      Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is an aging-associated disease, satisfactory therapies are not yet available. Accelerated senescence of alveolar epithelial cells plays an important part in Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis pathogenesis. Fisetin (FIS) is a natural non-toxic flavonoid, which has many pharmacological functions. However, the role of FIS in pulmonary fibrosis has not been established. In this study, we found that FIS treatment apparently alleviated BLM-induced weight loss, inflammatory cells infiltration, inflammatory factors expression, collagen deposition and alveolar epithelial cell senescence, along with AMPK activation and the down regulation of NF-κB and TGF-β/Smad3 in vivo. In vitro, FIS administration significantly inhibited the senescence of alveolar epithelial cells and senescence-associated secretory phenotype, followed by reduced transdifferentiation of fibroblasts to myofibroblasts as well as collagen deposition in fibroblasts, which was blocked by an AMPK inhibitor, Compound C. Together, these results suggest that FIS can alleviate the development of BLM-induced pulmonary fibrosis, which is related to the inhibition of TGF-β/Smad3 signaling and the reduction of alveolar epithelium cell senescence by regulating AMPK/NF-κB signaling pathway. FIS may be a promising candidate for patients with pulmonary fibrosis.
    Keywords:  AMP-activated protein kinase; cellular senescence; fisetin; pulmonary fibrosis; senescence-associated secretory phenotype
  17. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Dec 18. pii: E9665. [Epub ahead of print]21(24):
      Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is a rare autosomal-recessive disorder that is mainly caused by mutations in the ATP-binding cassette sub-family C member 6 (ABCC6) gene. Clinically PXE is characterized by a loss of skin elasticity, arteriosclerosis or visual impairments. It also shares some molecular characteristics with known premature aging syndromes like the Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS). However, little is known about accelerated aging processes, especially on a cellular level for PXE now. Therefore, this study was performed to reveal a potential connection between premature cellular aging and PXE pathogenesis by analyzing cellular senescence, a corresponding secretory phenotype and relevant factors of the cell cycle control in primary human dermal fibroblasts of PXE patients. Here, we could show an increased senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-Gal) activity as well as an increased expression of proinflammatory factors of a senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) like interleukin 6 (IL6) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP1). We further observed an increased gene expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CDKI) p21, but no simultaneous induction of p53 gene expression. These data indicate that PXE is associated with premature cellular senescence, which is possibly triggered by a p53-independent p21-mediated mechanism leading to a proinflammatory secretory phenotype.
    Keywords:  cellular senescence; pseudoxanthoma elasticum; senescence-associated secretory phenotype
  18. Aging (Albany NY). 2020 Dec 30. 12
      Aging is emerging as a druggable target with growing interest from academia, industry and investors. New technologies such as artificial intelligence and advanced screening techniques, as well as a strong influence from the industry sector may lead to novel discoveries to treat age-related diseases. The present review summarizes presentations from the 7th Annual Aging Research and Drug Discovery (ARDD) meeting, held online on the 1st to 4th of September 2020. The meeting covered topics related to new methodologies to study aging, knowledge about basic mechanisms of longevity, latest interventional strategies to target the aging process as well as discussions about the impact of aging research on society and economy. More than 2000 participants and 65 speakers joined the meeting and we already look forward to an even larger meeting next year. Please mark your calendars for the 8th ARDD meeting that is scheduled for the 31st of August to 3rd of September, 2021, at Columbia University, USA.
    Keywords:  aging; artificial intelligence; drug discovery; interventions
  19. Antioxidants (Basel). 2020 Dec 29. pii: E25. [Epub ahead of print]10(1):
      Age-related retinal degenerations, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), are caused by the loss of retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) cells and photoreceptors. The pathogenesis of AMD, deeply linked to the aging process, also involves oxidative stress and inflammatory responses. However, the molecular mechanisms contributing to the shift from healthy aging to AMD are still poorly understood. Since RPE cells in the retina are chronically exposed to a pro-oxidant microenvironment throughout life, we simulated in vivo conditions by growing ARPE-19 cells in the presence of 10 μM H2O2 for several passages. This long-term oxidative insult induced senescence in ARPE-19 cells without affecting cell proliferation. Global proteomic analysis revealed a dysregulated expression in proteins involved in antioxidant response, mitochondrial homeostasis, and extracellular matrix organization. The analyses of mitochondrial functionality showed increased mitochondrial biogenesis and ATP generation and improved response to oxidative stress. The latter, however, was linked to nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) rather than nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) activation. NF-κB hyperactivation also resulted in increased pro-inflammatory cytokines expression and inflammasome activation. Moreover, in response to additional pro-inflammatory insults, senescent ARPE-19 cells underwent an exaggerated inflammatory reaction. Our results indicate senescence as an important link between chronic oxidative insult and detrimental chronic inflammation, with possible future repercussions for therapeutic interventions.
    Keywords:  ARPE-19; age-related macular degeneration; inflammasome; mitochondria; oxidative stress; proteomics; retinal pigment epithelium; senescence
  20. Aging (Albany NY). 2020 Dec 23. 12
      Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) patients often suffer from both muscle wasting and osteoporosis. Our previous studies have revealed reduced regeneration potential in skeletal muscle and bone, concomitant with ectopic calcification of soft tissues in double knockout (dKO, dystrophin-/-; utrophin-/-) mice, a severe murine model for DMD. We found significant involvement of RhoA/ROCK (Rho-Associated Protein Kinase) signaling in mediating ectopic calcification of muscles in dKO mice. However, the cellular identity of these RhoA+ cells, and the role that RhoA plays in the chronic inflammation-associated pathologies has not been elucidated. Here, we report that CD68+ macrophages are highly prevalent at the sites of ectopic calcification of dKO mice, and that these macrophages highly express RhoA. Macrophages from dKO mice feature a shift towards a more pro-inflammatory M1 polarization and an increased expression of various senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) factors that was reduced with the RhoA/ROCK inhibitor Y-27632. Further, systemic inhibition of RhoA activity in dKO mice led to reduced number of RhoA+/CD68+ cells, as well as a reduction in fibrosis and ectopic calcification. Together, these data revealed that RhoA signaling may be a key regulator of imbalanced mineralization in the dystrophic musculoskeletal system and consequently a therapeutic target for the treatment of DMD or other related muscle dystrophies.
    Keywords:  cellular senescence; chronic inflammation; heterotopic ossification; muscle dystrophy; muscle stem cell
  21. J Invest Dermatol. 2020 Dec 21. pii: S0022-202X(20)32294-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      As global life expectancy continues to rise, we are challenged with maintaining health into old age. One strategy is to target the chronic low-level inflammation associated with aging, termed inflammaging. This is characterized by increased levels of circulating proinflammatory cytokines and a shift toward cellular senescence, changes that are believed to drive many age-associated conditions, including dementia, arthritis, and type 2 diabetes. As with other organs, the skin undergoes functional decline during aging, becoming more fragile and susceptible to infection; however, the contribution of inflammaging is not well-understood. This review article describes the evidence for inflammaging in the skin, its relationship with senescence, and how this relates to declining skin structure and function.
  22. Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2020 Dec 28.
      Historically, the findings from cellular lifespan studies have greatly affected aging research. The discovery of replicative senescence by Hayflick developed into research on telomeres and telomerase, while stress-induced senescence became known as a telomere-independent event. Senescence-inducing signals comprise several tumor suppressors or cell cycle inhibitors, e.g., p53, cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p16 Ink4a and others. Stress-induced senescence serves as a physiological barrier to oncogenesis in vivo, while it activates senescence-associated secretary phenotype, inducing chronic inflammation. Thus, beside telomere length, p16, p53 and inflammatory cytokines have been utilized as biomarkers for cellular senescence. Telomere lengths in human leukocytes correlate well with events of aging-related lifestyle diseases, indicating the importance of cellular senescence in organismal aging. As such, the development of senescence research will have significant future clinical applications, e.g., senolysis. Geriatr Gerontol Int ••; ••: ••-•• Geriatr Gerontol Int 2020; ••: ••-••.
    Keywords:  SASP; cell cycle; senolysis; stress-induced senescence; telomere
  23. Circ Res. 2020 Dec 22.
      Rationale: Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) senescence promotes atherosclerosis and features of plaque instability, in part through lipid-mediated oxidative DNA damage and telomere dysfunction. Sirtuin 6 (SIRT6) is a nuclear deacetylase involved in DNA damage response signaling, inflammation and metabolism; however, its role in regulating VSMC senescence and atherosclerosis is unclear. Objective: We examined SIRT6 expression in human VSMCs (hVSMCs), the role, regulation and downstream pathways activated by SIRT6, and how VSMC SIRT6 regulates atherogenesis. Methods and Results: SIRT6 protein, but not mRNA, expression was markedly reduced in VSMCs in human and mouse atherosclerotic plaques, and in hVSMCs derived from plaques or undergoing replicative or palmitate-induced senescence vs. healthy aortic VSMCs. The ubiquitin ligase CHIP promoted SIRT6 stability, but CHIP expression was reduced in human and mouse plaque VSMCs and by palmitate in a p38- and c-Jun N-terminal kinase-dependent manner. SIRT6 bound to telomeres, while SIRT6 inhibition using shRNA or a deacetylase-inactive mutant (SIRT6H133Y) shortened hVSMC lifespan and induced senescence, associated with telomeric H3K9 hyperacetylation and 53BP1 binding, indicative of telomere damage. In contrast, SIRT6 overexpression preserved telomere integrity, delayed cellular senescence, and reduced inflammatory cytokine expression and changes in VSMC metabolism associated with senescence. SIRT6, but not SIRT6H133Y, promoted proliferation and lifespan of mouse VSMCs, and prevented senescence-associated metabolic changes. ApoE-/- mice were generated that overexpress SIRT6 or SIRT6H133Y in VSMCs only. SM22alpha-hSIRT6/ApoE-/- mice had reduced atherosclerosis, markers of senescence and inflammation compared to littermate controls, while plaques of SM22alpha-hSIRT6H133Y/ApoE-/- mice showed increased features of plaque instability. Conclusions: SIRT6 protein expression is reduced in human and mouse plaque VSMCs and is positively regulated by CHIP. SIRT6 regulates telomere maintenance and VSMC lifespan, and inhibits atherogenesis, all dependent on its deacetylase activity. Our data shows that endogenous SIRT6 deacetylase is an important and unrecognized inhibitor of VSMC senescence and atherosclerosis.
    Keywords:  cell senescence
  24. FASEB J. 2021 Jan;35(1): e21229
      Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common clinical problem, and patients who survive AKI have a high risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The mechanism of CKD post-AKI, characterized by progressive renal fibrosis, is still unclear. Maladaptive tubular epithelial cells (TECs) after AKI are considered a leading cause of renal fibrosis post-AKI. TECs under maladaptive repair manifest characteristics of senescence. Removing senescent TECs by genetic ablation has been proven effective in reducing renal fibrosis. Senolytics, which eliminate senescent cells by pharmacological intervention, have been studied in a series of degenerative diseases. To our knowledge, the effects of senolytics on renal fibrosis post-AKI have not been verified before. Here, we confirmed renal senescence in the unilateral ischemia/reperfusion injury murine model. Senescent TECs could activate fibroblasts and senolytics specifically induced apoptosis of senescent TECs. Next, we demonstrated that senolytics could reduce renal senescence and ameliorate renal fibrosis in both unilateral renal ischemia/reperfusion injury and multiple-cisplatin-treatment murine models. Our results indicate senescent TECs as a vital factor in renal fibrosis progression, and senolytic therapy might be promising for treating CKD post-AKI.
    Keywords:  acute kidney injury; chronic kidney disease; dasatinib; quercetin; senescence; senolytics
  25. Aging (Albany NY). 2020 Dec 27. 12
      DNA repair mechanisms play a crucial role in maintaining genome integrity. However, the increased frequency of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and genome rearrangements in aged individuals suggests an age-associated DNA repair deficiency. Previous work from our group revealed a delayed firing of the DNA damage response in human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs) from aged donors. We now report a decreased activity of the main DSB repair pathways, the canonical non-homologous end-joining (c-NHEJ) and the homologous recombination (HR) in these HMECs from older individuals. We describe here a deficient recruitment of 53BP1 to DSB sites in G1 cells, probably influenced by an altered epigenetic regulation. 53BP1 absence at some DSBs is responsible for the age-associated DNA repair defect, as it permits the ectopic formation of BRCA1 foci while still in the G1 phase. CtIP and RPA foci are also formed in G1 cells from aged donors, but RAD51 is not recruited, thus indicating that extensive DNA-end resection occurs in these breaks although HR is not triggered. These results suggest an age-associated switch of DSB repair from canonical to highly mutagenic alternative mechanisms that promote the formation of genome rearrangements, a source of genome instability that might contribute to the aging process.
    Keywords:  53BP1; BRCA1; aging; double-strand break repair; non-homologous end-joining
  26. Semin Cancer Biol. 2020 Dec 20. pii: S1044-579X(20)30270-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Senescence is a unique state of growth arrest that develops in response to a plethora of cellular stresses, including replicative exhaustion, oxidative injury, and genotoxic insults. Senescence has been implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple aging-related pathologies, including cancer. In cancer, senescence plays a dual role, initially acting as a barrier against tumor progression by enforcing a durable growth arrest in premalignant cells, but potentially promoting malignant transformation in neighboring cells through the secretion of pro-tumorigenic drivers. Moreover, senescence is induced in tumor cells upon exposure to a wide variety of conventional and targeted anticancer drugs (termed Therapy-Induced Senescence-TIS), representing a critical contributing factor to therapeutic outcomes. As with replicative or oxidative senescence, TIS manifests as a complex phenotype of macromolecular damage, energetic dysregulation, and altered gene expression. Senescent cells are also frequently polyploid. In vitro studies have suggested that polyploidy may confer upon senescent tumor cells the ability to escape from growth arrest, thereby providing an additional avenue whereby tumor cells escape the lethality of anticancer treatment. Polyploidy in tumor cells is also associated with persistent energy production, chromatin remodeling, self-renewal, stemness and drug resistance - features that are also associated with escape from senescence and conversion to a more malignant phenotype. However, senescent cells are highly heterogenous and can present with variable phenotypes, where polyploidy is one component of a complex reversion process. Lastly, emerging efforts to pharmacologically target polyploid tumor cells might pave the way towards the identification of novel targets for the elimination of senescent tumor cells by the incorporation of senolytic agents into cancer therapeutic strategies.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Chemotherapy; Polyploidy; Senescence; Senolytic
  27. Cancer Cell. 2020 Dec 22. pii: S1535-6108(20)30661-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cellular senescence is a response with two faces in cancer: it restricts tumor proliferation, but it can also promote cancer progression and metastasis. In this issue of Cancer Cell, Guccini et al. uncover the role of TIMP1 in prostate cancer allowing a switch from tumor-controlling to tumor-promoting senescence.
  28. Redox Biol. 2020 Dec 23. pii: S2213-2317(20)31048-X. [Epub ahead of print]40 101843
      The advent of combined antiretroviral treatment (cART) as a treatment for HIV-1 infection has not only resulted in a dramatic decrease in the peripheral viral load but has also led to increased life expectancy of the infected individuals. Paradoxically, increased lifespan is accompanied with higher prevalence of age-related comorbidities, including HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Present study was aimed at exploring the role of HIV TAT protein in mediating microglial mitochondrial oxidative stress, ultimately resulting in neuroinflammation and microglial senescence. Our findings demonstrated that exposure of mouse primary microglial cells (mPMs) to HIV TAT protein resulted in a senescence-like phenotype, that was characterized by elevated expression of both p16 and p21 proteins, increased numbers of senescence-associated-β-galactosidase positive cells, augmented cell-cycle arrest, increased release of proinflammatory cytokines and decreased telomerase activity. Additionally, exposure of mPMs to HIV TAT also resulted downregulation of SIRT3 with a concomitant increase in mitochondrial oxidative stress. Dual luciferase reporter assay identified miR-505 as a novel target of SIRT3, which was upregulated in mPMs exposed to HIV TAT. Furthermore, transient transfection of mPMs with either the SIRT3 plasmid or miRNA-505 inhibitor upregulated the expression of SIRT3 and mitochondrial antioxidant enzymes, with a concomitant decrease in microglial senescence. These in vitro findings were also validated in the prefrontal cortices and striatum of HIV transgenic rats as well as cART-treated HIV-infected individuals. In summary, this study underscores a yet undiscovered novel mechanism(s) underlying HIV TAT-mediated induction of senescence phenotype in microglia, involving the miR-505-SIRT3 axis-mediated induction of mitochondrial oxidative stress.
    Keywords:  HIV TAT; Microglial activation; Mitochondria stress; Neuroinflammation; SIRT3; miRNA
  29. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Jan 05. pii: e2015632118. [Epub ahead of print]118(1):
      The balance between NLRP3 inflammasome activation and mitophagy is essential for homeostasis and cellular health, but this relationship remains poorly understood. Here we found that interleukin-1α (IL-1α)-deficient macrophages have reduced caspase-1 activity and diminished IL-1β release, concurrent with reduced mitochondrial damage, suggesting a role for IL-1α in regulating this balance. LPS priming of macrophages induced pro-IL-1α translocation to mitochondria, where it directly interacted with mitochondrial cardiolipin (CL). Computational modeling revealed a likely CL binding motif in pro-IL-1α, similar to that found in LC3b. Thus, binding of pro-IL-1α to CL in activated macrophages may interrupt CL-LC3b-dependent mitophagy, leading to enhanced Nlrp3 inflammasome activation and more robust IL-1β production. Mutation of pro-IL-1α residues predicted to be involved in CL binding resulted in reduced pro-IL-1α-CL interaction, a reduction in NLRP3 inflammasome activity, and increased mitophagy. These data identify a function for pro-IL-1α in regulating mitophagy and the potency of NLRP3 inflammasome activation.
    Keywords:  IL-1α; autophagy; cardiolipin; inflammasome; mitochondria
  30. Aging Cell. 2020 Dec 29. e13284
      BACKGROUND: Heart disease is a frequent cause of hospitalization and mortality for elderly patients. A common feature of both heart disease and aging itself is the involvement of metabolic organ alterations ultimately leading to changes in circulating metabolite levels. However, the specific contribution of aging and ischemic injury to the metabolic dysregulation occurring in older adults with ischemic heart disease is still unknown.AIM: To evaluate the effects of aging and ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury on plasma metabolomic profiling in mice.
    METHODS: Young and aged mice were subjected to a minimally invasive model of I/R injury or sham operation. Complete evaluation of cardiac function and untargeted plasma metabolomics analysis were performed.
    RESULTS: We confirmed that aged mice from the sham group had impaired cardiac function and augmented left ventricular (LV) dimensions compared to young sham-operated mice. Further, we found that ischemic injury did not drastically reduce LV systolic/diastolic function and dyssynchrony in aged compared to young mice. Using an untargeted metabolomics approach focused on aqueous metabolites, we found that ischemic injury does not affect the plasma metabolomic profile either in young or old mice. Our data also demonstrate that age significantly affects circulating metabolite levels (predominantly amino acids, phospholipids and organic acids) and perturbs several pathways involved in amino acid, glucid and nucleic acid metabolism as well as pyridoxal-5'-phosphate salvage pathway in both sham and ischemic mice.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our approach increases our understanding of age-associated plasma metabolomic signatures in mice with and without heart disease excluding confounding factors related to metabolic comorbidities.
    Keywords:  LC-MS; aging; heart disease; metabolism; metabolomics; myocardial ischemia
  31. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2020 ;8 585644
      Osteoporosis and sarcopenia are two age-related diseases that affect the quality of life in the elderly. Initially, they were thought to be two independent diseases; however, recently, increasing basic and clinical data suggest that skeletal muscle and bone are both spatially and metabolically connected. The term "osteosarcopenia" is used to define a condition of synergy of low bone mineral density with muscle atrophy and hypofunction. Bone and muscle cells secrete several factors, such as cytokines, myokines, and osteokines, into the circulation to influence the biological and pathological activities in local and distant organs and cells. Recent studies reveal that extracellular vesicles containing microRNAs derived from senescent skeletal muscle and bone cells can also be transported and aid in regulating bone-muscle crosstalk. In this review, we summarize the age-related changes in the secretome and extracellular vesicle-microRNAs secreted by the muscle and bone, and discuss their interactions between muscle and bone cells during aging.
    Keywords:  aging; bone; crosstalk; muscle; osteosarcopenia
  32. Cell Biosci. 2020 Dec 29. 10(1): 147
      There are two kinds of condensins in human cells, known as condensin I and condensin II. The canonical roles of condensins are participated in chromosome dynamics, including chromosome condensation and segregation during cell division. Recently, a novel function of human condensins has been found with increasing evidences that they play important roles in cellular senescence. This paper reviewed the research progress of human condensins involved in different types of cellular senescence, mainly oncogene-induced senescence (OIS) and replicative senescence (RS). The future perspectives of human condensins involved in cellular senescence are also discussed.
    Keywords:  Cellular senescence; Human condensins; Oncogene-induced senescence; Replicative senescence
  33. Cell Biol Int. 2020 Dec 30.
      Acute lung injury (ALI) is a life-threatening medical condition with higher mortality and morbidity in elderly patients. Recently, metformin, a drug commonly used to lower blood glucose in type 2 diabetes patients, has been shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory agent in ALI. However, the mechanism of this regulation still remains poorly understood. In our study, we found epithelial cell senescence was elevated after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure in vivo and in vitro, accompany with decreased expression of ATG5 and impaired autophagy activity. In order to further discover the molecular regulation mechanism between cellular senescence and autophagy in LPS-treated MLE-12 cells, we demonstrated that inhibition of ATG5 could decrease autophagy levels and promote the senescence of MLE-12 cells. Oppositely, elevating the expression of ATG5 could effectively suppress LPS-induced cellular senescence via enhancing autophagy activity. In addition, we demonstrated metformin could protect MLE-12 cells from LPS-induced senescence via increasing the expression of ATG5 and augmenting autophagy activity. Our data implicates that activation of autophagy by metformin may provide a preventive and therapeutic strategy for ALI. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  ATG5; acute lung injury (ALI); autophagy; cellular senescence; lipopolysaccharide (LPS)
  34. iScience. 2021 Jan 22. 24(1): 101902
      The processes underlying synchronous multiple organ fibrosis in systemic sclerosis (SSc) remain poorly understood. Age-related pathologies are associated with organismal decline in nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) that is due to dysregulation of NAD+ homeostasis and involves the NADase CD38. We now show that CD38 is upregulated in patients with diffuse cutaneous SSc, and CD38 levels in the skin associate with molecular fibrosis signatures, as well as clinical fibrosis scores, while expression of key NAD+-synthesizing enzymes is unaltered. Boosting NAD+ via genetic or pharmacological CD38 targeting or NAD+ precursor supplementation protected mice from skin, lung, and peritoneal fibrosis. In mechanistic experiments, CD38 was found to reduce NAD+ levels and sirtuin activity to augment cellular fibrotic responses, while inhibiting CD38 had the opposite effect. Thus, we identify CD38 upregulation and resulting disrupted NAD+ homeostasis as a fundamental mechanism driving fibrosis in SSc, suggesting that CD38 might represent a novel therapeutic target.
    Keywords:  Human Metabolism; Immunology; Molecular Biology
  35. Cell Prolif. 2020 Dec 28. e12975
      OBJECTIVES: Diabetes is a risk factor for intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD). Studies have demonstrated that diabetes may affect IVDD through transcriptional regulation; however, whether post-transcriptional regulation is involved in diabetic IVDD (DB-IVDD) is still unknown. This study was performed to illustrate the role of HuR, an RNA-binding protein, in DB-IVDD development and its mechanism.MATERIALS AND METHODS: The expression of HuR was evaluated in nucleus pulposus (NP) tissues from diabetic IVDD patients and in high glucose-treated NP cells. Senescence and autophagy were assessed in HuR over-expressing and downregulation NP cells. The mRNAs that were regulated by HuR were screened, and immunoprecipitation was applied to confirm the regulation of HuR on targeted mRNAs.
    RESULTS: The results showed that the expression of HuR was decreased in diabetic NP tissues and high glucose-treated NP cells. Downregulation of HuR may lead to increased senescence in high glucose-treated NP cells, while autophagy activation attenuates senescence in HuR deficient NP cells. Mechanistic study showed that HuR prompted Atg7 mRNA stability via binding to the AU-rich elements. Furthermore, overexpression of Atg7, but not HuR, may ameliorate DB-IVDD in rats in vivo.
    CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, HuR may suppress senescence through autophagy activation via stabilizing Atg7 in diabetic NP cells; while Atg7, but not HuR, may serve as a potential therapeutic target for DB-IVDD.
    Keywords:  Atg7; HuR; autophagy; diabetes; intervertebral disc degeneration; senescence
  36. Aging Cell. 2020 Dec 28. e13287
      Ischemic stroke, the third leading cause of death in the Western world, affects mainly the elderly and is strongly associated with comorbid conditions such as atherosclerosis or diabetes, which are pathologically characterized by increased inflammation and are known to influence the outcome of stroke. Stroke incidence peaks during influenza seasons, and patients suffering from infections such as pneumonia prior to stroke exhibit a worse stroke outcome. Earlier studies have shown that comorbidities aggravate the outcome of stroke, yet the mediators of this phenomenon remain obscure. Here, we show that acute peripheral inflammation aggravates stroke-induced neuronal damage and motor deficits specifically in aged mice. This is associated with increased levels of plasma proinflammatory cytokines, rather than with an increase of inflammatory mediators in the affected brain parenchyma. Nascent transcriptomics data with mature microRNA sequencing were used to identify the neuron-specific miRNome, in order to decipher dysregulated miRNAs in the brains of aged animals with stroke and co-existing inflammation. We pinpoint a previously uninvestigated miRNA in the brain, miR-127, that is highly neuronal, to be associated with increased cell death in the aged, LPS-injected ischemic mice. Target prediction tools indicate that miR-127 interacts with several basally expressed neuronal genes, and of these we verify miR-127 binding to Psmd3. Finally, we report reduced expression of miR-127 in human stroke brains. Our results underline the impact of peripheral inflammation on the outcome of stroke in aged subjects and pinpoint molecular targets for restoring endogenous neuronal capacity to combat ischemic stroke.
    Keywords:  aging; inflammation; microRNA; proteasome; sequencing; stroke
  37. Cell Rep. 2020 Dec 29. pii: S2211-1247(20)31555-2. [Epub ahead of print]33(13): 108566
      Aging is closely associated with increased susceptibility to breast cancer, yet there have been limited systematic studies of aging-induced alterations in the mammary gland. Here, we leverage high-throughput single-cell RNA sequencing to generate a detailed transcriptomic atlas of young and aged murine mammary tissues. By analyzing epithelial, stromal, and immune cells, we identify age-dependent alterations in cell proportions and gene expression, providing evidence that suggests alveolar maturation and physiological decline. The analysis also uncovers potential pro-tumorigenic mechanisms coupled to the age-associated loss of tumor suppressor function and change in microenvironment. In addition, we identify a rare, age-dependent luminal population co-expressing hormone-sensing and secretory-alveolar lineage markers, as well as two macrophage populations expressing distinct gene signatures, underscoring the complex heterogeneity of the mammary epithelia and stroma. Collectively, this rich single-cell atlas reveals the effects of aging on mammary physiology and can serve as a useful resource for understanding aging-associated cancer risk.
    Keywords:  aging; endothelial cells; fibroblasts; luminal and myoepithelial cells; macrophages; mammary epithelia and stroma; single-cell RNA-seq
  38. Open Biol. 2020 Dec;10(12): 200309
      Over the last decade, our understanding of the physiological role of senescent cells has drastically evolved, from merely indicators of cellular stress and ageing to having a central role in regeneration and repair. Increasingly, studies have identified senescent cells and the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) as being critical in the regenerative process following injury; however, the timing and context at which the senescence programme is activated can lead to distinct outcomes. For example, a transient induction of senescent cells followed by rapid clearance at the early stages following injury promotes repair, while the long-term accumulation of senescent cells impairs tissue function and can lead to organ failure. A key role of the SASP is the recruitment of immune cells to the site of injury and the subsequent elimination of senescent cells. Among these cell types are macrophages, which have well-documented regulatory roles in all stages of regeneration and repair. However, while the role of senescent cells and macrophages in this process is starting to be explored, the specific interactions between these cell types and how these are important in the different stages of injury/reparative response still require further investigation. In this review, we consider the current literature regarding the interaction of these cell types, how their cooperation is important for regeneration and repair, and what questions remain to be answered to advance the field.
    Keywords:  ageing; macrophage; regeneration; repair; senescence; senescence-associated secretory phenotype
  39. J Neurochem. 2020 Dec 28.
      The daily temporal order of physiological processes and behavior contribute to the wellbeing of many organisms including humans. The central circadian clock, which coordinates the timing within our body, is located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus. Like other parts of the brain, aging impairs the SCN function, which in turn promotes the development and progress of aging related diseases. We here review the impact of aging on the different levels of the circadian clock machinery - from molecules to organs - with a focus on the role of the SCN. We find that the molecular clock is less effected by aging compared to other cellular components of the clock. Proper rhythmic regulation of intracellular signaling, ion channels and neuronal excitability of SCN neurons are greatly disturbed in aging. This suggests a disconnect between the molecular clock and the electrophysiology of these cells. The neuronal network of the SCN is able to compensate for some of these cellular deficits. However, it still results in a clear reduction in the amplitude of the SCN electrical rhythm, suggesting a weakening of the output timing signal. Consequently, other brain areas and organs not only show aging-related deficits in their own local clocks, but also receive a weaker systemic timing signal. The negative spiral completes with the weakening of positive feed-back from the periphery to the SCN. Consequently, chronotherapeutic interventions should aim at strengthening overall synchrony in the circadian system using life-style and/or pharmacological approaches.
    Keywords:  Chronotherapy; Neurodegeneration; Neuronal network; Senescence; Suprachiasmatic nucleus; peripheral clocks
  40. Free Radic Biol Med. 2020 Dec 22. pii: S0891-5849(20)31684-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Aging is a strong risk factor for brain dementia and cognitive decline. Age-related accumulation of metabolites such as advanced glycation end products (AGEs) could serve as danger signals to initiate and accelerate disease process and neurodegeneration. The underlying causes and consequences of cerebral AGEs accumulation remain largely unknown. Here, we comprehensively investigate age-related accumulation of AGEs and dicarbonyls, including methylglyoxal (MG), glyoxal (GO), and 3-deoxyglucosone (3-DG), and the effects of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) on cerebral AGEs accumulation, mitochondrial function, and oxidative stress in the aging human and mouse brain. We demonstrate that AGEs, including arginine and lysine derived N(6)-carboxymethyl lysine (CML), Nε-(1-Carboxyethyl)-L-lysine (CEL), and methylglyoxal-derived hydroimidazolone-1 (MG-H1), were significantly elevated in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus with advanced age in mice. Accordingly, aging mouse and human brains revealed decrease in activities of mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes I & IV and ATP levels, and increased ROS. Notably, administration of mitoTEMPO (2-(2,2,6,6-Tetramethylpiperidin-1-oxyl-4-ylamino)-2-oxoethyl)triphenylphosphonium chloride (mTEMPO), a scavenger of mitochondrial ROS, not only suppressed ROS production but also reduced aged-induced accumulation of AGEs and dicarbonyls. mTEMPO treatment improved mitochondrial respiratory function and restored ATP levels. Our findings provide evidence linking age-related accumulation of toxic metabolites (AGEs) to mitochondrial oxidative stress. This highlights a novel mechanism by which AGEs-dependent signaling promotes carbonyl stress and sustained mitochondrial dysfunction. Eliminating formation and accumulation of AGEs may represent a new therapeutic avenue for combating cognitive decline and mitochondrial degeneration relevant to aging and neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease.
    Keywords:  Advanced glycation end products (AGEs); Aging; Reactive oxygen species (ROS); dicarbonyls; mitochondrial dysfunction
  41. Vnitr Lek. 2020 ;66(6): 353-358
      Immunosenescence is characterized by remodeling and dysregulation of immune system due to aging process. These changes affect innate as well as adaptive immunity. Due to the complexity of the physiological processes, in which the mechanisms of the immune system interfere, also other systems of the organism are affected by these changes. Thymus involution as well as chronic antigenic stimulation are the main causes of immunosenescence and lead to a proinflammatory setting of the organism. In addition to impaired immune response against infections or reactivation of latent infections, reduced response to vaccination or decreased antitumor immune surveillance, changes of the immune system in elderly are clinically reflected in the development of chronic diseases typical for older age groups, such as neurodegenerative or metabolic diseases. The mechanisms of immunosenescence can be at least partially influenced by an active lifestyle and adequate dietary measures.
    Keywords:  aging; immune system dysregulation; immunosenescence
  42. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2020 Dec;pii: 24161. [Epub ahead of print]24(24): 12645-12654
      OBJECTIVE: This study aims to reveal the TWIST protein expression in the degenerated nucleus pulposus (NP), its effect on the TNF-α treated NP cells, and to explore its specific mechanism of anti-senescence.PATIENTS AND METHODS: NP tissues from spine fracture patients without intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) and the IDD patients were collected to detect the TWIST1/2 protein expression by Western blot (WB). NP cells isolated from the healthy tissue was treated with TNF-α to induce senescence, and the TWIST1/2 protein expression was also analyzed. We transfected NP cells with the plasmid coding TWIST to upregulate its expression, which was also cultured in the TNF-α condition. Besides, the TNF-α pretreated NP cells were further stimulated with the recombinant human TWIST1/2 protein. The collagen II and senescent marker β-galactosidase (β-gal) were determined by immunofluorescence (IF); the MMP-13, TIMP-3, IL-10, IL-1β mRNA expression level was detected by quantitative Real Time PCR; the cell proliferation was analyzed by CCK8 assay; the cell cycle was measured by flow cytometry.
    RESULTS: TWIST1/2 protein was decreased both in the degenerated NP tissue, and TNF-α treated NP cells. The overexpression of TWIST1/2 could prevent the p53, p21, β-gal, MMP-13, and IL-1β expression, moreover, it protected the collagen II, TIMP-3, and IL-10 expression in the TNF-α treated NP cells. Additionally, TWIST overexpression also promoted cell proliferation by ensuring the process of the cell cycle. Furthermore, the supplement of TWIST protein was functional to reverse these senescent phenotypes caused by TNF-α partly.
    CONCLUSIONS: TWIST alleviates the TNF-αinduced NP cells senescence via the inhibition of the p53/p21 pathway.
  43. Cancer Discov. 2020 Dec 28. pii: CD-20-0387. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cytosolic DNA is characteristic of chromosomally unstable metastatic cancer cells, resulting in constitutive activation of the cGAS-STING innate immune pathway. How tumors co-opt inflammatory signaling while evading immune surveillance remains unknown. Here we show that the ectonucleotidase ENPP1 promotes metastasis by selectively degrading extracellular cGAMP, an immune stimulatory metabolite whose breakdown products include the immune suppressor, adenosine. ENPP1 loss suppresses metastasis, restores tumor immune infiltration, and potentiates response to immune checkpoint blockade in a manner dependent on tumor cGAS and host STING. Conversely, overexpression of wildtype ENPP1, but not an enzymatically weakened mutant, promotes migration and metastasis, in part, through the generation of extracellular adenosine, and renders otherwise sensitive tumors completely resistant to immunotherapy. In human cancers, ENPP1 expression correlates with reduced immune cell infiltration, increased metastasis, and resistance to anti-PD1/PD-L1 treatment. Thus, cGAMP hydrolysis by ENPP1 enables chromosomally unstable tumors to transmute cGAS activation into an immune suppressive pathway.
  44. J Circadian Rhythms. 2020 Dec 16. 18 7
      Critical biological processes are under control of the circadian clock. Disruption of this clock, e.g. during aging, results in increased risk for development of chronic disease. Exercise is a protective intervention that elicits changes in both age and circadian pathologies, yet its role in regulating circadian gene expression in peripheral tissues is unknown. We hypothesized that voluntary wheel running would restore disrupted circadian rhythm in aged mice. We analyzed wheel running patterns and expression of circadian regulators in male and female C57Bl/6J mice in adult (~4 months) and old (~18 months) ages. As expected, young female mice ran further than male mice, and old mice ran significantly less than young mice. Older mice of both sexes had a delayed start time in activity which likely points to a disrupted diurnal running pattern and circadian disruption. Voluntary wheel running rescued some circadian dysfunction in older females. This effect was not present in older males, and whether this was due to low wheel running distance or circadian output is not clear and warrants a future study. Overall, we show that voluntary wheel running can rescue some circadian dysfunction in older female but not male mice; and these changes are tissue dependent. While voluntary running was not sufficient to fully rescue age-related changes in circadian rhythm, ongoing studies will determine if forced exercise (e.g. treadmill) and/or chrono-timed exercise can improve age-related cardiovascular, skeletal muscle, and circadian dysfunction.
    Keywords:  aging; circadian rhythm; exercise
  45. Exp Gerontol. 2020 Dec 26. pii: S0531-5565(20)30567-2. [Epub ahead of print]145 111219
      Selenium (Se) is an essential micronutrient for human health that protects from oxidative damage. Se deficiency has been associated with the development of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). In this study we aimed to investigate the association between Se status, CVD risk, cardio-metabolic and inflammatory markers in elderly population. Se Plasma levels and inflammatory markers [neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio, serum C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and Copper/Zinc ratio (Cu/Zn)] were measured in 858 control subjects (mean age 73.4 ± 9.3) and 606 CVD patients (mean age 72.5± 8.7). A multivariate logistic regression was performed to evaluate the association between Se deficiency (Se< 60 μg/L) and the risk of CDV. In a subgroup of 46 CVD patients the gene expression of IL-1β, CCL5/RANTES, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, platelet-derived growth factor-β (PDGFβ) and sirtuins in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) were further examined. Increased values of neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio, CRP levels and Cu/Zn ratio were observed in Se deficiency condition both in controls and in CVD patients. Moreover, enhanced gene expression of cytokines and chemokines such as IL1β, CCL5 and PDGF- β, and a downregulation of SIRT-1, SIRT-5, SIRT-6, SIRT-7 were found in PBMCs from CVD patients with Se deficiency. A multivariate logistic regression showed that Se deficiency was associated with an increased CVD risk (odds ratio=1.946, 95% CI: 1.19-3.18, p < 0.01). The current study revealed that Se deficiency is independently associated with CVD, and with elevated circulating inflammatory markers and affects the expression of cytokines, chemokines and sirtuins in PBMCs.
    Keywords:  Aging; Cardiovascular diseases; Inflammation; Selenium; Sirtuins
  46. Biomed Pharmacother. 2020 Dec 24. pii: S0753-3322(20)31312-3. [Epub ahead of print]134 111119
      Healthy aging and human longevity are intricate phenotypes affected by environmental factors such as physical exercise, diet, health habits, and psychosocial situations as well as genetic factors. Diet and caloric restriction have a crucial role in healthy aging. Curcumin, a polyphenolic compound isolated from the Curcuma longa, has been shown to exert anti-aging characteristics. Recently, investigations on curcumin with regard to aging and age-associated disease in model organisms has described that curcumin and its metabolites, prolong the mean lifespan of some aging model organisms such as C. elegans, D. melanogaster, yeast, and mouse. It has been proposed to have several biological activities, such as antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, chemopreventive, and anti-neurodegenerative characteristics. In several studies on various model organisms it has been shown that the lifespan extension via curcumin treatment was connected with enhanced superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and also declined malondialdehyde (MDA) and lipofuscin levels. As well as the pivotal role of curcumin on the modulating of major signaling pathways that influence longevity of organisms like IIS, mTOR, PKA, and FOXO signaling pathways. This review defines the use of curcumin in traditional and modern medicine, its biochemistry and biological functions, such as curcumin's anti-aging, anti-cancer, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant characteristics. Also, the review further describes the role of curcumin in a pharmacological context and new insights on its therapeutic capacity and restrictions. Particularly, the review emphasizes in-depth on the efficiency of curcumin and its mechanism of action as an anti-aging compound and also treating age-related disease.
    Keywords:  Aging; Curcumin; Mechanism; Senescence
  47. Sci Rep. 2020 Dec 31. 10(1): 22439
      Age-associated DNA methylation reflects aspect of biological aging-therefore epigenetic clocks for mice can elucidate how the aging process in this model organism is affected by specific treatments or genetic background. Initially, age-predictors for mice were trained for genome-wide DNA methylation profiles and we have recently described a targeted assay based on pyrosequencing of DNA methylation at only three age-associated genomic regions. Here, we established alternative approaches using droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) and barcoded bisulfite amplicon sequencing (BBA-seq). At individual CG dinucleotides (CpGs) the correlation of DNA methylation with chronological age was slightly higher for pyrosequencing and ddPCR as compared to BBA-seq. On the other hand, BBA-seq revealed that neighboring CpGs tend to be stochastically modified at murine age-associated regions. Furthermore, the binary sequel of methylated and non-methylated CpGs in individual reads can be used for single-read predictions, which may reflect heterogeneity in epigenetic aging. In comparison to C57BL/6 mice the single-read age-predictions using BBA-seq were also accelerated in the shorter-lived DBA/2 mice, and in C57BL/6 mice with a lifespan quantitative trait locus of DBA/2 mice. Taken together, we describe alternative targeted methods for epigenetic age predictions that provide new perspectives for aging-intervention studies in mice.
  48. Ageing Res Rev. 2020 Dec 13. pii: S1568-1637(20)30369-X. [Epub ahead of print]66 101234
      Epidemiological data convey severe prognosis and high mortality rate for COVID-19 in elderly men affected by age-related diseases. These subjects develop local and systemic hyper-inflammation, which are associated with thrombotic complications and multi-organ failure. Therefore, understanding SARS-CoV-2 induced hyper-inflammation in elderly men is a pressing need. Here we focus on the role of extracellular DNA, mainly mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and telomeric DNA (telDNA) in the modulation of systemic inflammation in these subjects. In particular, extracellular mtDNA is regarded as a powerful trigger of the inflammatory response. On the contrary, extracellular telDNA pool is estimated to be capable of inhibiting a variety of inflammatory pathways. In turn, we underpin that telDNA reservoir is progressively depleted during aging, and that it is scarcer in men than in women. We propose that an increase in extracellular mtDNA, concomitant with the reduction of the anti-inflammatory telDNA reservoir may explain hyper-inflammation in elderly male affected by COVID-19. This scenario is reminiscent of inflamm-aging, the portmanteau word that depicts how aging and aging related diseases are intimately linked to inflammation.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; DNA sensing receptors; Inflamm-aging; Misplaced DNA; Telomere
  49. Semin Cancer Biol. 2020 Dec 26. pii: S1044-579X(20)30277-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      Senescence is a tumor suppressor response that prevents the proliferation of mutated cells and alert the immune system for their elimination. However, this program is not perfect and with time additional genetic and epigenetic changes can impair tumor suppression and promote cancer progression both in cell autonomous and non-cell autonomous manners. A polyploid barrier is implemented in senescent cells to further prevent cell expansion but polyploid cells can generate highly malignant tumor cells via de-polyploidization. The nuclear lamina can act as an additional fail safe to prevent cancer in these cells and drugs able to stabilize the nuclear lamina may help to treat cancers by preventing senescence escape.
    Keywords:  Nuclear lamina; PML; Polyploidy; Progerin; Therapy induced senescence (TIS)
  50. Cell Cycle. 2020 Dec 28. 1-16
      Palbociclib, a selective CDK4/6 kinase inhibitor, is approved in combination with endocrine therapies for the treatment of advanced estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer. In pre-clinical cancer models, CDK4/6 inhibitors act primarily as cytostatic agents. In two commonly studied ER+ breast cancer cell lines (MCF7 and T47D), CDK4/6 inhibition drives G1-phase arrest and the acquisition of a senescent-like phenotype, both of which are reversible upon palbociclib withdrawal (incomplete senescence). Here we identify an ER+ breast cancer cell line, CAMA1, in which palbociclib treatment induces irreversible cell cycle arrest and senescence (complete senescence). In stark contrast to T47D and MCF7 cells, mTORC1 activity is not stably suppressed in CAMA1 cells during palbociclib treatment. Importantly, inhibition of mTORC1 signaling either by the mTORC1 inhibitor rapamycin or by knockdown of Raptor, a unique component of mTORC1, during palbociclib treatment of CAMA1 cells blocks the induction of complete senescence. These results indicate that sustained mTORC1 activity promotes complete senescence in ER+ breast cancer cells during CDK4/6 inhibitor-induced cell cycle arrest. Consistent with this mechanism, genetic depletion of TSC2, a negative regulator of mTORC1, in MCF7 cells resulted in sustained mTORC1 activity during palbociclib treatment and evoked a complete senescence response. These findings demonstrate that persistent mTORC1 signaling during palbociclib-induced G1 arrest is a potential liability for ER+ breast cancer cells, and suggest a strategy for novel drug combinations with palbociclib.
    Keywords:  Palbociclib; cdk4/6; er+ Breast Cancer; mTORC1; senescence
  51. Aging (Albany NY). 2020 Dec 27. 12
      Inflammaging constitutes the common factor for comorbidities predisposing to severe COVID-19. Inflammaging leads to T-cell senescence, and immunosenescence is linked to autoimmune manifestations in COVID-19. As in SLE, metabolic dysregulation occurs in T-cells. Targeting this T-cell dysfunction opens the field for new therapeutic strategies to prevent severe COVID-19. Immunometabolism-mediated approaches such as rapamycin, metformin and dimethyl fumarate, may optimize COVID-19 treatment of the elderly and patients at risk for severe disease.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; immunometabolism; immunosenescence; inflammaging; rapamycin-metformin-dimethyl fumarate
  52. Muscle Nerve. 2021 Jan 01.
      INTRODUCTION: Skeletal muscle inflammation and oxidative stress are associated with aging-related loss of muscle mass and may be attributable to alterations in the number and types of leukocytes in skeletal muscle. Here, we tested the hypothesis that aging changes the number and composition of leukocyte subsets in skeletal muscle tissue.METHODS: Skeletal muscle was sampled from 4-month-old (young) and 27-month-old (old) C57BL/6J mice. Mononuclear cells of the gastrocnemius muscle were isolated, and flow cytometry was used to characterize the number and types of immune cells.
    RESULTS: The number of neutrophils and Ly-6C+ inflammatory macrophages in the skeletal muscle was significantly higher in old mice than in young mice. Inflammation and oxidative stress (measured using the markers phosphorylated JNK and nitrotyrosine) were also higher in the skeletal muscle of old mice than in that of young mice.
    DISCUSSION: Increasing age promotes skeletal muscle inflammation and oxidative stress, as well as infiltration of inflammatory macrophages and neutrophils.
    Keywords:  Increasing age; Inflammation; Loss of muscle mass; Macrophage; Oxidative stress
  53. Cell Cycle. 2020 Dec 27. 1-16
      Deregulated expression of the MYC oncogene is a frequent event during tumorigenesis and generally correlates with aggressive disease and poor prognosis. While MYC is a potent inducer of apoptosis, it often suppresses cellular senescence, which together with apoptosis is an important barrier against tumor development. For this latter function, MYC is dependent on cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2). Here, we utilized a MYC/BCL-XL-driven mouse model of acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML) to investigate whether pharmacological inhibition of CDK2 can inhibit MYC-driven tumorigenesis through induction of senescence. Purified mouse hematopoietic stem cells transduced with MYC and BCL-XL were transplanted into lethally irradiated mice, leading to the development of massive leukemia and subsequent death 15-17 days after transplantation. Upon disease onset, mice were treated with the selective CDK2 inhibitor CVT2584 or vehicle either by daily intraperitoneal injections or continuous delivery via mini-pumps. CVT2584 treatment delayed disease onset and moderately but significantly improved survival of mice. Flow cytometry revealed a significant decrease in tumor load in the spleen, liver and bone marrow of CVT2584-treated compared to vehicle-treated mice. This was correlated with induced senescence evidenced by reduced cell proliferation, increased senescence-associated β-galactosidase activity and heterochromatin foci, expression of p19ARF and p21CIP1, and reduced phosphorylation (activation) of pRb, while very few apoptotic cells were observed. In addition, phosphorylation of MYC at Ser-62 was decreased. In summary, inhibition of CDK2 delayed MYC/BCL-XL-driven AML linked to senescence induction. Our results suggest that CDK2 is a promising target for pro-senescence cancer therapy, in particular for MYC-driven tumors, including leukemia.
    Keywords:  BCL-XL ; CDK2; MYC; leukemia; mouse models; senescence
  54. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2020 Dec 26. pii: S0278-5846(20)30546-7. [Epub ahead of print] 110230
      Exacerbation of cognitive, motor and nonmotor symptoms have been described in critically ill COVID-19 patients, indicating that, like prior pandemics, neurodegenerative sequelae may mark the aftermath of this viral infection. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19 disease, was associated with hyperferritinemia and unfavorable prognosis in older individuals, suggesting virus-induced ferrosenescence. We have previously defined ferrosenescence as an iron-associated disruption of both the human genome and its repair mechanisms, leading to premature cellular senescence and neurodegeneration. As viruses replicate more efficiently in iron-rich senescent cells, they may have developed the ability to induce this phenotype in host tissues, predisposing to both immune dysfunction and neurodegenerative disorders. In this mini-review, we summarize what is known about the SARS-CoV-2-induced cellular senescence and iron dysmetabolism. We also take a closer look at immunotherapy with natural killer cells, angiotensin II receptor blockers ("sartans"), iron chelators and dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors ("gliptins") as adjunct treatments for both COVID-19 and its neurodegenerative complications.
  55. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2020 Dec 30. 1-56
      Aging is characterized by the functional decline of tissues and organs and increased risk of aging-associated disorders, which pose major societal challenges and are a public health priority. Despite extensive human genetics studies, limited progress has been made linking genetics with aging. There is a growing realization that the altered assembly, structure and dynamics of the gut microbiota actively participate in the aging process. Age-related microbial dysbiosis is involved in reshaping immune responses during aging, which manifest as immunosenescence (insufficiency) and inflammaging (over-reaction) that accompany many age-associated enteric and extraenteric diseases. The gut microbiota can be regulated, suggesting a potential target for aging interventions. This review summarizes recent findings on the physiological succession of gut microbiota across the life-cycle, the roles and mechanisms of gut microbiota in healthy aging, alterations of gut microbiota and aging-associated diseases, and the gut microbiota-targeted anti-aging strategies.
    Keywords:  Aging; bacterial diversity; fecal microbiota transplantation; gut microbiota; lifespan; succession
  56. Aging (Albany NY). 2020 Dec 09. 12
      Adult hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) reside in the bone marrow (BM) ensuring homeostasis of blood production and immune response throughout life. Sex differences in immunocompetence and mortality are well-documented in humans. However, whether HSPCs behave dimorphically between sexes during aging remains unknown. Here, we show that a significant expansion of BM-derived HSPCs occurs in the middle age of female but in the old age of male mice. We then show that a decline of HSPCs in male mice, as indicated by the expression levels of select hematopoietic genes, occurs much earlier in the aging process than that in female mice. Sex-mismatched heterochronic BM transplantations indicate that the middle-aged female BM microenvironment plays a pivotal role in sustaining hematopoietic gene expression during aging. Furthermore, a higher concentration of the pituitary sex hormone follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in the serum and a concomitant higher expression of its receptor on HSPCs in the middle-aged and old female mice than age-matched male mice, suggests that FSH may contribute to the sexual dimorphism in aging hematopoiesis. Our study reveals that HSPCs in the BM niches are possibly regulated in a sex-specific manner and influenced differently by sex hormones during aging hematopoiesis.
    Keywords:  aging; hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell; sex hormone; sexual dimorphism