bims-senagi Biomed News
on Senescence and aging
Issue of 2021‒06‒20
twenty-five papers selected by
Maria Grazia Vizioli
Mayo Clinic

  1. PLoS One. 2021 ;16(6): e0252547
      Aging is associated with functional decline in the immune system and increases the risk of chronic diseases owing to smoldering inflammation. In the present study, we demonstrated an age-related increase in the accumulation of Programmed Death-1 (PD-1)+ memory-phenotype T cells that are considered "senescence-associated T cells" in both the visceral adipose tissue and spleen. As caloric restriction is an established intervention scientifically proven to exert anti-aging effects and greatly affects physiological and pathophysiological alterations with advanced age, we evaluated the effect of caloric restriction on the increase in this T-cell subpopulation and glucose tolerance in aged mice. Long-term caloric restriction significantly decreased the number of PD-1+ memory-phenotype cluster of differentiation (CD) 4+ and CD8+ T cells in the spleen and visceral adipose tissue, decreased M1-type macrophage accumulation in visceral adipose tissue, and improved insulin resistance in aged mice. Furthermore, the immunological depletion of PD-1+ T cells reduced adipose inflammation and improved insulin resistance in aged mice. Taken together with our previous report, these results indicate that senescence-related T-cell subpopulations are involved in the development of chronic inflammation and insulin resistance in the context of chronological aging and obesity. Thus, long-term caloric restriction and specific deletion of senescence-related T cells are promising interventions to regulate age-related chronic diseases.
  2. FASEB J. 2021 Jul;35(7): e21709
      Tissues undergo a process of degeneration as the body ages. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been found to have major potential in delaying the aging process in tissues and organs. However, the mechanism underlying the anti-aging effects of MSC is not clear which limits clinical applications. In this study, we used adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) to perform anti-aging treatments on senescent cells and progeroid animal models. Following intervention with ADSCs, replicative senescence was delayed and metabolic homeostasis was transformed from catabolism to anabolism. Metabolomic tests were used to analyze different metabolites. We found that ADSCs acted to accelerate mitophagy which eliminated intracellular ROS and improved the quality of mitochondria. These processes acted to regulate the cellular metabolic homeostasis and ultimately delayed the process of aging. Allogeneic stem cell therapy in a Progeria animal model (DNA polymerase gamma (POLG) knockin, mitochondrial dysfunction) also showed that ADSC therapy can improve alopecia and kyphosis by promoting mitophagy. Our research confirms for the first time that allogeneic stem cell therapy can improve aging-related symbols and phenotypes through mitochondrial quality control. These results are highly significant for the future applications of stem cells in aging-related diseases.
    Keywords:  adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells; aging; metabolism; mitophagy; stem cell transplantation
  3. Genome Res. 2021 Jun 17.
      Heterochromatin remodeling is critical for various cell processes. In particular, the "loss of heterochromatin" phenotype in cellular senescence is associated with the process of aging and age-related disorders. Although biological processes of senescent cells, including senescence-associated heterochromatin foci (SAHF) formation, chromosome compaction, and redistribution of key proteins, have been closely associated with high-order chromatin structure, the relationship between the high-order chromatin reorganization and the loss of heterochromatin phenotype during senescence has not been fully understood. By using senescent and deep senescent fibroblasts induced by DNA damage harboring the "loss of heterochromatin" phenotype, we observed progressive 3D reorganization of heterochromatin during senescence. Facultative and constitutive heterochromatin marked by H3K27me3 and H3K9me3, respectively, show different alterations. Facultative heterochromatin tends to switch from the repressive B-compartment to the active A-compartment, whereas constitutive heterochromatin shows no significant changes at the compartment level but enhanced interactions between themselves. Both types of heterochromatin show increased chromatin accessibility and gene expression leakage during senescence. Furthermore, increased chromatin accessibility in potential CTCF binding sites accompanies the establishment of novel loops in constitutive heterochromatin. Finally, we also observed aberrant expression of repetitive elements, including LTR (long terminal repeat) and satellite classes. Overall, facultative and constitutive heterochromatin show both similar and distinct multiscale alterations in the 3D map, chromatin accessibility, and gene expression leakage. This study provides an epigenomic map of heterochromatin reorganization during senescence.
  4. Aging Cell. 2021 Jun 12. e13407
      The mechanism of kidney injury in aging are not well understood. In order to identify hitherto unknown pathways of aging-related kidney injury, we performed RNA-Seq on kidney extracts of young and aged mice. Expression of chloride (Cl) channel accessory 1 (CLCA1) mRNA and protein was increased in the kidneys of aged mice. Immunostaining showed a marked increase in CLCLA1 expression in the proximal tubules of the kidney from aged mice. Increased kidney CLCA1 gene expression also correlated with aging in marmosets and in a human cohort. In aging mice, increased renal cortical CLCA1 content was associated with hydrogen sulfide (H2 S) deficiency, which was ameliorated by administering sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS), a source of H2 S. In order to study whether increased CLCA1 expression leads to injury phenotype and the mechanisms involved, stable transfection of proximal tubule epithelial cells overexpressing human CLCA1 (hCLCA1) was performed. Overexpression of hCLCA1 augmented Cl- current via the Ca++ -dependent Cl- channel TMEM16A (anoctamin-1) by patch-clamp studies. hCLCA1 overexpression also increased the expression of fibronectin, a matrix protein, and induced the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Mechanistic studies underlying these changes showed that hCLCA1 overexpression leads to inhibition of AMPK activity and stimulation of mTORC1 as cellular signaling determinants of injury. Both TMEM16A inhibitor and NaHS reversed these signaling events and prevented changes in fibronectin and SASP. We conclude that CLCA1-TMEM16A-Cl- current pathway is a novel mediator of kidney injury in aging that is regulated by endogenous H2 S.
    Keywords:  fibrosis; ion transport; senescence-associated secretory phenotype
  5. Ageing Res Rev. 2021 Jun 14. pii: S1568-1637(21)00140-9. [Epub ahead of print] 101393
      Ageing is a multifactorial biological process leading to a progressive decline of physiological functions. The process of ageing includes numerous changes in the cells and the interactions between cell-cell and cell-microenvironment remaining as a critical risk factor for the development of chronic degenerative diseases. Systemic inflammation, known as inflammageing, increases as a consequence of ageing contributing to age-related morbidities. But also, persistent and uncontrolled activation of fibrotic pathways, with excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) and organ dysfunction is markedly more frequent in the elderly. In this context, we introduce here the concept of Fibroageing, that is, the propensity to develop tissue fibrosis associated with ageing, and propose that ECM is a key player underlying this process. During ageing, molecules of the ECM become damaged through many modifications including glycation, crosslinking, and accumulation, leading to matrix stiffness which intensifies ageing-associated alterations. We provide a framework with some mechanistic hypotheses proposing that stiff ECM, in addition to the well-known activation of fibrotic positive feedback loops, affect several of the hallmarks of ageing, such as cell senescence and mitochondrial dysfunction, and in this context, is a key mechanism and a driver thread of Fibroageing.
    Keywords:  Ageing; extracellular matrix; fibrosis; senescence
  6. Biochem Pharmacol. 2021 Jun 09. pii: S0006-2952(21)00264-1. [Epub ahead of print] 114651
      Multiple co-morbidities are associated with age, and there is a need for the broad-spectrum drug to prevent multiple regimens that may cause an adverse effect in the geriatric population. Cellular senescence is a primary mechanism for ageing in various tissues. p53, a tumor suppressor protein, plays a significant role in forming DNA damage foci and post different stress responses. DNA damage foci can be transient or persistent that can progress to DNA-SCARS inducing senescence. p53 also plays a role in apoptosis and negative regulation of SASP. Few upstream targets like FOXO4, MDM2, MDM4, USP7 control the availability of p53 for apoptosis. Hence, the senolytic therapies, modulating p53 upstream targets, can be a good approach for preventing age-related disorders. This review discusses the insights on the role of p53 in the formation of DNA-SCARS, various upstream target proteins, and pathways involved in p53 regulation. Further, the review aimed to include recently discovered small molecules acting on these upstream targets, and those can be modified using medicinal chemistry approaches to give successful senotherapeutics.
    Keywords:  Age-related disorder; Neurodegeneration; Senescence; Senolytic drugs; p53 regulation
  7. Behav Brain Funct. 2021 Jun 12. 17(1): 6
      Aging is the leading risk factor for several age-associated diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases. Understanding the biology of aging mechanisms is essential to the pursuit of brain health. In this regard, brain aging is defined by a gradual decrease in neurophysiological functions, impaired adaptive neuroplasticity, dysregulation of neuronal Ca2+ homeostasis, neuroinflammation, and oxidatively modified molecules and organelles. Numerous pathways lead to brain aging, including increased oxidative stress, inflammation, disturbances in energy metabolism such as deregulated autophagy, mitochondrial dysfunction, and IGF-1, mTOR, ROS, AMPK, SIRTs, and p53 as central modulators of the metabolic control, connecting aging to the pathways, which lead to neurodegenerative disorders. Also, calorie restriction (CR), physical exercise, and mental activities can extend lifespan and increase nervous system resistance to age-associated neurodegenerative diseases. The neuroprotective effect of CR involves increased protection against ROS generation, maintenance of cellular Ca2+ homeostasis, and inhibition of apoptosis. The recent evidence about the modem molecular and cellular methods in neurobiology to brain aging is exhibiting a significant potential in brain cells for adaptation to aging and resistance to neurodegenerative disorders.
    Keywords:  Aging; Brain; Inflammation; Oxidative stress
  8. Aging (Albany NY). 2021 Jun 17. 13
      Cellular senescence may be a side effect of chemotherapy and other anti-cancer treatments that may promote inflammation and paracrine secondary senescence in healthy tissues. DNMT2/TRDMT1 methyltransferase is implicated in the regulation of cellular lifespan and DNA damage response (DDR). In the present study, the responses to senescence inducing concentrations of doxorubicin and etoposide in different cancer cells with DNMT2/TRDMT1 gene knockout were evaluated, namely changes in the cell cycle, apoptosis, autophagy, interleukin levels, genetic stability and DDR, and 5-mC and NSUN1-6 levels. Moreover, the effect of azacytidine post-treatment was considered. Diverse responses were revealed that was based on type of cancer cells (breast and cervical cancer, osteosarcoma and glioblastoma cells) and anti-cancer drugs. DNMT2/TRDMT1 gene knockout in drug-treated glioblastoma cells resulted in decreased number of apoptotic and senescent cells, IL-8 levels and autophagy, and increased number of necrotic cells, DNA damage and affected DDR compared to drug-treated glioblastoma cells with unmodified levels of DNMT2/TRDMT1. We suggest that DNMT2/TRDMT1 gene knockout in selected experimental settings may potentiate some adverse effects associated with chemotherapy-induced senescence.
    Keywords:  DNMT2/TRDMT1; anti-cancer drugs; cancer cells; chemotherapy-induced senescence
  9. Immun Ageing. 2021 Jun 15. 18(1): 28
      MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are regulatory noncoding RNAs important for many aspects of cellular processes including cell differentiation and proliferation. Functions of numerous miRNAs have been identified in T cells, with miR-181a regulating T cell activation thresholds during thymic T cell development and during activation of peripheral T cells. Intriguingly, miR-181a is implicated in defective antiviral and vaccine responses in older individuals, as its expression declines in naïve T cells with increasing age. Here, we review the pathways that are regulated by miR-181a and that explain the unique role of miR-181a in T cell development, T cell activation and antiviral T cell responses. These studies provide a framework for understanding how a decline in miR-181a expression in T cells could contribute to age-related defects in adaptive immunity. We furthermore review the mechanisms that cause the age-related decline in miR-181a expression and discuss the potential of restoring miR-181a expression or targeting miR-181a-regulated pathways to improve impaired T cell responses in older individuals.
    Keywords:  Infectious disease; Memory T cells; Replication stress; T cell activation; T cell aging; T cell differentiation; Vaccine; miR-181a; microRNA
  10. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 669893
      Down syndrome (DS) patients prematurely show clinical manifestations usually associated with aging. Their immune system declines earlier than healthy individuals, leading to increased susceptibility to infections and higher incidence of autoimmune phenomena. Clinical features of accelerated aging indicate that trisomy 21 increases the biological age of tissues. Based on previous studies suggesting immune senescence in DS, we hypothesized that induction of cellular senescence may contribute to early thymic involution and immune dysregulation. Immunohistochemical analysis of thymic tissue showed signs of accelerated thymic aging in DS patients, normally seen in older healthy subjects. Moreover, our whole transcriptomic analysis on human Epcam-enriched thymic epithelial cells (hTEC), isolated from three DS children, which revealed disease-specific transcriptomic alterations. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) of DS TEC revealed an enrichment in genes involved in cellular response to stress, epigenetic histone DNA modifications and senescence. Analysis of senescent markers and oxidative stress in hTEC and thymocytes confirmed these findings. We detected senescence features in DS TEC, thymocytes and peripheral T cells, such as increased β-galactosidase activity, increased levels of the cell cycle inhibitor p16, telomere length and integrity markers and increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), all factors contributing to cellular damage. In conclusion, our findings support the key role of cellular senescence in the pathogenesis of immune defect in DS while adding new players, such as epigenetic regulation and increased oxidative stress, to the pathogenesis of immune dysregulation.
    Keywords:  Down syndrome; oxidative stress; senescence; thymic epithelial cells; thymus
  11. Mech Ageing Dev. 2021 Jun 14. pii: S0047-6374(21)00089-0. [Epub ahead of print] 111517
      Reversible cellular senescence was demonstrated previously to constitute colon cancer cell response to methotrexate. The current study presents a comparison of two senescent states of colon cancer cells, arrested and reversing, resulting from respectively, 120 h exposure to the drug, and 48 h exposure followed by 96 h regrowth in drug-free media. The upregulation of immunoproteasome subunit-coding genes and the increase in human leukocyte antigen HLA-A/B/C membrane level indicated MHC-I-restricted antigen presentation as common to both senescent states. Nuclear factor NF-κB p65 level decreased and activating protein AP-1: c-Jun, Fra2 and JunB nuclear levels increased in both senescent cell populations. Notably, the increase in AP-1- dependent transcription occurred after 48 h exposure to methotrexate. β-catenin nuclear level increased after 48 h exposure to the drug and remained as such only in senescence-arrested cells. β-catenin level was found uncoupled from the protein phosphorylation status indicating the deregulation of β-catenin signaling in colon cancer cells employed in the study. These findings carry implications for both, a general mechanism of senescence establishment and putative advantages for colon cancer treatment.
    Keywords:  AP-1 transcription factor; antigen presentation; colon cancer; methotrexate; therapy-induced senescence; β-catenin
  12. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2021 Jun 16. pii: ASN.2020091373. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Peripheral vascular diseases may induce chronic ischemia and cellular injury distal to the arterial obstruction. Cellular senescence involves proliferation arrest in response to stress, which can damage neighboring cells. Renal artery stenosis (RAS) induces stenotic-kidney dysfunction and injury, but whether these arise from cellular senescence and their temporal pattern remain unknown.METHODS AND RESULTS: Chronic renal ischemia was induced in transgenic INK-ATTAC mice by unilateral RAS, and kidney function (in vivo micro-MRI) and tissue damage assessed. Selective clearance of highly p16Ink4a-expressing cells using intraperitoneal AP20187 starting 1, 2, or 4 weeks after RAS attenuated cellular senescence and improved stenotic-kidney function, whereas starting immediately after RAS induction was unsuccessful. Broader clearance of senescent cells using the oral senolytic combination Dasatinib and Quercetin in C57BL/6 RAS mice was more effective in clearing p21 (Cdkn1a)-positive cells and alleviating renal dysfunction and damage. Unbiased single-cell RNA-sequencing in freshly-dissociated cells from healthy and stenotic mouse kidneys identified stenotic-kidney epithelial cells undergoing both mesenchymal transition and senescence. Like mice, injured human stenotic kidneys exhibited cellular senescence, suggesting that this process is conserved.
    CONCLUSIONS: Maladaptive tubular cell senescence, involving upregulated p16 (Cdkn2a), p19 (Cdkn2d), and p21 (Cdkn1a) expression, is associated with renal dysfunction and injury in chronic ischemia. These findings support development of senolytic strategies to delay chronic ischemic renal injury.
  13. Cardiovasc Res. 2021 Jun 17. pii: cvab208. [Epub ahead of print]
      AIMS: Traditional markers of cell senescence including p16, Lamin B1, and senescence-associated beta galactosidase (SAβG) suggest very high frequencies of senescent cells in atherosclerosis, while their removal via 'senolysis' has been reported to reduce atherogenesis. However, selective killing of a variety of different cell types can exacerbate atherosclerosis. We therefore examined the specificity of senescence markers in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and the effects of genetic or pharmacological senolysis in atherosclerosis.METHODS AND RESULTS: We examined traditional senescence markers in human and mouse VSMCs in vitro, and in mouse atherosclerosis. p16 and SAβG increased and Lamin B1 decreased in replicative senescence (RS) and stress-induced premature senescence (SIPS) of cultured human VSMCs. In contrast, mouse VSMCs undergoing SIPS showed only modest p16 upregulation, and proliferating mouse monocyte/macrophages also expressed p16 and SAβG. Single cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) of lineage-traced mice showed increased p16 expression in VSMC-derived cells in plaques vs. normal arteries, but p16 localized to Stem cell antigen-1 (Sca1)+ or macrophage-like populations. Activation of a p16-driven suicide gene to remove p16+ vessel wall- and/or bone marrow-derived cells increased apoptotic cells, but also induced inflammation and did not change plaque size or composition. In contrast, the senolytic ABT-263 selectively reduced senescent VSMCs in culture, and markedly reduced atherogenesis. However, ABT-263 did not reduce senescence markers in vivo, and significantly reduced monocyte and platelet counts and IL6 as a marker of systemic inflammation.
    CONCLUSIONS: We show that genetic and pharmacological senolysis have variable effects on atherosclerosis, and may promote inflammation and non-specific effects respectively. In addition, traditional markers of cell senescence such as p16 have significant limitations to identify and remove senescent cells in atherosclerosis, suggesting that senescence studies in atherosclerosis and new senolytic drugs require more specific and lineage-restricted markers before ascribing their effects entirely to senolysis.
  14. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 684430
      Microglia, the innate immune cells of the brain, are essential for maintaining homeostasis by their ramified, highly motile processes and for orchestrating the immune response to pathological stimuli. They are implicated in several neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. One commonality of these diseases is their strong correlation with aging as the highest risk factor and studying age-related alterations in microglia physiology and associated signaling mechanism is indispensable for a better understanding of age-related pathomechanisms. CD22 has been identified as a modifier of microglia phagocytosis in a recent study, but not much is known about the function of CD22 in microglia. Here we show that CD22 surface levels are upregulated in aged versus adult microglia. Furthermore, in the amyloid mouse model PS2APP, Aβ-containing microglia also exhibit increased CD22 signal. To assess the impact of CD22 blockage on microglia morphology and dynamics, we have established a protocol to image microglia process motility in acutely prepared brain slices from CX3CR1-GFP reporter mice. We observed a significant reduction of microglial ramification and surveillance capacity in brain slices from aged versus adult mice. The age-related decrease in surveillance can be restored by antibody-mediated CD22 blockage in aged mice, whereas surveillance in adult mice is not affected by CD22 inhibition. Moreover to complement the results obtained in mice, we show that human iPSC-derived macrophages exhibit an increased phagocytic capacity upon CD22 blockage. Downstream analysis of antibody-mediated CD22 inhibition revealed an influence on BMP and TGFβ associated gene networks. Our results demonstrate CD22 as a broad age-associated modulator of microglia functionality with potential implications for neurodegenerative disorders.
    Keywords:  AD (Alzheimer’s disease); CD22; aging; iPSC macrophages; microglia; phagocytosis; surveillance; two-photon imaging
  15. Mol Oncol. 2021 Jun 16.
      Senescence is a cellular state in which cells undergo persistent cell cycle arrest in response to non-lethal stress. In the treatment of cancer, senescence induction is a potent method of suppressing tumour cell proliferation. In spite of this, senescent cancer cells and adjacent non-transformed cells of the tumour microenvironment can remain metabolically active, resulting in paradoxical secretion of pro-inflammatory factors, collectively termed the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). The SASP plays a critical role in tumourigenesis, affecting numerous processes including invasion, metastasis, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) induction, therapy resistance and immunosuppression, among others. With increasing evidence, it is becoming clear that cell type, tissue of origin and the primary cellular stressor are key determinants in how the SASP will influence tumour development and progression, including whether it will be pro- or anti-tumourigenic. In this review, we will focus on recent evidence regarding therapy-induced senescence (TIS) from anti-cancer agents, including chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, and targeted therapies, and how each therapy can trigger the SASP, which in turn influences treatment efficacy. We will also discuss novel pharmacological manipulation of senescent cancer cells and the SASP, which offers an exciting and contemporary approach to cancer therapeutics. With future research, these adjuvant options may help to mitigate many of the negative side effects and pro-tumorigenic roles that are currently associated with TIS in cancer.
    Keywords:  cancer; cellular senescence; senescence-associated secretory phenotype; therapy-induced senescence
  16. Front Oncol. 2021 ;11 667920
      The cGAS (GMP-AMP synthase)-mediated senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) and DNA-induced autophagy (DNA autophagy) have been extensively investigated in recent years. However, cGAS-mediated autophagy has not been elucidated in cancer cells. The described investigation revealed that active DNA autophagy but not SASP activity could be detected in the BT-549 breast cancer cell line with high micronucleus (MN) formation. DNA autophagy was identified as selective autophagy of free genomic DNA in the cytoplasm but not nucleophagy. The process of DNA autophagy in the cytosol could be initiate by cGAS and usually cooperates with SQSTM1-mediated autophagy of ubiquitinated histones. Cytoplasmic DNA, together with nuclear proteins such as histones, could be derived from DNA replication-induced nuclear damage and MN collapse. The inhibition of autophagy through chemical inhibitors as well as the genomic silencing of cGAS or SQSTM1 could suppress the growth and survival of cancer cells, and induced DNA damage could increase the sensitivity to these inhibitors. Furthermore, expanded observations of several other kinds of human cancer cells indicated that high relative DNA autophagy or enhancement of DNA damage could also increase or sensitize these cells to inhibition of DNA autophagy.
    Keywords:  Micronuclei; autophagy; breast cancer; cGAS; cytoplasmic DNA
  17. Exp Eye Res. 2021 Jun 10. pii: S0014-4835(21)00229-3. [Epub ahead of print] 108663
      Age is a major risk factor for cataract (ARC). However, the influence of aging on the lens transcriptome is under studied. Lens epithelial (LEC) and fiber cells (LFC) were isolated from young (3 month) and aged (24 month) old C57BL/6J mice, and the transcriptome elucidated via RNAseq. EdgeR estimated differential gene expression in pairwise contrasts, and Advaita's Ipathway guide and custom R scripts were used to evaluate the potential biological significance of differentially expressed genes (DEGs). This analysis revealed age-dependent decreases in lens differentiation marker expression in both LECs and LFCs, with gamma crystallin transcripts downregulating nearly 50 fold in aged LFCs. The expression of the transcription factors Hsf4 and Maf, which are known to activate lens fiber cell preferred genes, are downregulated, while FoxE3, which represses gamma crystallin expression, is upregulated in aged fibers. Aged LECs upregulate genes controlling the immune response, complement pathways, and cellular stress responses, including glutathione peroxidase 3 (Gpx3). Aged LFCs exhibit broad changes in the expression of genes regulating cell communication, and upregulate genes involved in antigen processing/presentation and cholesterol metabolism, while changes in the expression of mitochondrial respiratory chain genes are consistent with mitochondrial stress, including upregulation of NDufa4l2, which encodes an alternate electron transport chain protein. However, age did not profoundly affect the response of LECs to injury as both young and aged LECs upregulate inflammatory gene signatures at 24 h post injury to similar extents. These RNAseq profiles provide a rich data set that can be mined to understand the genetic regulation of lens aging and how this impinges on the pathophysiology of age related cataract.
    Keywords:  Aging; Cholestero; Complement pathways; Lens; Metabolism; Posterior capsular opacification; Senescence; Transcriptome
  18. Mol Metab. 2021 Jun 10. pii: S2212-8778(21)00116-2. [Epub ahead of print] 101271
      OBJECTIVE: NAD+ is a co-factor and substrate for enzymes maintaining energy homeostasis. Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) controls NAD+ synthesis, and in skeletal muscle, NAD+ is important for muscle integrity. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms by which NAD+ synthesis affects muscle health remain poorly understood. Thus, the objective of the current study was to delineate the role of NAMPT-mediated NAD+ biosynthesis in skeletal muscle development and function.METHODS: To determine the role of Nampt in muscle development and function, we generated skeletal muscle-specific Nampt KO (SMNKO) mice. We performed a comprehensive phenotypic characterization of the SMNKO mice including metabolic measurements, histological examinations, and RNA sequencing analyses of skeletal muscle from SMNKO mice and WT littermates.
    RESULTS: SMNKO mice are smaller, with phenotypic changes in skeletal muscle, including reduced fiber area and increased number of centralized nuclei. The majority of SMNKO mice die prematurely. Transcriptomic analysis identified that the gene encoding the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) regulator Cyclophilin D (Ppif) is upregulated in skeletal muscle of SMNKO mice from 2 weeks of age, with associated increased sensitivity of mitochondria to Ca2+-stimulated mPTP opening. Treatment of SMNKO mice with the Cyclophilin D inhibitor, Cyclosporine A, increased membrane integrity, decreased the number of centralized nuclei, and increased survival.
    CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrates that NAMPT is crucial for maintaining cellular Ca2+ homeostasis and skeletal muscle development, which is vital for juvenile survival.
    Keywords:  Cyclophilin D; NAD(+); mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP); myopathy; nicotinamide riboside; sarcopenia
  19. Aging Cell. 2021 Jun 14. e13418
      There is evidence emerging that exposure to cold temperatures enhances alternative activation of macrophages in white adipose tissue (WAT), which promotes adipocyte beiging and adaptive thermogenesis. Although we recently reported that NAD+ -dependent deacetylase sirtuin 6 (Sirt6) drives alternatively activated (M2) macrophage polarization, the role of myeloid Sirt6 in adaptive thermogenesis had remained elusive. In this study, we demonstrate that myeloid Sirt6 deficiency impaired both thermogenic responses and M2 macrophage infiltration in subcutaneous WAT (scWAT) during cold exposure. Moreover, the infiltration of Siglec-F-positive eosinophils in scWAT and Th2 cytokines levels was reduced in myeloid Sirt6 knockout mice. An ex vivo bone marrow-derived cell culture experiment indicated that Sirt6 was required for eosinophil differentiation independent of its deacetylase activity. Data from our in vitro experiments show that Sirt6 acted as a transcriptional cofactor of GATA-1, independent of its catalytic function as a deacetylase or ADP-ribosyltransferase. Specifically, Sirt6 physically interacted with GATA-1, and enhanced GATA-1's acetylation and transcriptional activity by facilitating its cooperation with p300. Overall, our results suggest that myeloid Sirt6 plays an important role in eosinophil differentiation and fat beiging/adaptive thermogenesis, which is at least in part due to its ability to bind GATA-1 and stimulate its transcriptional activity.
    Keywords:  GATA-1; M2 macrophage; Sirt6; acetylation; adipocyte beiging; eosinophil; p300
  20. Front Mol Biosci. 2021 ;8 673044
      Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in developed countries. Because the incidence increases exponentially in the aging population, aging is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Cardiac hypertrophy, fibrosis and inflammation are typical hallmarks of the aged heart. The molecular mechanisms, however, are poorly understood. Because glycosylation is one of the most common post-translational protein modifications and can affect biological properties and functions of proteins, we here provide the first analysis of the cardiac glycoproteome of mice at different ages. Western blot as well as MALDI-TOF based glycome analysis suggest that high-mannose N-glycans increase with age. In agreement, we found an age-related regulation of GMPPB, the enzyme, which facilitates the supply of the sugar-donor GDP-mannose. Glycoprotein pull-downs from heart lysates of young, middle-aged and old mice in combination with quantitative mass spectrometry bolster widespread alterations of the cardiac glycoproteome. Major hits are glycoproteins related to the extracellular matrix and Ca2+-binding proteins of the endoplasmic reticulum. We propose that changes in the heart glycoproteome likely contribute to the age-related functional decline of the cardiovascular system.
    Keywords:  cardiac aging; cardiac glycoproteome; glycosylation; mannosylation; post-translational modifications
  21. Ageing Res Rev. 2021 Jun 14. pii: S1568-1637(21)00139-2. [Epub ahead of print] 101392
      Centenarians are a group of individuals exhibiting extreme longevity, who are characterized by a remarkable compression of morbidity. Therefore, centenarians have been postulated as a model of healthy aging. Different approaches have been used to decipher the biology and genetics of centenarians in order to identify key anti-aging pathways. The majority of studies have taken advantage of blood samples to perform their analysis. Besides, a recent study in human brain samples deciphered the transcription factor REST (Repressor Element-1 Silencing Transcription Factor) as an important player of extreme longevity and cognitive activity. This study goes from human to animal models and revealed that REST acts as an epigenetic regulator of neuronal homeostasis, to control aging and longevity. The aim of this view point is to summarize recent literature describing genetic and epigenetic factors, as well as molecular pathways associated with centenarians and the biology of aging. We will pay particular attention to the impact of REST in centenarians and longevity.
    Keywords:  REST transcription factor; brain; centenarians; extreme longevity
  22. Chem Sci. 2020 Jun 17. 11(28): 7292-7301
      Human senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal), the most widely used biomarker of aging, is a valuable tool for assessing the extent of cell 'healthy aging' and potentially predicting the health life span of an individual. Human SA-β-gal is an endogenous lysosomal enzyme expressed from GLB1, the catalytic domain of which is very different from that of E. coli β-gal, a bacterial enzyme encoded by lacZ. However, existing chemical probes for this marker still lack the ability to distinguish human SA-β-gal from β-gal of other species, such as bacterial β-gal, which can yield false positive signals. Here, we show a molecular design strategy to construct fluorescent probes with the above ability with the aid of structure-based steric hindrance adjustment catering to different enzyme pockets. The resulting probes normally work as traditional SA-β-gal probes, but they are unique in their powerful ability to distinguish human SA-β-gal from E. coli β-gal, thus achieving species-selective visualization of human SA-β-gal for the first time. NIR-emitting fluorescent probe KSL11 as their representative further displays excellent species-selective recognition performance in biological systems, which has been herein verified by testing in senescent cells, in lacZ-transfected cells and in E. coli-β-gal-contaminated tissue sections of mice. Because of our probes, it was also discovered that SA-β-gal content in mice increased gradually with age and SA-β-gal accumulated most in the kidneys among the main organs of naturally aging mice, suggesting that the kidneys are the organs with the most severe aging during natural aging.
  23. Aging (Albany NY). 2021 Jun 17. 13
      Brain mitochondrial dysfunction and reduced testosterone levels are common features of aging in men. Although evidence suggests that the two phenomena are interrelated, it is unclear whether testosterone supplementation ameliorates mitochondrial dysfunction in the aging male brain. Here, we show that testosterone supplementation significantly alleviates exploratory behavioral deficits and oxidative damage in the substantia nigra and hippocampus of aging male rats. These effects were consistent with improved mitochondrial function, reflected by testosterone-induced increases in mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), antioxidant enzyme (GSH-PX, catalase, and Mn-SOD) expression/activity, and mitochondrial respiratory complex activities in both brain regions. Furthermore, elevated PGC-1α, NRF-1, and TFAM expression (suggestive of enhanced mitochondrial biogenesis), increased citrate synthase activity, mtDNA copy number, and ND1, COX1, and ATP6 expression (indicative of increased mitochondrial content), as well as increased PINK1/Parkin and decreased P62 expression (suggesting mitophagy activation), were detected in the substantial nigra and hippocampus of aged male rats after testosterone supplementation. These findings suggest that testosterone supplementation may be a viable approach to ameliorating brain mitochondrial dysfunction and thus prevent or treat cognitive-behavioral deficits and neurodegenerative conditions associated with aging.
    Keywords:  aged male rats; antioxidative capacity; mitochondrial biogenesis; mitochondrial function; testosterone
  24. J Biol Chem. 2021 Jun 15. pii: S0021-9258(21)00682-7. [Epub ahead of print] 100882
      Alteration of RNA splicing is a hallmark of cellular senescence, which is associated with age-related disease and cancer development. However, the roles of splicing factors in cellular senescence are not fully understood. In this study, we identified the splicing factor PRPF19 as a critical regulator of cellular senescence in normal human diploid fibroblasts. PRPF19 was down-regulated during replicative senescence, and PRPF19 knockdown prematurely induced senescence-like cell cycle arrest through the p53-p21 pathway. RNA-sequencing analysis revealed that PRPF19 knockdown caused a switch of the MDM4 splicing isoform from stable full-length MDM4-FL to unstable MDM4-S lacking exon 6. We also found that PRPF19 regulates MDM4 splicing by promoting the physical interaction of other splicing factors, PRPF3 and PRPF8, which are key components of the core spliceosome, U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP. Given that MDM4 is a major negative regulator of p53, our findings imply that PRPF19 down-regulation inhibits MDM4-mediated p53 inactivation, resulting in induction of cellular senescence. Thus, PRPF19 plays an important role in the induction of p53-dependent cellular senescence.
    Keywords:  DNA damage response; RNA processing; RNA splicing; alternative splicing; cellular senescence; fibroblast; p53
  25. Cell Death Dis. 2021 Jun 15. 12(6): 613
      Glaucoma is characterized by retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death, the underlying mechanisms of which are still largely unknown. An E50K mutation in the Optineurin (OPTN) gene is a leading cause of normal-tension glaucoma (NTG), which directly affects RGCs in the absence of high intraocular pressure and causes severe glaucomatous symptoms in patients. Bone marrow (BM) stem cells have been demonstrated to play a key role in regenerating damaged tissue during ageing and disease through their trophic effects and homing capability. Here, we separated BM stem cells into Sca-1+ and Sca-1- cells and transplanted them into lethally irradiated aged OPTN E50K mice to generate Sca-1+ and Sca-1- chimaeras, respectively. After 3 months of BM repopulation, we investigated whether Sca-1+ cells maximized the regenerative effects in the retinas of NTG model mice with the OPTN E50K mutation. We found that the OPTN E50K mutation aggravated age-related deficiency of neurotrophic factors in both retinas and BM during NTG development, leading to retinal degeneration and BM dysfunction. Sca-1+ cells from young healthy mice had greater paracrine trophic effects than Sca-1- cells and Sca-1+ cells from young OPTN E50K mice. In addition, Sca-1+ chimaeras demonstrated better visual functions than Sca-1- chimaeras and untreated OPTN E50K mice. More Sca-1+ cells than Sca-1- cells were recruited to repair damaged retinas and reverse visual impairment in NTG resulting from high expression levels of neurotrophic factors. These findings indicated that the Sca-1+ cells from young, healthy mice may have exhibited an enhanced ability to repair retinal degeneration in NTG because of their excellent neurotrophic capability.