bims-senagi Biomed News
on Senescence and aging
Issue of 2021‒03‒07
seventeen papers selected by
Maria Grazia Vizioli
Mayo Clinic

  1. J Extracell Vesicles. 2021 Feb;10(4): e12041
      A hallmark of senescence is the acquisition of an enhanced secretome comprising inflammatory mediators and tissue remodelling agents - the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Through the SASP, senescent cells are hypothesised to contribute to both ageing and pathologies associated with age. Whilst soluble factors have been the most widely investigated components of the SASP, there is growing evidence that small extracellular vesicles (EVs) comprise functionally important constituents. Thus, dissecting the contribution of the soluble SASP from the vesicular component is crucial to elucidating the functional significance of senescent cell derived EVs. Here, we take advantage of a systematic proteomics based approach to determine that soluble SASP factors co-isolate with EVs following differential ultracentrifugation (dUC). We present size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) as a method for separation of the soluble and vesicular components of the senescent secretome and thus EV purification. Furthermore, we demonstrate that SEC EVs isolated from senescent cells contribute to non-cell autonomous paracrine senescence. Therefore, this work emphasises the requirement for methodological rigor due to the propensity of SASP components to co-isolate during dUC and provides a framework for future investigations of the vesicular component of the SASP.
    Keywords:  ageing; exosomes; extracellular vesicles; paracrine senescence; senescence; senescence‐associated secretory phenotype
  2. Gut. 2021 Mar 01. pii: gutjnl-2020-321112. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVE: Cellular senescence limits tumourigenesis by blocking the proliferation of premalignant cells. Additionally, however, senescent cells can exert paracrine effects influencing tumour growth. Senescent cells are present in premalignant pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) lesions, yet their effects on the disease are poorly characterised. It is currently unknown whether senolytic drugs, aimed at eliminating senescent cells from lesions, could be beneficial in blocking tumour development.DESIGN: To uncover the functions of senescent cells and their potential contribution to early pancreatic tumourigenesis, we isolated and characterised senescent cells from PanINs formed in a Kras-driven mouse model, and tested the consequences of their targeted elimination through senolytic treatment.
    RESULTS: We found that senescent PanIN cells exert a tumour-promoting effect through expression of a proinflammatory signature that includes high Cox2 levels. Senolytic treatment with the Bcl2-family inhibitor ABT-737 eliminated Cox2-expressing senescent cells, and an intermittent short-duration treatment course dramatically reduced PanIN development and progression to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
    CONCLUSIONS: These findings reveal that senescent PanIN cells support tumour growth and progression, and provide a first indication that elimination of senescent cells may be effective as preventive therapy for the progression of precancerous lesions.
    Keywords:  cell biology; cell cycle control; pancreatic tumours
  3. Aging Cell. 2021 Mar 04. e13331
      Telomere erosion in cells with insufficient levels of the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT), contributes to age-associated tissue dysfunction and senescence, and p53 plays a crucial role in this response. We undertook a genome-wide CRISPR screen to identify gene deletions that sensitized p53-positive human cells to telomerase inhibition. We uncovered a previously unannotated gene, C16ORF72, which we term Telomere Attrition and p53 Response 1 (TAPR1), that exhibited a synthetic-sick relationship with TERT loss. A subsequent genome-wide CRISPR screen in TAPR1-disrupted cells reciprocally identified TERT as a sensitizing gene deletion. Cells lacking TAPR1 or TERT possessed elevated p53 levels and transcriptional signatures consistent with p53 upregulation. The elevated p53 response in TERT- or TAPR1-deficient cells was exacerbated by treatment with the MDM2 inhibitor and p53 stabilizer nutlin-3a and coincided with a further reduction in cell fitness. Importantly, the sensitivity to treatment with nutlin-3a in TERT- or TAPR1-deficient cells was rescued by loss of p53. These data suggest that TAPR1 buffers against the deleterious consequences of telomere erosion or DNA damage by constraining p53. These findings identify C16ORF72/TAPR1 as new regulator at the nexus of telomere integrity and p53 regulation.
    Keywords:  C16ORF72; CRISPR-Cas9; Telomere Attrition and P53 Response 1; genome-wide screen; p53; synthetic-sick-lethal; telomerase inhibitor (BIBR1532); telomere erosion
  4. Aging (Albany NY). 2021 Feb 26. 13
      Aging is associated with the increased incidence of deep venous thrombosis (DVT), resulting in significant morbidity and mortality in the elderly, but the underlying mechanism is elusive. Silent information regulator 1 (Sirt1) is linked to the senescence, inflammation, oxidative stress and platelet adhesion of endothelial cells. Here we showed that DVT was associated with the senescence of endothelium and lower expression of Sirt1. Furthermore, Sirt1 could inhibit endothelial senescence and reduce the occurrence of DVT. Interestingly, we found antisense long non-coding RNA (lncRNA Sirt1-AS) upregulated Sirt1, decreased the expression of senescence and DVT associated biomarkers in human vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs). In addition, lncRNA Sirt1-AS overexpression alleviated DVT through upregulating Sirt1 and thereby inducing Foxo3a degradation. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that lncRNA Sirt1-AS may be a potential new biomarker for DVT.
    Keywords:  deep vein thrombosis; human vascular endothelial cells; long non-coding RNA Sirt1-AS; senescence; silent information regulator 1
  5. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Feb 12. pii: 1839. [Epub ahead of print]22(4):
      Senescent cells accumulate in the adipose tissue (AT) of individuals with obesity and secrete multiple factors that constitute the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). This paper aimed at the identification of B cells with a SASP phenotype in the AT, as compared to the peripheral blood, of individuals with obesity. Our results show increased expression of SASP markers in AT versus blood B cells, a phenotype associated with a hyper-metabolic profile necessary to support the increased immune activation of AT-derived B cells as compared to blood-derived B cells. This hyper-metabolic profile is needed for the secretion of the pro-inflammatory mediators (cytokines, chemokines, micro-RNAs) that fuel local and systemic inflammation.
    Keywords:  B cells; inflammation; obesity; senescence
  6. Aging Cell. 2021 Mar 03. e13320
      Aging clocks dissociate biological from chronological age. The estimation of biological age is important for identifying gerontogenes and assessing environmental, nutritional, or therapeutic impacts on the aging process. Recently, methylation markers were shown to allow estimation of biological age based on age-dependent somatic epigenetic alterations. However, DNA methylation is absent in some species such as Caenorhabditis elegans and it remains unclear whether and how the epigenetic clocks affect gene expression. Aging clocks based on transcriptomes have suffered from considerable variation in the data and relatively low accuracy. Here, we devised an approach that uses temporal scaling and binarization of C. elegans transcriptomes to define a gene set that predicts biological age with an accuracy that is close to the theoretical limit. Our model accurately predicts the longevity effects of diverse strains, treatments, and conditions. The involved genes support a role of specific transcription factors as well as innate immunity and neuronal signaling in the regulation of the aging process. We show that this binarized transcriptomic aging (BiT age) clock can also be applied to human age prediction with high accuracy. The BiT age clock could therefore find wide application in genetic, nutritional, environmental, and therapeutic interventions in the aging process.
    Keywords:   Caenorhabditis elegans ; RNA sequencing; aging; aging clock; biological aging; biomarkers; transcriptome
  7. Ageing Res Rev. 2021 Feb 28. pii: S1568-1637(21)00059-3. [Epub ahead of print] 101312
      The development of interventions aimed at improving healthspan is one of the priority tasks for the academic and public health authorities. It is also the main objective of a novel branch in biogerontological research, geroscience. According to the geroscience concept, targeting aging is an effective way to combat age-related disorders. Since aging is an exceptionally complex process, system-oriented integrated approaches seem most appropriate for such an interventional strategy. Given the high plasticity and adaptability of the epigenome, epigenome-targeted interventions appear highly promising in geroscience research. Pharmaceuticals targeted at mechanisms involved in epigenetic control of gene activity are actively developed and implemented to prevent and treat various aging-related conditions such as cardiometabolic, neurodegenerative, inflammatory disorders, and cancer. In this review, we describe the roles of epigenetic mechanisms in aging; characterize enzymes contributing to the regulation of epigenetic processes; particularly focus on epigenetic drugs, such as inhibitors of DNA methyltransferases and histone deacetylases that may potentially affect aging-associated diseases and longevity; and discuss possible caveats associated with the use of epigenetic drugs.
    Keywords:  DNMT inhibitors; HDAC inhibitors; age-related diseases; aging; epigenetic modifications; lifespan
  8. Front Pharmacol. 2021 ;12 631835
      Purpose: Cardiomyocyte senescence is associated with a progressive decline in cardiac physiological function and the risk of cardiovascular events. lncRNA H19 (H19), a well-known long noncoding RNA (lncRNA), is involved in the pathophysiological process of multiple cardiovascular disease such as heart failure, cardiac ischemia and fibrosis. However, the role of H19 in cardiomyocyte senescence remains to be further explored. Methods: Senescence-associated β-galactosidases (SA-β-gal) staining was used to detect cardiomyocyte senescence. Western blot, qRT-PCR and luciferase reporter assay were employed to evaluate the role of H19 in cardiomyocyte senescence and its underling molecular mechanism. Results: H19 level was significantly increased in high glucose-induced senescence cardiomyocytes and aged mouse hearts. Overexpression of H19 enhanced the number of SA-β-gal-positive cells, and the expression of senescence-related proteins p53 and p21, whereas H19 knockdown exerted the opposite effects. Mechanistically, H19 was demonstrated as a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) for microRNA-19a (miR-19a): H19 overexpression downregulated miR-19a level, while H19 knockdown upregulated miR-19a. The expression of SOSC1 was dramatically increased in senescence cardiomyocytes and aged mouse hearts. Further experiments identified SOCS1 as a downstream target of miR-19a. H19 upregulated SOCS1 expression and activated the p53/p21 pathway by targeting miR-19a, thus promoting the cardiomyocytes senescence. Conclusion: Our results show that H19 is a pro-senescence lncRNA in cardiomyocytes acting as a ceRNA to target the miR-19a/SOCS1/p53/p21 pathway. Our research reveals a molecular mechanism of cardiomyocyte senescence regulation and provides a novel target of the therapy for senescence-associated cardiac diseases.
    Keywords:  H19; SOCS1; cardiomyocyte senescence; miR-19; p53
  9. Immunity. 2021 Mar 01. pii: S1074-7613(21)00069-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Aging is associated with DNA accumulation and increased homeostatic proliferation of circulating T cells. Although these attributes are associated with aging-related autoimmunity, their direct contributions remain unclear. Conventionally, KU complex, the regulatory subunit of DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), together with the catalytic subunit of DNA-PK (DNA-PKcs), mediates DNA damage repair in the nucleus. Here, we found KU complex abundantly expressed in the cytoplasm, where it recognized accumulated cytoplasmic DNA in aged human and mouse CD4+ T cells. This process enhanced T cell activation and pathology of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in aged mice. Mechanistically, KU-mediated DNA sensing facilitated DNA-PKcs recruitment and phosphorylation of the kinase ZAK. This activated AKT and mTOR pathways, promoting CD4+ T cell proliferation and activation. We developed a specific ZAK inhibitor, which dampened EAE pathology in aged mice. Overall, these findings demonstrate a KU-mediated cytoplasmic DNA-sensing pathway in CD4+ T cells that potentiates aging-related autoimmunity.
    Keywords:  CD4(+) T cells; DNA sensing; KU complex; ZAK; aging; autoimmunity
  10. Aging Cell. 2021 Mar 06. e13334
      Little is known about age-dependent changes in structure and function of astrocytes and of the impact of these on the cognitive decline in the senescent brain. The prevalent view on the age-dependent increase in reactive astrogliosis and astrocytic hypertrophy requires scrutiny and detailed analysis. Using two-photon microscopy in conjunction with 3D reconstruction, Sholl and volume fraction analysis, we demonstrate a significant reduction in the number and the length of astrocytic processes, in astrocytic territorial domains and in astrocyte-to-astrocyte coupling in the aged brain. Probing physiology of astrocytes with patch clamp, and Ca2+ imaging revealed deficits in K+ and glutamate clearance and spatiotemporal reorganisation of Ca2+ events in old astrocytes. These changes paralleled impaired synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) in hippocampal CA1 in old mice. Our findings may explain the astroglial mechanisms of age-dependent decline in learning and memory.
    Keywords:  K+ buffering; ageing; astrocyte; astrocytic complexity; astrocytic cradle; glutamate uptake; perisynaptic astrocytic processes
  11. Aging Cell. 2021 Mar 05. e13335
      Brain ageing is characterised by a decline in neuronal function and associated cognitive deficits. There is increasing evidence that myelin disruption is an important factor that contributes to the age-related loss of brain plasticity and repair responses. In the brain, myelin is produced by oligodendrocytes, which are generated throughout life by oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). Currently, a leading hypothesis points to ageing as a major reason for the ultimate breakdown of remyelination in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). However, an incomplete understanding of the cellular and molecular processes underlying brain ageing hinders the development of regenerative strategies. Here, our combined systems biology and neurobiological approach demonstrate that oligodendroglial and myelin genes are amongst the most altered in the ageing mouse cerebrum. This was underscored by the identification of causal links between signalling pathways and their downstream transcriptional networks that define oligodendroglial disruption in ageing. The results highlighted that the G-protein coupled receptor Gpr17 is central to the disruption of OPCs in ageing and this was confirmed by genetic fate-mapping and cellular analyses. Finally, we used systems biology strategies to identify therapeutic agents that rejuvenate OPCs and restore myelination in age-related neuropathological contexts.
    Keywords:  GPR17; ageing; brain; drug discovery; myelin; oligodendrocyte; oligodendrocyte precursor; remyelination
  12. Liver Res. 2019 Dec;3(3-4): 185-190
      The rising incidence of alcohol-related liver disease (ALD) demands making urgent progress in understanding the fundamental molecular basis of alcohol-related hepatocellular damage. One of the key early events accompanying chronic alcohol usage is the accumulation of lipid droplets (LDs) in the hepatocellular cytoplasm. LDs are far from inert sites of neutral lipid storage; rather, they represent key organelles that play vital roles in the metabolic state of the cell. In this review, we will examine the biology of these structures and outline recent efforts being made to understand the effects of alcohol exposure on the biogenesis, catabolism, and motility of LDs and how their dynamic nature is perturbed in the context of ALD.
    Keywords:  Alcohol; Autophagy; Hepatocyte; Lipid droplet (LD); Lipolysis; Steatosis
  13. Aging Cell. 2021 Mar 06. e13322
      The causes of the decline in skeletal muscle mass and function with age, known as sarcopenia, are poorly understood. Nutrition (calorie restriction) interventions impact many cellular processes and increase lifespan and preserve muscle mass and function with age. As we previously observed an increase in life span and muscle function in aging mice on a ketogenic diet (KD), we aimed to investigate the effect of a KD on the maintenance of skeletal muscle mass with age and the potential molecular mechanisms of this action. Twelve-month-old mice were assigned to an isocaloric control or KD until 16 or 26 months of age, at which time skeletal muscle was collected for evaluating mass, morphology, and biochemical properties. Skeletal muscle mass was significantly greater at 26 months in the gastrocnemius of mice on the KD. This result in KD mice was associated with a shift in fiber type from type IIb to IIa fibers and a range of molecular parameters including increased markers of NMJ remodeling, mitochondrial biogenesis, oxidative metabolism, and antioxidant capacity, while decreasing endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, protein synthesis, and proteasome activity. Overall, this study shows the effectiveness of a long-term KD in mitigating sarcopenia. The diet preferentially preserved oxidative muscle fibers and improved mitochondrial and antioxidant capacity. These adaptations may result in a healthier cellular environment, decreasing oxidative and ER stress resulting in less protein turnover. These shifts allow mice to better maintain muscle mass and function with age.
    Keywords:  aging; ketogenic diet; mice; sarcopenia; skeletal muscle
  14. J Cell Biol. 2021 May 03. pii: e202006174. [Epub ahead of print]220(5):
      A hallmark of aging is immunosenescence, a decline in immune functions, which appeared to be inevitable in living organisms, including Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we show that genetic inhibition of the DAF-2/insulin/IGF-1 receptor drastically enhances immunocompetence in old age in C. elegans. We demonstrate that longevity-promoting DAF-16/FOXO and heat-shock transcription factor 1 (HSF-1) increase immunocompetence in old daf-2(-) animals. In contrast, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase 1 (PMK-1), a key determinant of immunity, is only partially required for this rejuvenated immunity. The up-regulation of DAF-16/FOXO and HSF-1 decreases the expression of the zip-10/bZIP transcription factor, which in turn down-regulates INS-7, an agonistic insulin-like peptide, resulting in further reduction of insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS). Thus, reduced IIS prevents immune aging via the up-regulation of anti-aging transcription factors that modulate an endocrine insulin-like peptide through a feedforward mechanism. Because many functions of IIS are conserved across phyla, our study may lead to the development of strategies against immune aging in humans.
  15. Elife. 2021 Mar 04. pii: e62678. [Epub ahead of print]10
      Aging, obesity, hypertension and physical inactivity are major risk factors for endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular disease (CVD). We applied fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), RNA sequencing and bioinformatic methods to investigate the common effects of CVD risk factors in mouse cardiac endothelial cells (ECs). Aging, obesity and pressure overload all upregulated pathways related to TGF-b signaling and mesenchymal gene expression, inflammation, vascular permeability, oxidative stress, collagen synthesis and cellular senescence, whereas exercise training attenuated most of the same pathways. We identified collagen chaperone Serpinh1 (also called as Hsp47) to be significantly increased by aging and obesity and repressed by exercise training. Mechanistic studies demonstrated that increased SERPINH1 in human ECs induced mesenchymal properties, while its silencing inhibited collagen deposition. Our data demonstrate that CVD risk factors significantly remodel the transcriptomic landscape of cardiac ECs inducing inflammatory, senescence and mesenchymal features. SERPINH1 was identified as a potential therapeutic target in ECs.
    Keywords:  chromosomes; gene expression; human; medicine; mouse
  16. Aging (Albany NY). 2021 Mar 03. 13
      Cereblon (CRBN) is a substrate receptor of the cullin-RING E3 ubiquitin ligase (CRL) complex that mediates the ubiquitination of several substrates. In this study, CRBN knockout (KO) mice exhibited decreased levels of stratum corneum hydration (SCH) and collagen I expression with an elevated protein level of matrix metalloprotease 1 (MMP1). The absence of cereblon in the skin of CRBN KO mice mimics the damage caused by narrowband ultraviolet B (NB-UVB). The primary CRBN deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) undergo G2/M-arrested premature senescence via protein signaling of p38 MAPK and its dependent p53/p21pathway. The absence of CRBN induced the markers of cellular senescence, such as the senescence-associated heterochromatin foci (SAHF), SA-β-Gal staining, and p21 upregulation while the ectopic expression of CRBN reversed the phenotypes of SA-β-Gal staining and p21 upregulation. Reversion of the decreased protein level of collagen I was demonstrated after the reintroduction of the CRBN gene back into CRBN KO MEFs, validating the promising role of CRBN as a potential regulator for the function of the skin barrier and its cellular homeostasis.
    Keywords:  CRBN; SA-beta-Gal; collagen1; p38; senescence
  17. Aging (Albany NY). 2021 Mar 01. 13
      Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common chronic liver disease worldwide. Exercise is a therapeutic strategy for preventing NAFLD. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms by which NAFLD can be ameliorated through exercise are still not clear. This study investigates the mechanisms by which exercise suppresses NAFLD development induced by a high-fat diet (HFD) in mice. Male 6-week-old C57BL/6J mice were fed a normal diet or HFD for 12 weeks and then induced to swim or remain sedentary for 8 weeks. Histomorphology, inflammatory factors, fat metabolizing enzymes, fibrosis, and steatosis were determined in HFD-fed mouse liver, and levels of hepatic enzymes and molecules in the related pathways were analyzed. NAFLD mice showed evident steatosis, fibrosis, and liver injury, and an increased expression of HMGCS2, Wnt3a/ β-catenin, and phosphorylated (p)-AMPK in the liver. Exercise significantly attenuated these symptoms and downregulated the level of Wnt3a/β-catenin in lipotoxic liver tissue. Inhibition of HMGCS2 expression decreased the activation of the Wnt3a/β-catenin pathway and lowered p-AMPK in palmitate-treated HepG2. Our results suggest that exercise prevents NAFLD-associated liver injury, steatosis, and fibrosis. Exercise-mediated hepatoprotection was achieved partly via the blocking of the upregulation of HMGCS2 and the attenuation of the Wnt3a/β-catenin pathway.
    Keywords:  HMGCS2; NAFLD; Wnt3a/β-catenin; exercise; high-fat diet