bims-senagi Biomed News
on Senescence and aging
Issue of 2021‒10‒31
thirty-four papers selected by
Maria Grazia Vizioli
Mayo Clinic

  1. Cell. 2021 Oct 28. pii: S0092-8674(21)01117-X. [Epub ahead of print]184(22): 5506-5526
      Endogenous cytoplasmic DNA (cytoDNA) species are emerging as key mediators of inflammation in diverse physiological and pathological contexts. Although the role of endogenous cytoDNA in innate immune activation is well established, the cytoDNA species themselves are often poorly characterized and difficult to distinguish, and their mechanisms of formation, scope of function and contribution to disease are incompletely understood. Here, we summarize current knowledge in this rapidly progressing field with emphases on similarities and differences between distinct cytoDNAs, their underlying molecular mechanisms of formation and function, interactions between cytoDNA pathways, and therapeutic opportunities in the treatment of age-associated diseases.
    Keywords:  aging; cancer; cytoplasmic DNA; cytoplasmic chromatin fragment; micronucleus; mitochondrial DNA; retrotransposon; senescence
  2. Nat Commun. 2021 Oct 27. 12(1): 6207
      Cyclic guanosine monophosphate-adenosine monophosphate (cGAMP), produced by cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS), stimulates the production of type I interferons (IFN). Here we show that cGAMP activates DNA damage response (DDR) signaling independently of its canonical IFN pathways. Loss of cGAS dampens DDR signaling induced by genotoxic insults. Mechanistically, cGAS activates DDR in a STING-TBK1-dependent manner, wherein TBK1 stimulates the autophosphorylation of the DDR kinase ATM, with the consequent activation of the CHK2-p53-p21 signal transduction pathway and the induction of G1 cell cycle arrest. Despite its stimulatory activity on ATM, cGAMP suppresses homology-directed repair (HDR) through the inhibition of polyADP-ribosylation (PARylation), in which cGAMP reduces cellular levels of NAD+; meanwhile, restoring NAD+ levels abrogates cGAMP-mediated suppression of PARylation and HDR. Finally, we show that cGAMP also activates DDR signaling in invertebrate species lacking IFN (Crassostrea virginica and Nematostella vectensis), suggesting that the genome surveillance mechanism of cGAS predates metazoan interferon-based immunity.
  3. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2021 Oct 26.
      Obesity is a major risk factor for the development of comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders, osteoarthritis, cancer, cardiovascular and renal diseases. The onset of obesity is linked to an increase of senescent cells within adipose tissue and other organs. Cellular senescence is a stress response that has been shown to be causally linked to aging and development of various age-related diseases such as obesity. The senescence-associated-secretory phenotype of senescent cells creates a chronic inflammatory milieu that leads to local and systemic dysfunction. The elimination of senescent cells using pharmacological approaches (i.e., senolytics) has been shown to delay, prevent, or alleviate obesity-related organ dysfunction.
    Keywords:  Adipose tissue; Cellular senescence; Obesity; SASP; Senolytics
  4. Mech Ageing Dev. 2021 Oct 23. pii: S0047-6374(21)00163-9. [Epub ahead of print]200 111591
      Cellular senescence and the hallmarks of aging contribute to age-related disease and dysfunction. The Unitary Theory of Fundamental Aging Mechanisms highlights the interdependence among the hallmarks of aging and suggests that by intervening in one fundamental aging process, most or all of the other processes could be impacted. Accumulation of senescent cells is associated with frailty, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, cognitive decline, and other age- and/or chronic disease-related disorders, suggesting that senescent cells are a target for intervention. Early preclinical data using senolytics, agents that target senescent cells, show promising results in several aging and disease models. The first in-human trials using the senolytic combination of Dasatinib and Quercetin indicated reduced senescent cell burden in adipose tissue of diabetic kidney disease patients and improved physical function in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Clinical trials with other senolytics, including the flavonoid Fisetin and BCL-xL inhibitors, are underway. These results from preclinical and early clinical trials illustrate the potential of senolytics to alleviate age-related dysfunction and diseases. However, multiple clinical trials across different aging and disease models are desperately needed. Parallel trials across institutions through the Translational Geroscience Network are facilitating testing to determine whether senolytics can be translated into clinical application.
    Keywords:  Dasatinib; Fisetin; Quercetin; Senolytics; Translational Geroscience Network; Unitary Theory of Fundamental Aging Processes
  5. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 729136
      Adult stem cells ensure tissue homeostasis and regeneration after injury. Due to their longevity and functional requirements, throughout their life stem cells are subject to a significant amount of DNA damage. Genotoxic stress has recently been shown to trigger a cascade of cell- and non-cell autonomous inflammatory signaling pathways, leading to the release of pro-inflammatory factors and an increase in the amount of infiltrating immune cells. In this review, we discuss recent evidence of how DNA damage by affecting the microenvironment of stem cells present in adult tissues and neoplasms can affect their maintenance and long-term function. We first focus on the importance of self-DNA sensing in immunity activation, inflammation and secretion of pro-inflammatory factors mediated by activation of the cGAS-STING pathway, the ZBP1 pathogen sensor, the AIM2 and NLRP3 inflammasomes. Alongside cytosolic DNA, the emerging roles of cytosolic double-stranded RNA and mitochondrial DNA are discussed. The DNA damage response can also initiate mechanisms to limit division of damaged stem/progenitor cells by inducing a permanent state of cell cycle arrest, known as senescence. Persistent DNA damage triggers senescent cells to secrete senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) factors, which can act as strong immune modulators. Altogether these DNA damage-mediated immunomodulatory responses have been shown to affect the homeostasis of tissue-specific stem cells leading to degenerative conditions. Conversely, the release of specific cytokines can also positively impact tissue-specific stem cell plasticity and regeneration in addition to enhancing the activity of cancer stem cells thereby driving tumor progression. Further mechanistic understanding of the DNA damage-induced immunomodulatory response on the stem cell microenvironment might shed light on age-related diseases and cancer, and potentially inform novel treatment strategies.
    Keywords:  DNA damage; cancer; immune response; inflammation; microenvironment; stem cells
  6. Rejuvenation Res. 2021 Oct;24(5): 397-402
      Numerous studies demonstrate a global decrease in nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) with aging. This decline is associated with the development of several of the hallmarks of aging such as reduced mitophagy and neuroinflammation, processes thought to play a significant role in the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Augmentation of NAD+ by oral administration of a precursor, nicotinamide riboside (NR), reduces senescence of affected cells, attenuates DNA damage and neuroinflammation in the transgenic APP/PS1 murine model of AD. Inflammation mediated by microglial cells plays an important role in progression of AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. The cytoplasmic DNA sensor, cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) and downstream stimulator of interferon genes (STING), generates an interferon signature characteristic of senescence and inflammaging in the brain of AD mice. Elevated cGAS-STING observed in the AD mouse brains and human AD fibroblasts was normalized by NR. This intervention also increased mitophagy with improved cognition and behavior in the APP/PS1 mice. These studies suggest that modulation of the cGAS-STING pathway may benefit AD patients and possibly other disorders characterized by compromised mitophagy and excessive neuroinflammation.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer's disease; NAD; cGAS/STING; inflammation; nicotinamide riboside
  7. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 754069
      Immunotherapies have revolutionized cancer treatment, but despite the many lives that have been extended by these therapies many patients do not respond for reasons that are not well understood. The tumor microenvironment (TME) is comprised of heterogeneous cells that regulate tumor immune responses and likely influence immunotherapy response. Senescent (e.g., aged) stroma within the TME, and its expression of the senescence-associated secretory phenotype induces chronic inflammation that encourages tumor development and disease progression. Senescent environments also regulate the function of immune cells in ways that are decidedly protumorigenic. Here we discuss recent developments in senescence biology and the immunoregulatory functions of senescent stroma. Understanding the multitude of cell types present in the TME, including senescent stroma, will aid in the development of combinatorial therapeutic strategies to increase immunotherapy efficacy.
    Keywords:  aging; cancer immunology; immune response; senescence; stroma
  8. Exp Gerontol. 2021 Oct 22. pii: S0531-5565(21)00380-6. [Epub ahead of print]156 111598
      Cellular senescence is caused by a wide range of intracellular and extracellular stimuli and influences physiological functions, leading to the progression of age-related diseases. Many studies have shown that cellular senescence is related to phosphatase and tension homolog deleted on chromosome ten (PTEN) loss and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activation. Although it has been reported that mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) is major anti-aging target in several cell types, the functions and mechanisms of mTOR complex 2 (mTORC2) during aging have not been elucidated in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Therefore, the aim of this study was to reveal the relationship between PTEN and mTORC2 during VSMC senescence. We found adriamycin-induced VSMC senescence was accompanied by reduced PTEN protein expression and upregulation of the mTORC2-Akt (Ser 473) pathway and that fisetin treatment reduced VSMC senescence by increasing PTEN and decreasing mTORC2 protein levels. Furthermore, PTEN played a primary role in the anti-aging effect of fisetin, and fisetin-activated PTEN directly regulated the mTORC2-Akt (Ser 473) signaling pathway, and attenuated senescence phenotypes such as senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) and the p53-p21 signaling pathway in VSMCs. In mouse aortas, fisetin delayed aging by regulating the PTEN-mTORC2-Akt (Ser473) signaling pathway. These results suggest PTEN and mTORC2 are associated with cellular senescence in VSMCs and that the mTORC2-Akt (Ser 473) signaling pathway be considered a new target for preventing senescence-related diseases.
    Keywords:  Fisetin; PTEN; Senescence; Vascular smooth muscle cell; mTOR complex 2
  9. Transl Res. 2021 Oct 22. pii: S1931-5244(21)00259-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      While the full impact of COVID-19 is not yet clear, early studies have indicated that upwards of 10% of patients experience COVID-19 symptoms longer than 3 weeks, known as Long-Hauler's Syndrome or PACS (post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection). There is little known about risk factors or predictors of susceptibility for Long-Hauler's Syndrome, but older adults are at greater risk for severe outcomes and mortality from COVID-19. The pillars of aging (including cellular senescence, telomere dysfunction, impaired proteostasis, mitochondrial dysfunction, deregulated nutrient sensing, genomic instability, progenitor cell exhaustion, altered intercellular communication, and epigenetic alterations) that contribute to age-related dysfunction and chronic diseases (the "Geroscience Hypothesis") may interfere with defenses against viral infection and consequences of these infections. Heightening of the low-grade inflammation that is associated with aging may generate an exaggerated response to an acute COVID-19 infection. Innate immune system dysfunction that leads to decreased senescent cell removal and/or increased senescent cell formation could contribute to accumulation of senescent cells with both aging and viral infections. These processes may contribute to increased risk for long-term COVID-19 sequelae in older or chronically ill patients. Hence, senolytics and other geroscience interventions that may prolong healthspan and alleviate chronic diseases and multi-morbidity linked to fundamental aging processes might be an option for delaying, preventing, or alleviating Long-Hauler's syndrome.
  10. EBioMedicine. 2021 Oct 21. pii: S2352-3964(21)00439-4. [Epub ahead of print]73 103646
      BACKGROUND: Senescent cells accumulate in tissues over time as part of the natural ageing process and the removal of senescent cells has shown promise for alleviating many different age-related diseases in mice. Cancer is an age-associated disease and there are numerous mechanisms driving cellular senescence in cancer that can be detrimental to recovery. Thus, it would be beneficial to develop a senolytic that acts not only on ageing cells but also senescent cancer cells to prevent cancer recurrence or progression.METHODS: We used molecular modelling to develop a series of rationally designed peptides to mimic and target FOXO4 disrupting the FOXO4-TP53 interaction and releasing TP53 to induce apoptosis. We then tested these peptides as senolytic agents for the elimination of senescent cells both in cell culture and in vivo.
    FINDINGS: Here we show that these peptides can act as senolytics for eliminating senescent human cancer cells both in cell culture and in orthotopic mouse models. We then further characterized one peptide, ES2, showing that it disrupts FOXO4-TP53 foci, activates TP53 mediated apoptosis and preferentially binds FOXO4 compared to TP53. Next, we show that intratumoural delivery of ES2 plus a BRAF inhibitor results in a significant increase in apoptosis and a survival advantage in mouse models of melanoma. Finally, we show that repeated systemic delivery of ES2 to older mice results in reduced senescent cell numbers in the liver with minimal toxicity.
    INTERPRETATION: Taken together, our results reveal that peptides can be generated to specifically target and eliminate FOXO4+ senescent cancer cells, which has implications for eradicating residual disease and as a combination therapy for frontline treatment of cancer.
    FUNDING: This work was supported by the Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research Center at Oregon Health & Science University.
    Keywords:  Cancer; FOXO4; Senolytic; TP53
  11. Int J Cardiol. 2021 Oct 25. pii: S0167-5273(21)01696-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      Programmed cell death 5 (PDCD5) is a tumor suppressor gene that regulates the cell cycle, apoptosis and immune responses. However, the physiological function of Pdcd5 in cardiac aging remains unknown. We find that Pdcd5 mRNA and protein levels were significantly increased in the heart of mice with age. Therefore, we hypothesize that Pdcd5 regulates cardiac aging. To test the hypothesis, we generated muscle-specific Pdcd5-deficient mice. Mature adult Pdcd5-deficient mice had normal cardiac morphology and function. In naturally aged mice, Pdcd5 deficiency alleviated age-related cardiac phenotypes including reduced fibrosis and suppressed cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Moreover, muscle-specific Pdcd5 deficiency attenuated cellular senescence in the heart as demonstrated by decreased number of senescence-associated β-galactosidase-positive cells, diminished p53, p21 and p16 expression, and reduced the senescence-associated secretory phenotype. Apoptotic cell death was reduced by Pdcd5 deficiency in the heart as revealed by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling assay, which was coincident with diminished Bcl-2-associated X protein, and enhanced B-cell lymphoma 2 and X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein expression. Mitochondrial quality in cardiomyocytes was improved by Pdcd5 deficiency through increased Parkin-mediated mitophagy. In addition, Pdcd5 deficiency alleviated doxorubicin-induced premature cellular senescence and cardiac aging. Furthermore, Pdcd5 protein abundance was significantly correlated with p53 protein abundance, and Pdcd5 interacted with p53 in the heart. Taken together, our results reveal that Pdcd5 deficiency attenuates cardiac aging by reducing cellular senescence and apoptosis, and increasing Parkin-mediated mitophagy, likely through p53. Pdcd5 is a novel regulator of cardiac aging and a potential therapeutic target.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; Cardiac aging; Cellular senescence; Mitophagy; Pdcd5
  12. Front Physiol. 2021 ;12 733696
      Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) is a histone deacetylase belonging to the family of Sirtuins, a class of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+)-dependent enzymes with multiple metabolic functions. SIRT1 localizes in the nucleus and cytoplasm, and is implicated in the regulation of cell survival in response to several stimuli, including metabolic ones. The expression of SIRT1 is associated with lifespan and is reduced with aging both in animal models and in humans, where the lack of SIRT1 is regarded as a potential mediator of age-related cardiovascular diseases. In this review, we will summarize the extensive evidence linking SIRT1 functional and quantitative defects to cellular senescence and aging, with particular regard to their role in determining endothelial dysfunction and consequent cardiovascular diseases. Ultimately, we outline the translational perspectives for this topic, in order to highlight the missing evidence and the future research steps.
    Keywords:  aging–old age–seniors; atherosclerosis; cardiovascular disease; eNOS (endothelial nitric oxide synthase); endothelial (dys)function; inflammaging; sirtuin (SIRT1)
  13. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2021 Oct 29.
      Targeted elimination of senescent cells, senolysis, is one of the core trends in the anti-aging therapy. Cardiac glycosides were recently proved to be a broad-spectrum senolytics. Here we tested senolytic properties of cardiac glycosides towards human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). Cardiac glycosides had no senolytic ability towards senescent hMSCs of various origins. Using biological and bioinformatic approaches we compared senescence development in 'cardiac glycosides-sensitive' A549 and '-insensitive' hMSCs. The absence of senolysis was found to be mediated by the effective potassium import and increased apoptosis resistance in senescent hMSCs. Weakening "antiapoptotic defense" predisposes hMSCs to senolysis. We revealed that apoptosis resistance, previously recognized as a common characteristic of senescence, in fact, is not a general feature of senescent cells. Moreover, only apoptosis-prone senescent cells are sensitive to cardiac glycosides-induced senolysis. Thus, we can speculate that the effectiveness of senolysis might depend on whether senescent cells indeed become apoptosis-resistant as compared to their proliferating counterparts.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; Senescence; Senolysis; Stem cells; Stress resistance
  14. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2021 Nov 01. pii: S0360-3016(21)01016-6. [Epub ahead of print]111(3S): S57
      PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE(S): Although radiation is beneficial in killing tumor cells, it also causes accumulation of senescent cells in tumors and in the surrounding healthy tissue. Senescent tumor cells can recover by acquiring a senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP), which leads to undesired tumor cell proliferation. We hypothesize that the clearance of RT-induced senescence by a senolytic cocktail Dasatinib + Quercetin (DQ), may enhance the radio-sensitivity to RT in melanoma. Here, we present data on the effect of DQ and RT on tumor cells and senescence in a radio-resistant melanoma model in vitro and in vivo.MATERIALS/METHODS: Exponentially growing melanoma cells (B16F10) were irradiated with 2 Gy, 6 Gy or 12 Gy X-rays at room temperature. Following irradiation, cells were cultured for 2, 3, 5 and 8 days and markers for senescence were determined. In an in vivo study, C57BL/6 mice were injected with 0.5 × 106 B16F10 cells subcutaneously in the right leg. Mice were irradiated with three fractions of 10 Gy, and Dasatinib (5 mg/kg) + Quercetin (50 mg/kg) was given daily by oral gavage beginning from either 1 day after RT (early stage) or 7 days after RT (later stage) for total of 5 doses. Tumor volumes and survival were recorded. Tumor cell senescence was determined by the cells' morphology. Expression of biomarkers for senescence in tumor tissues were determined by senescence associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-Gal) assay, DNA damage (53BP1/ γ-H2AX foci), and qRT-PCR analysis for p21 and p16 genes, and SASP including IL-1b, IL-6, IL-8, TGF-b, TNF-a, and CXCL10.
    RESULTS: In vitro, RT increased signals for SA-β-Gal and volume of tumor cells in a dose dependent fashion: 0 Gy (0%) vs. 2 Gy (10%) vs. 6 Gy (50%) vs. 12 Gy (85%). QRT-PCR showed a time and dose-dependent increase of expression for CXCL10 and p21, which was higher at 12 Gy after 8 days compared to other doses and time points (all P < 0.05). In B16F10 tumor bearing mice treatment with RT + DQ (7 days post RT, late stage) reduced tumor volumes and extended survival compared to controls and groups treated with RT or DQ only. In contrast, the combination of RT + DQ on day 1 post RT (early stage) failed to enhance antitumor effects and survival. Analysis of biomarkers for senescence in irradiated tumors showed reduced expression of TGF-b and p21 in RT + DQ (7 days post RT, later stage) vs. RT alone. SA-β-Gal staining was reduced in the 53BP1/ γ-H2AX positive area in the RT + DQ (later stage) group compared to RT alone.
    CONCLUSION: The combination of senescence-inducing RT and a senolytic cocktail DQ enhanced the antitumor effects in a mouse model for melanoma in a time-dependent fashion. Further studies are ongoing to assess a potential mechanism of clearance of RT-induced senescence to validate clinical studies.
  15. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2021 Oct 26.
      The age-related vasculature alteration is the prominent risk factor for vascular diseases (VD), namely, atherosclerosis, abdominal aortic aneurysm, vascular calcification (VC) and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The chronic sterile low-grade inflammation state, alias inflammaging, characterizes elderly people and participates in VD development. MicroRNA34-a (miR-34a) is emerging as an important mediator of inflammaging and VD. miR-34a increases with aging in vessels and induces senescence and the acquisition of the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) in vascular smooth muscle (VSMCs) and endothelial (ECs) cells. Similarly, other VD risk factors, including dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia and hypertension, modify miR-34a expression to promote vascular senescence and inflammation. miR-34a upregulation causes endothelial dysfunction by affecting ECs nitric oxide bioavailability, adhesion molecules expression and inflammatory cells recruitment. miR-34a-induced senescence facilitates VSMCs osteoblastic switch and VC development in hyperphosphatemia conditions. Conversely, atherogenic and hypoxic stimuli downregulate miR-34a levels and promote VSMCs proliferation and migration during atherosclerosis and PAH. MiR34a genetic ablation or miR-34a inhibition by anti-miR-34a molecules in different experimental models of VD reduce vascular inflammation, senescence and apoptosis through sirtuin 1 Notch1, and B-cell lymphoma 2 modulation. Notably, pleiotropic drugs, like statins, liraglutide and metformin, affect miR-34a expression. Finally, human studies report that miR-34a levels associate to atherosclerosis and diabetes and correlate with inflammatory factors during aging. Herein, we comprehensively review the current knowledge about miR-34a-dependent molecular and cellular mechanisms activated by VD risk factors and highlight the diagnostic and therapeutic potential of modulating its expression in order to reduce inflammaging and VD burn and extend healthy lifespan.
    Keywords:  Atherosclerosis; Diabetes; Inflammaging; Senescence; Vascular calcification; microRNA
  16. Biomed Res Int. 2021 ;2021 8972074
      Aging is characterized by a progressive inability to maintain homeostasis, self-repair, renewal, performance, and fitness of different tissues throughout the lifespan. Senescence is occurring following enormous intracellular or extracellular stress stimuli. Cellular senescence serves as an antiproliferative process that causes permanent cell cycle arrest and restricts the lifespan. Senescent cells are characterized by terminal cell cycle arrest, enlarged lysosome, and DNA double-strand breaks as well as lipofuscin granularity, senescence-associated heterochromatin foci, and activation of DNA damage response. Curcumin, a hydrophobic polyphenol, is a bioactive chemical constituent of the rhizomes of Curcuma longa Linn (turmeric), which has been extensively used for the alleviation of various human disorders. In addition to its pleiotropic effects, curcumin has been suggested to have antiaging features. In this review, we summarized the therapeutic potential of curcumin in the prevention and delaying of the aging process.
  17. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2021 Oct 29.
      SIGNIFICANCE: Aging is a natural process that affects most living organisms, resulting in increased mortality. As the world population ages, the prevalence of age-associated diseases, and their associated healthcare costs, has increased sharply. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that lead to cellular dysfunction may provide important targets for interventions to prevent or treat these diseases. Recent Advances: Although the mitochondrial theory of aging has been proposed over 40 years ago, recent new data has given stronger support for a central role for mitochondrial dysfunction in several pathways that are deregulated during normal aging and age-associated disease.CRITICAL ISSUES: Several of the experimental evidence linking mitochondrial alterations to age-associated loss of function are correlative and mechanistic insight are still elusive. Here, we review how mitochondrial dysfunction may be involved in many of the known hallmarks of aging, and how these pathways interact in an intricate net of molecular relationships.
    FUTURE DIRECTIONS: As it has become clear that mitochondrial dysfunction plays causative roles in normal aging and age-associated diseases, it is necessary to better define the molecular interactions and the temporal and causal relations between these changes and the relevant phenotypes seen during the aging process.
  18. Mol Psychiatry. 2021 Oct 28.
      Aging is associated with chronic systemic inflammation, which contributes to the development of many age-related diseases, including vascular disease. The world's population is aging, leading to an increasing prevalence of both stroke and vascular dementia. The inflammatory response to ischemic stroke is critical to both stroke pathophysiology and recovery. Age is a predictor of poor outcomes after stroke. The immune response to stroke is altered in aged individuals, which contributes to the disparate outcomes between young and aged patients. In this review, we describe the current knowledge of the effects of aging on the immune system and the cerebral vasculature and how these changes alter the immune response to stroke and vascular dementia in animal and human studies. Potential implications of these age-related immune alterations on chronic inflammation in vascular disease outcome are highlighted.
  19. Mech Ageing Dev. 2021 Oct 21. pii: S0047-6374(21)00161-5. [Epub ahead of print]200 111589
      The pathogenic processes driving Alzheimer's disease (AD) are complex. An incomplete understanding of underlying disease mechanisms has presented insurmountable obstacles for developing effective disease-modifying therapies. Advanced chronological age is the greatest risk factor for developing AD. Intervening on biological aging may alter disease progression and represents a novel, complementary approach to current strategies. Toward this end, cellular senescence has emerged as a promising target. This complex stress response harbors damaged cells in a cell cycle arrested, apoptosis-resistant cell state. Senescent cells accumulate with age where they notoriously secrete molecules that contribute to chronic tissue dysfunction and disease. Thus, benefits of cell survival in a senescent fate are countered by their toxic secretome. The removal of senescent cells improves brain structure and function in rodent models at risk of developing AD, and in those with advanced Aβ and tau pathology. The present review describes the path to translating this promising treatment strategy to AD clinical trials. We review evidence for senescent cell accumulation in the human brain, considerations and strategies for senescence-targeting trials specific to AD, approaches to detect senescent brain cells in biofluids, and summarize the goals of the first senolytic trials for the treatment of AD (NCT04063124 and NCT04685590).
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; Biology of aging; Brain; Cellular senescence; Clinical trials; Exosomes; Geroscience; Neurodegeneration; Senolytics; Tauopathy
  20. Natl Sci Rev. 2021 Feb;8(2): nwaa127
      Aging-related degeneration of pancreatic islet cells contributes to impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes. Endocrine cells age heterogeneously, complicating the efforts to unravel the molecular drivers underlying endocrine aging. To overcome these obstacles, we undertook single-cell RNA sequencing of pancreatic islet cells obtained from young and aged non-diabetic cynomolgus monkeys. Despite sex differences and increased transcriptional variations, aged β-cells showed increased unfolded protein response (UPR) along with the accumulation of protein aggregates. We observed transcriptomic dysregulation of UPR components linked to canonical ATF6 and IRE1 signaling pathways, comprising adaptive UPR during pancreatic aging. Notably, we found aging-related β-cell-specific upregulation of HSP90B1, an endoplasmic reticulum-located chaperone, impeded high glucose-induced insulin secretion. Our work decodes aging-associated transcriptomic changes that underlie pancreatic islet functional decay at single-cell resolution and indicates that targeting UPR components may prevent loss of proteostasis, suggesting an avenue to delaying β-cell aging and preventing aging-related diabetes.
    Keywords:  aging; islet; primate; single-cell RNA sequencing; β-cell
  21. FEBS J. 2021 Oct 24.
      Proteolytic activity declines with age, resulting in the accumulation of aggregated proteins in aged organisms. To investigate how disturbance in proteostasis causes cellular senescence, we developed a stress-induced premature senescence (SIPS) model, in which normal human fibroblast MRC-5 cells were treated with the proteasome inhibitor MG132 or the V-ATPase inhibitor bafilomycin A1 (BAFA1) for 5 days. Time-course studies revealed a significant increase in intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondrial superoxide during and after drug treatment. Mitochondrial membrane potential initially decreased, suggesting temporal mitochondrial dysfunction during drug treatment, but was restored along with mitochondrial accumulation after drug treatment. AMP-activated protein kinase alpha (AMPKα) was notably activated during treatment; thereafter, intracellular ATP levels significantly increased. SIPS induction by MG132 or BAFA1 was partially attenuated by co-treatment with vitamin E or rapamycin, in which the levels of ROS, mitochondrial accumulation, and protein aggregates were suppressed, implying the critical involvement of oxidative stress and mitochondrial function in SIPS progression. Rapamycin co-treatment also augmented the expression of HSP70 and activation of AKT, which could recover proteostasis and promote cell survival, respectively. Our study proposes a possible pathway from the disturbed proteostasis to cellular senescence via excess ROS production as well as functional and quantitative changes in mitochondria.
    Keywords:  DNA damage response; aggregate; lysosome; oxidative stress; proteasome
  22. Aging Cell. 2021 Oct 29. e13500
      Dietary restriction (DR) was reported to either have no effect or reduce the lifespan of the majority of the 41-recombinant inbred (RI) lines studied by Liao et al. (Aging Cell, 2010, 9, 92). In an appropriately power longevity study (n > 30 mice/group), we measured the lifespan of the four RI lines (115-RI, 97-RI, 98-RI, and 107-RI) that were reported to have the greatest decrease in lifespan when fed 40% DR. DR increased the median lifespan of female RI-115, 97-RI, and 107-RI mice and male 115-RI mice. DR had little effect (<4%) on the median lifespan of female and male 98-RI mice and male 97-RI mice and reduced the lifespan of male 107-RI mice over 20%. While our study was unable to replicate the effect of DR on the lifespan of the RI mice (except male 107-RI mice) reported by Liao et al. (Aging Cell, 2010, 9, 92), we found that the genotype of a mouse had a major impact on the effect of DR on lifespan, with the effect of DR ranging from a 50% increase to a 22% decrease in median lifespan. No correlation was observed between the changes in either body composition or glucose tolerance induced by DR and the changes observed in lifespan of the four RI lines of male and female mice. These four RI lines of mice give the research community a unique resource where investigators for the first time can study the anti-aging mechanism of DR by comparing mice in which DR increases lifespan to mice where DR has either no effect or reduces lifespan.
    Keywords:  adiposity; dietary restriction; glucose tolerance; lifespan; recombinant inbred lines
  23. Mol Oncol. 2021 Oct 27.
      Uveal melanoma (UM) is the most common intraocular tumor in adults. Recurrent mutations in BRCA1-associated protein 1 (BAP1) and splicing factor 3B subunit 1 (SF3B1) display a mutually exclusive pattern in UM, but the underlying mechanism is unknown. We show that combined BAP1 deficiency and SF3B1 hotspot mutation leads to senescence and growth arrest in human UM cells. Although p53 protein expression is induced, deletion of TP53 (encoding p53) only modestly rescues the observed senescent phenotype. UM cells with BAP1 loss or SF3B1 mutation are more sensitive to chemotherapeutic drugs compared with their isogenic parental cells. Transcriptome analysis shows that DNA-repair genes are downregulated upon co-occurrence of BAP1 deletion and SF3B1 mutation, thus leading to impaired DNA damage response and the induction of senescence. The co-occurrence of these two mutations reduces invasion of UM cells in zebrafish xenograft models and suppresses growth of melanoma xenografts in nude mice. Our findings provide a mechanistic explanation for the mutual exclusivity of BAP1 and SF3B1 mutations in human UM.
    Keywords:  BAP1; SF3B1; Uveal melanoma; mutually exclusive pattern; recurrent mutations; senescence
  24. Exp Gerontol. 2021 Oct 26. pii: S0531-5565(21)00389-2. [Epub ahead of print] 111607
      The effects of aging on ROS production and DNA damage were assessed in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE-/-) mice (2-, 12- and 24-month-old), a traditional experimental model of atherogenic dyslipidemia. HSCs from aged ApoE-/- mice were associated with increased ROS levels, leading to loss quiescence, DNA damage, apoptosis and telomere shortening. The concurrence of lack of ApoE and aging result in exhaustion and senescence of HSCs accompanied by increased oxidative stress and inflammation. Therefore, our data open avenues to a better understanding of age-related changes and genetic factors, which may synergistically compromise the efficacy of aged HSC recovery and/or transplantation.
    Keywords:  Aging; Atherosclerosis; Cell cycle; Oxidative stress; Telomere
  25. Ann Rheum Dis. 2021 Oct 27. pii: annrheumdis-2021-221091. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to investigate the role and regulatory mechanisms of fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) and their senescence in the progression of osteoarthritis (OA).METHODS: Synovial tissues from normal patients and patients with OA were collected. Synovium FLS senescence was analysed by immunofluorescence and western blotting. The role of methyltransferase-like 3 (METTL3) in autophagy regulation was explored using N6-methyladenosine (m6A)-methylated RNA and RNA immunoprecipitation assays. Mice subjected to destabilisation of the medial meniscus (DMM) surgery were intra-articularly injected with or without pAAV9 loaded with small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting METTL3. Histological analysis was performed to determine cartilage damage.
    RESULTS: Senescent FLSs were markedly increased with the progression of OA in patients and mouse models. We determined that impaired autophagy occurred in OA-FLS, resulting in the upregulation of senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Re-establishment of autophagy reversed the senescent phenotype by suppressing GATA4. Further, we observed for the first time that excessive m6A modification negatively regulated autophagy in OA-FLS. Mechanistically, METTL3-mediated m6A modification decreased the expression of autophagy-related 7, an E-1 enzyme crucial for the formation of autophagosomes, by attenuating its RNA stability. Silencing METTL3 enhanced autophagic flux and inhibited SASP expression in OA-FLS. Intra-articular injection of synovium-targeted METTL3 siRNA suppressed cellular senescence propagation in joints and ameliorated DMM-induced cartilage destruction.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our study revealed the important role of FLS senescence in OA progression. Targeted METTL3 inhibition could alleviate the senescence of FLS and limit OA development in experimental animal models, providing a potential strategy for OA therapy.
    Keywords:  biological therapy; fibroblasts; inflammation; knee; osteoarthritis
  26. Curr Opin Virol. 2021 Oct 21. pii: S1879-6257(21)00122-X. [Epub ahead of print]51 127-133
      T cells are a critical component of the immune system and required for protection against viral and bacterial infections. However, the capacity of these cells to provide sufficient protection declines with age, leading to an increased susceptibility to and mortality from infection in older individuals. In many cases, it also contributes to poor vaccine-induced immunity. Understanding the basic biology behind T cell aging is key to unraveling these defects and, in turn, designing more effective vaccines and therapeutics for the older population. Here, we will discuss recent studies that have provided significant insight into the features of T cell aging, how these features may contribute to poor immune responses with advancing age and newer avenues of research that may further enhance anti-viral immunity in older individuals.
  27. Annu Rev Anim Biosci. 2021 Oct 26.
      As the most phenotypically diverse mammalian species that shares human environments and access to sophisticated healthcare, domestic dogs have unique potential to inform our understanding of the determinants of aging. Here we outline key concepts in the study of aging and illustrate the value of research with dogs, which can improve dog health and support translational discoveries. We consider similarities and differences in aging and age-related diseases in dogs and humans and summarize key advances in our understanding of genetic and environmental risk factors for morbidity and mortality in dogs. We address health outcomes ranging from cancer to cognitive function and highlight emerging research opportunities from large-scale cohort studies in companion dogs. We conclude that studying aging in dogs could overcome many limitations of laboratory models, most notably, the ability to assess how aging-associated pathways influence aging in real-world environments similar to those experienced by humans. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Animal Biosciences, Volume 10 is February 2022. Please see for revised estimates.
  28. Front Neurosci. 2021 ;15 747067
      Human colonic neuromuscular functions decline among the elderly. The aim was to explore the involvement of senescence. A preliminary PCR study looked for age-dependent differences in expression of CDKN1A (encoding the senescence-related p21 protein) and CDKN2A (encoding p16 and p14) in human ascending and descending colon (without mucosa) from 39 (approximately 50: 50 male: female) adult (aged 27-60 years) and elderly donors (70-89 years). Other genes from different aging pathways (e.g., inflammation, oxidative stress, autophagy) and cell-types (e.g., neurons, neuron axonal transport) were also examined. Unlike CDKN1A, CDKN2A (using primers for p16 and p14 but not when using p14-specific primers) was upregulated in both regions of colon. Compared with the number of genes appearing to upregulate in association with temporal age, more genes positively associated with increased CDKN2A expression (respectively, 16 and five of 44 genes studied for ascending and descending colon). Confirmation of increased expression of CDKN2A was sought by immunostaining for p16 in the myenteric plexus of colon from 52 patients, using a semi-automated software protocol. The results showed increased staining not within the glial cells (S100 stained), but in the cytoplasm of myenteric nerve cell bodies (MAP2 stained, with identified nucleus) of ascending, but not descending colon of the elderly, and not in the cell nucleus of either region or age group (5,710 neurons analyzed: n = 12-14 for each group). It was concluded that increased p16 staining within the cytoplasm of myenteric nerve cell bodies of elderly ascending (but not descending) colon, suggests a region-dependent, post-mitotic cellular senescence-like activity, perhaps involved with aging of enteric neurons within the colon.
    Keywords:  aging; colon; human; myenteric neuron; p16; senescence
  29. Aging Cell. 2021 Oct 27. e13497
      The study of parental lifespan has emerged as an innovative tool to advance aging biology and our understanding of the genetic architecture of human longevity and aging-associated diseases. Here, we leveraged summary statistics of a genome-wide association study including over one million parental lifespans to identify genetically regulated genes from the Genotype-Tissue Expression project. Through a combination of multi-tissue transcriptome-wide association analyses and genetic colocalization, we identified novel genes that may be associated with parental lifespan. Mendelian randomization (MR) analyses also identified circulating proteins and metabolites causally associated with parental lifespan and chronic diseases offering new drug repositioning opportunities such as those targeting apolipoprotein-B-containing lipoproteins. Liver expression of HP, the gene encoding haptoglobin, and plasma haptoglobin levels were causally linked with parental lifespan. Phenome-wide MR analyses were used to map genetically regulated genes, proteins and metabolites with other human traits as well as the disease-related phenome in the FinnGen cohorts (n = 135,638). Altogether, this study identified new candidate genes, circulating proteins and metabolites that may influence human aging as well as potential therapeutic targets for chronic diseases that warrant further investigation.
    Keywords:  Mendelian Randomization; Metabolomics; Parental Lifespan; Proteomics; Transcriptomics
  30. Nat Commun. 2021 Oct 27. 12(1): 6201
      Cancer incidence increases with age and is a leading cause of death. Caloric restriction (CR) confers benefits on health and survival and delays cancer. However, due to CR's stringency, dietary alternatives offering the same cancer protection have become increasingly attractive. Short cycles of a plant-based diet designed to mimic fasting (FMD) are protective against tumorigenesis without the chronic restriction of calories. Yet, it is unclear whether the fasting time, level of dietary restriction, or nutrient composition is the primary driver behind cancer protection. Using a breast cancer model in mice, we compare the potency of daily CR to that of periodic caloric cycling on FMD or an isocaloric standard laboratory chow against primary tumor growth and metastatic burden. Here, we report that daily CR provides greater protection against tumor growth and metastasis to the lung, which may be in part due to the unique immune signature observed with daily CR.
  31. Curr Med Chem. 2021 Oct 27.
      Aging refers to a natural process and a universal phenomenon in all cells, tissues, organs and the whole organism. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are non-coding RNAs with the length of 200 nucleotides. LncRNA growth arrest-specific 5 (lncRNA GAS5) is often down-regulated in cancer. The accumulation of lncRNA GAS5 has been found to be able to inhibit cancer growth, invasion and metastasis, while enhancing the sensitivity of cells to chemotherapy drugs. LncRNA GAS5 can be a signaling protein, which is specifically transcribed under different triggering conditions. Subsequently, it is involved in signal transmission in numerous pathways as a signal node. LncRNA GAS5, with a close relationship to multiple miRNAs, was suggested to be involved in the signaling pathway under three action modes (i.e., signal, bait and guidance). LncRNA GAS5 was found to be involved in different age-related diseases (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, cancer etc.). This study mainly summarized the regulatory effect exerted by lncRNA GAS5 on age-related diseases.
    Keywords:  Atherosclerosis; Cancer; GAS5; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; age-related diseases; lncRNAs
  32. Aging Cell. 2021 Oct 27. e13507
      Previous studies have shown that long-term light or moderate fasting such as intermittent fasting can improve health and prolong lifespan. However, in humans short-term intensive fasting, a complete water-only fasting has little been studied. Here, we used multi-omics tools to evaluate the impact of short-term intensive fasting on immune function by comparison of the CD45+ leukocytes from the fasting subjects before and after 72-h fasting. Transcriptomic and proteomic profiling of CD45+ leukocytes revealed extensive expression changes, marked by higher gene upregulation than downregulation after fasting. Functional enrichment of differentially expressed genes and proteins exposed several pathways critical to metabolic and immune cell functions. Specifically, short-term intensive fasting enhanced autophagy levels through upregulation of key members involved in the upstream signals and within the autophagy machinery, whereas apoptosis was reduced by down-turning of apoptotic gene expression, thereby increasing the leukocyte viability. When focusing on specific leukocyte populations, peripheral neutrophils are noticeably increased by short-term intensive fasting. Finally, proteomic analysis of leukocytes showed that short-term intensive fasting not only increased neutrophil degranulation, but also increased cytokine secretion. Our results suggest that short-term intensive fasting boost immune function, in particular innate immune function, at least in part by remodeling leukocytes expression profile.
    Keywords:  fasting; human; innate immunity; longevity; neutrophils
  33. Ageing Res Rev. 2021 Oct 23. pii: S1568-1637(21)00249-X. [Epub ahead of print] 101502
      Estimators of biological age (BA) - defined as the hypothetical underlying age of an organism - have attracted more and more attention in the last years, especially after the advent of new algorithms based on machine learning and genetic markers. While different aging clocks reportedly predict mortality in the general population, very little is known on their overlap. Here we review the evidence reported so far to support the existence of a partial overlap among different BA acceleration estimators, both from an epidemiological and a genetic perspective. On the epidemiological side, we review evidence supporting shared and independent influence on mortality risk of different aging clocks - including telomere length, brain, blood and epigenetic aging - and provide an overview of how an important exposure like diet may affect the different aging systems. On the genetic side, we apply linkage disequilibrium score regression analyses to support the existence of partly shared genomic overlap among these aging clocks. Through multivariate analysis of published genetic associations with these clocks, we also identified the most associated variants, genes, and pathways, which may affect common mechanisms underlying biological aging of different systems within the body. Based on our analyses, the most implicated pathways were involved in inflammation, lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, suggesting them as potential molecular targets for future anti-aging interventions. Overall, this review is meant as a contribution to the knowledge on the overlap of aging clocks, trying to clarify their shared biological basis and epidemiological implications.
    Keywords:  DNA methylation clocks; biological aging; blood age; brain age; genetics; mortality; telomere length
  34. Cell Death Dis. 2021 Oct 27. 12(11): 1006
      The c-Myc oncoprotein plays a prominent role in cancer initiation, progression, and maintenance. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are recently emerging as critical regulators of the c-Myc signaling pathway. Here, we report the lncRNA USP2-AS1 as a direct transcriptional target of c-Myc. Functionally, USP2-AS1 inhibits cellular senescence and acts as an oncogenic molecule by inducing E2F1 expression. Mechanistically, USP2-AS1 associates with the RNA-binding protein G3BP1 and facilitates the interaction of G3BP1 to E2F1 3'-untranslated region, thereby leading to the stabilization of E2F1 messenger RNA. Furthermore, USP2-AS1 is shown as a mediator of the oncogenic function of c-Myc via the regulation of E2F1. Together, these findings suggest that USP2-AS1 is a negative regulator of cellular senescence and also implicates USP2-AS1 as an important player in mediating c-Myc function.