bims-senagi Biomed News
on Senescence and aging
Issue of 2021‒12‒12
twenty-six papers selected by
Maria Grazia Vizioli
Mayo Clinic

  1. Aging Cell. 2021 Dec 10. e13521
      The increase in senescent cells in tissues, including the brain, is a general feature of normal aging and age-related pathologies. Senescent cells exhibit a specific phenotype, which includes an altered nuclear morphology and transcriptomic changes. Astrocytes undergo senescence in vitro and in age-associated neurodegenerative diseases, but little is known about whether this process also occurs in physiological aging, as well as its functional implication. Here, we investigated astrocyte senescence in vitro, in old mouse brains, and in post-mortem human brain tissue of elderly. We identified a significant loss of lamin-B1, a major component of the nuclear lamina, as a hallmark of senescent astrocytes. We showed a severe reduction of lamin-B1 in the dentate gyrus of aged mice, including in hippocampal astrocytes, and in the granular cell layer of the hippocampus of post-mortem human tissue from non-demented elderly. The lamin-B1 reduction was associated with nuclear deformations, represented by an increased incidence of invaginated nuclei and loss of nuclear circularity in senescent astrocytes in vitro and in the aging human hippocampus. We also found differences in lamin-B1 levels and astrocyte nuclear morphology between the granular cell layer and polymorphic layer in the elderly human hippocampus, suggesting an intra-regional-dependent aging response of human astrocytes. Moreover, we described senescence-associated impaired neuritogenic and synaptogenic capacity of mouse astrocytes. Our findings show that reduction of lamin-B1 is a conserved feature of hippocampal cells aging, including astrocytes, and shed light on significant defects in nuclear lamina structure which may contribute to astrocyte dysfunctions during aging.
    Keywords:  aging; astrocyte; human and mouse hippocampus; lamin-B1; senescence; synapse
  2. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Dec 06. pii: 13173. [Epub ahead of print]22(23):
      Cellular senescence entails a state of an essentially irreversible proliferative arrest in which cells remain metabolically active and secrete a range of pro-inflammatory and proteolytic factors as part of the senescence-associated secretory phenotype. There are different types of senescent cells, and senescence can be induced in response to many DNA damage signals. Senescent cells accumulate in different tissues and organs where they have distinct physiological and pathological functions. Despite this diversity, all senescent cells must be able to survive in a nondividing state while protecting themselves from positive feedback loops linked to the constant activation of the DNA damage response. This capacity requires changes in core cellular programs. Understanding how different cell types can undergo extensive changes in their transcriptional programs, metabolism, heterochromatin patterns, and cellular structures to induce a common cellular state is crucial to preventing cancer development/progression and to improving health during aging. In this review, we discuss how senescent cells continuously evolve after their initial proliferative arrest and highlight the unifying features that define the senescent state.
    Keywords:  DNA damage signaling; aging; cell cycle arrest; cellular senescence; epigenetic and chromatin changes; metabolism alteration; mitochondrial dysfunction; senescence-associated secretory phenotype; transcriptome signature
  3. Nat Metab. 2021 Dec 06.
      Ageing-associated functional decline of organs and increased risk for age-related chronic pathologies is driven in part by the accumulation of senescent cells, which develop the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Here we show that procyanidin C1 (PCC1), a polyphenolic component of grape seed extract (GSE), increases the healthspan and lifespan of mice through its action on senescent cells. By screening a library of natural products, we find that GSE, and PCC1 as one of its active components, have specific effects on senescent cells. At low concentrations, PCC1 appears to inhibit SASP formation, whereas it selectively kills senescent cells at higher concentrations, possibly by promoting production of reactive oxygen species and mitochondrial dysfunction. In rodent models, PCC1 depletes senescent cells in a treatment-damaged tumour microenvironment and enhances therapeutic efficacy when co-administered with chemotherapy. Intermittent administration of PCC1 to either irradiated, senescent cell-implanted or naturally aged old mice alleviates physical dysfunction and prolongs survival. We identify PCC1 as a natural senotherapeutic agent with in vivo activity and high potential for further development as a clinical intervention to delay, alleviate or prevent age-related pathologies.
  4. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Nov 23. pii: 12641. [Epub ahead of print]22(23):
      The skin, being the barrier organ of the body, is constitutively exposed to various stimuli impacting its morphology and function. Senescent cells have been found to accumulate with age and may contribute to age-related skin changes and pathologies. Natural polyphenols exert many health benefits, including ameliorative effects on skin aging. By affecting molecular pathways of senescence, polyphenols are able to prevent or delay the senescence formation and, consequently, avoid or ameliorate aging and age-associated pathologies of the skin. This review aims to provide an overview of the current state of knowledge in skin aging and cellular senescence, and to summarize the recent in vitro studies related to the anti-senescent mechanisms of natural polyphenols carried out on keratinocytes, melanocytes and fibroblasts. Aged skin in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic will be also discussed.
    Keywords:  anti-senescence; natural polyphenols; senescence; skin aging
  5. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 780897
      Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)-derived exosomes were considered a novel therapeutic approach in many aging-related diseases. This study aimed to clarify the protective effects of human placenta MSCs-derived exosomes (hPMSC-Exo) in aging-related CD4+ T cell senescence and identified the underlying mechanisms using a D-gal induced mouse aging model. Senescent T cells were detected SA-β-gal stain. The degree of DNA damage was evaluated by detecting the level of 8-OH-dG. The superoxide dismutase (SOD) and total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) activities were measured. The expression of aging-related proteins and senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) were detected by Western blot and RT-PCR. We found that hPMSC-Exo treatment markedly decreased oxidative stress damage (ROS and 8-OH-dG), SA-β-gal positive cell number, aging-related protein expression (p53 and γ-H2AX), and SASP expression (IL-6 and OPN) in senescent CD4+ T cells. Additionally, hPMSC-Exo containing miR-21 effectively downregulated the expression of PTEN, increased p-PI3K and p-AKT expression, and Nrf2 nuclear translocation and the expression of downstream target genes (NQO1 and HO-1) in senescent CD4+ T cells. Furthermore, in vitro studies uncovered that hPMSC-Exo attenuated CD4+ T cell senescence by improving the PTEN/PI3K-Nrf2 axis by using the PTEN inhibitor bpV (HOpic). We also validated that PTEN was a target of miR-21 by using a luciferase reporter assay. Collectively, the obtained results suggested that hPMSC-Exo attenuates CD4+ T cells senescence via carrying miRNA-21 and activating PTEN/PI3K-Nrf2 axis mediated exogenous antioxidant defenses.
    Keywords:  CD4 + T cells; Nrf2; aging; exosomes; hPMSC; miR-21
  6. Front Genet. 2021 ;12 714228
      A decline in mitochondrial function has long been associated with age-related health decline. Several lines of evidence suggest that interventions that stimulate mitochondrial autophagy (mitophagy) can slow aging and prolong healthy lifespan. Prohibitins (PHB1 and PHB2) assemble at the mitochondrial inner membrane and are critical for mitochondrial homeostasis. In addition, prohibitins (PHBs) have diverse roles in cell and organismal biology. Here, we will discuss the role of PHBs in mitophagy, oxidative phosphorylation, cellular senescence, and apoptosis. We will also discuss the role of PHBs in modulating lifespan. In addition, we will review the links between PHBs and diseases of aging. Finally, we will discuss the emerging concept that PHBs may represent an attractive therapeutic target to counteract aging and age-onset disease.
    Keywords:  PHB1; PHB2; age-related diseases; aging; prohibitin
  7. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2021 Dec 09. pii: keab904. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVE: Emerging evidence demonstrates that excessive accumulation of senescent cells is associated with some chronic diseases and suggests a pathogenic role of cellular senescence in fibrotic processes, such as that occurring in aging or in systemic sclerosis (SSc). Recently, we demonstrated that parvovirus B19 (B19V) activates normal human dermal fibroblasts and induces expression of different profibrotic/proinflammatory genes. This observation prompted us to investigate whether it is also able to induce fibroblast senescence as a potential pathogenetic mechanism in B19V-induced fibrosis.METHODS: Primary cultures of fibroblasts were infected with B19V and analyzed for the acquisition of senescence markers, such as morphological modifications, senescence-associated beta-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) activity, DNA damage response (DDR) and expression of senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP)-related factors.
    RESULTS: We demonstrated that B19V-infected fibroblasts develop typical senescence features such as enlarged and flat-shaped morphology and SA-β-gal activity similar to that observed in SSc skin fibroblasts. They also developed a SASP-like phenotype characterized by mRNA expression and release of some proinflammatory cytokines, along with activation of transcription factor NFkB. Moreover, we observed B19V-induced DNA damage with the comet assay: a subpopulation of fibroblasts from B19V-infected cultures showed a significant higher level of DNA strand breaks and oxidative damage compared with mock-infected cells. Increased level and nuclear localization of ɣH2AX, a hallmark of DNA damage response, were also found.
    CONCLUSIONS: B19V-induced senescence and production of SASP-like factors in normal dermal fibroblasts could represent a new pathogenic mechanism of non-productive B19V infection, which may have a role in the fibrotic process.
    Keywords:  cellular senescence; fibrosis; normal human dermal fibroblasts; parvovirus B19; systemic sclerosis
  8. Aging Dis. 2021 Dec;12(8): 1948-1963
      High incidences of morbidity and mortality associated with age-related diseases among the elderly population are a socio-economic challenge. Aging is an irreversible and inevitable process that is a risk factor for pathological progression of diverse age-related diseases. Spermidine, a natural polyamine, plays a critical role in molecular and cellular interactions involved in various physiological and functional processes. Spermidine has been shown to modulate aging, suppress the occurrence and severity of age-related diseases, and prolong lifespan. However, the precise mechanisms through which spermidine exerts its anti-aging effects have not been established. In this review, we elucidate on the mechanisms and roles underlying the beneficial effects of spermidine in aging from a molecular and cellular perspective. Moreover, we provide new insights into the promising potential diagnostic and therapeutic applications of spermidine in aging and age-related diseases.
    Keywords:  age-related diseases; aging; autophagy; longevity; spermidine
  9. FEBS J. 2021 Dec 06.
      Microglial homeostasis has emerged as a critical mediator of health and disease in the central nervous system. In their neuroprotective role as the predominant immune cells of the brain, microglia surveil the microenvironment for debris and pathogens, while also promoting neurogenesis and performing maintenance on synapses. Chronological aging, disease onset, or traumatic injury promotes irreparable damage or deregulated signaling to reinforce neurotoxic phenotypes in microglia. These insults may include cellular senescence, a stable growth arrest often accompanied by the production of a distinctive pro-inflammatory secretory phenotype, which may contribute to age- or disease-driven decline in neuronal health and cognition and is a potential novel therapeutic target. Despite this increased scrutiny, unanswered questions remain about what distinguishes senescent microglia and non-senescent microglia reacting to insults occurring in aging, disease, and injury, and how central the development of senescence is in their pivot from guardian to assailant. To intelligently design future studies to untangle senescent microglia from other primed and reactionary states, specific criteria must be developed that define this population and allow for comparisons between different model systems. Comparing microglial activity seen in homeostasis, aging, disease, and injury allows for a more coherent understanding of when and how senescent and other harmful microglial subpopulations should be targeted.
    Keywords:  TBI; aging; microglia; neurodegenerative disease; senescence
  10. Aging (Albany NY). 2021 Dec 05. 13(undefined):
      Doxorubicin (Dox), an important anthracycline, is a potent anticancer agent that is used for treating solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. However, its clinical use is hampered by cardiac cardiotoxicity. This study aimed to investigate the cardioprotective potential of miR-199a-3p. Continuous Dox treatment not only markedly induced cardiomyocyte senescence but also resulted in a growing number of senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) cardiomyocytes, frequently leading to heart senescence. This study showed that miR-199a-3p was downregulated in cardiomyocytes when exposed to Dox. The cardiac-specific overexpression of miR-199a-3p promoted cell cycle re-entry and cell proliferation, resulting in relief from cardiac senescence. Also, the elevation of miR-199a-3p inhibited the generation of SASP, thus, hampering the spread of senescence. In cardiomyocytes, the modulation of miR-199a-3p changed the levels of senescence-related protein GATA4. The ectopic expression of GATA4 blunted the anti-senescence effect of miR-199a-3p. Together, the data supported a role for miR-199a-3p during Dox cardiotoxicity. The elevation of miR-199a-3p might provide a dual therapeutic advantage in Dox cardiotoxicity therapy by simultaneously preventing cardiac senescence and reducing the spread of senescence.
    Keywords:  cardiotoxicity; doxorubicin; exosome; microRNA; senescence
  11. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 780461
      Cellular senescence plays a crucial role in tumorigenesis, development and immune modulation in cancers. However, to date, a robust and reliable cellular senescence-related signature and its value in clinical outcomes and immunotherapy response remain unexplored in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) patients. Through exploring the expression profiles of 278 cellular senescence-related genes in 936 LUAD patients, a cellular senescence-related signature (SRS) was constructed and validated as an independent prognostic predictor for LUAD patients. Notably, patients with high SRS scores exhibited upregulation of senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) and an immunosuppressive phenotype. Further analysis showed that SRS combined with immune checkpoint expression or TMB served as a good predictor for patients' clinical outcomes, and patients with low SRS scores might benefit from immunotherapy. Collectively, our findings demonstrated that SRS involved in the regulation of the tumor immune microenvironment through SASP was a robust biomarker for the immunotherapeutic response and prognosis in LUAD.
    Keywords:  cellular senescence; immunotherapy; lung adenocarcinoma; prognosis; senescence-associated secretory phenotype; tumor microenvironment
  12. Arthritis Res Ther. 2021 12 08. 23(1): 301
      BACKGROUND: WNT16 is critical for bone homeostasis, but the effect of WNT16 in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is still unknown. Here, we investigated whether WNT16 influences bone formation and pathophysiological changes of AS in an in vitro model.METHODS: The bone tissue from the facet joints was obtained from seven disease control and seven AS patients. Primary osteoprogenitor cells of the facet joints were isolated using an outgrowth method. Isolated osteoprogenitor cells from both control and AS tissues were analyzed by microarray, RT-qPCR, immunoblotting, and immunohistochemistry. The bone-forming activity of osteoprogenitor cells was assessed by various in vitro assays. β-galactosidase staining and senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) using RT-qPCR were used to assess cell senescence.
    RESULTS: In microarray analysis, WNT16 expression was significantly elevated in AS osteoprogenitor cells compared to the control. We also validated that WNT16 expression was elevated in AS-osteoprogenitor cells and human AS-bone tissues. WNT16 treatment inhibited bone formation in AS-osteoprogenitor cells but not in the control. Intriguingly, AS-osteoprogenitor cells were stained markedly with β-galactosidase for cell senescence in WNT16 treatment. Furthermore, in an H2O2 stress-induced premature senescence condition, WNT16 treatment increased cell senescence in AS-osteoprogenitor cells and WNT16 treatment under the H2O2 stress condition showed an increase in p21 protein and SASP mRNA expression. The WNT16-induced SASP expression in AS-osteoprogenitor cells was reduced in WNT16 knockdown cultures.
    CONCLUSION: WNT16 is highly expressed in AS and WNT16 treatment facilitated cell senescence in AS-osteoprogenitor cells during osteoblast differentiation accompanied by suppression of bone formation. The identified role of WNT16 in AS could influence bone loss in AS patients.
  13. IUBMB Life. 2021 Dec 10.
      The clearance of damaged or unwanted mitochondria by autophagy (also known as mitophagy) is a mitochondrial quality control mechanism postulated to play an essential role in cellular homeostasis, metabolism, and development and confers protection against a wide range of diseases. Proper removal of damaged or unwanted mitochondria is essential for organismal health. Defects in mitophagy are associated with Parkinson's, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, and other degenerative disorders. Mitochondria regulate organismal fitness and longevity via multiple pathways, including cellular senescence, stem cell function, inflammation, mitochondrial unfolded protein response (mtUPR), and bioenergetics. Thus, mitophagy is postulated to be pivotal for maintaining organismal healthspan and lifespan and the protection against aged-related degeneration. In this review, we will summarize recent understanding of the mechanism of mitophagy and aspects of mitochondrial functions. We will focus on mitochondria-related cellular processes that are linked to aging and examine current genetic evidence that supports the hypothesis that mitophagy is a pro-longevity mechanism.
    Keywords:  aging; longevity; mitophagy
  14. Mol Metab. 2021 Dec 03. pii: S2212-8778(21)00272-6. [Epub ahead of print] 101414
      OBJECTIVE: Age is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes (T2D). We aimed to elucidate whether β cell glucose metabolism is altered with aging and contributes to T2D.METHODS: As a model of aging, we used senescence-accelerated mouse (SAM), C57BL/6J (B6), and ob/ob mice. As a diabetes model, we used db/db mice. Glucose responsiveness of insulin secretion and [U-13C]-glucose metabolic flux were examined in isolated islets. As molecular signatures of β cell identity, we analyzed expression of β-cell-specific genes in isolated islets and pancreatic sections. β cells defective in the malate-aspartate (MA) shuttle were previously generated from MIN6-K8 cells by knockout of Got1, a component of the shuttle. We analyzed Got1 KO β cells as a model of increased glycolysis.
    RESULTS: We identified hyperresponsiveness to glucose and compromised cellular identity as dysfunctional phenotypes shared in common between aged and diabetic mouse β cells. We also reveal a metabolic commonality between aged and diabetic β cells: hyperactive glycolysis through increased expression of Nmnat2, a cytosolic NAD-synthesizing enzyme. Got1 KO β cells showed increased glycolysis, β cell dysfunction, and impaired cellular identity, phenocopying aging and diabetes. Using Got1 KO β cells, we show that attenuation of glycolysis or Nmnat2 activity can restore β cell function and identity.
    CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrates that hyperactive glycolysis is a metabolic signature of aged and diabetic β cells, which may underlie age-related β cell dysfunction and loss of cellular identity. We suggest Nmnat2 suppression as an approach to counteract age-related T2D.
    Keywords:  Aging; Diabetes; Glycolysis; Insulin; NAD; β cells
  15. J Cell Mol Med. 2021 Dec 07.
      Oxidative stress, a hallmark of ageing, inhibits the osteogenic differentiation of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells in long bone. The dysfunction of the cellular antioxidant defence system is a critical cause of oxidative stress, but the mechanism of the decline of antioxidant defence in senescent stem cells remains elusive. Here, we found that EZH2, an epigenetic regulator of histone methylation, acted as a suppressor of the antioxidative defence system in BMSCs from the femur. The increased EZH2 led to a decrease in the levels of antioxidant enzymes and exaggerated oxidative damage in aged BMSCs, resulting in the defect of bone formation and regeneration. Mechanistically, EZH2 enhanced the modification of H3K27me3 on the promoter of Foxo1 and suppressed its function to activate the downstream genes in antioxidant defence. Moreover, epigenetic therapy targeting EZH2-mediated H3K27me3 modification largely recovered the antioxidant defence in BMSCs and attenuate oxidative damage, leading to the recovery of the osteogenesis in old BMSCs. Taken together, our findings revealed novel crosstalk between histone epigenetic modification and oxidative stress during stem cell ageing, suggesting a possibility of epigenetic therapy in the recovery of BMSCs senescence and treatment of age-related bone disease.
    Keywords:  bone remodelling; cell differentiation; epigenetics; oxidative stress; stem cells
  16. FEBS Open Bio. 2021 Dec 08.
      Age-related diseases represent some of largest unmet clinical needs of our time. While treatment of specific disease-related signs has had some success (for example the effect of statin drugs on slowing progression of atherosclerosis), slowing biological ageing itself represents a target that could significantly increase health-span and reduce the prevalence of multiple age-related diseases. Mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is known to control fundamental processes in ageing: inhibiting this signalling complex slows biological ageing, reduces age-related disease pathology, and increases lifespan in model organisms. How mTORC1 inhibition achieves this is still subject to ongoing research. However, one mechanism by which mTORC1 inhibition is thought to slow ageing is by activating the autophagy-lysosome pathway. In this review we examine the special bi-directional relationship between mTORC1 and the lysosome. In cells, mTORC1 is located on lysosomes. From this advantageous position, it directly controls the autophagy-lysosome pathway. However, the lysosome also controls mTORC1 activity in numerous ways, creating a special two-way relationship. We then explore specific examples of how inhibition of mTORC1 and activation of the autophagy-lysosome pathway slow the molecular hallmarks of ageing. This body of literature demonstrates that the autophagy-lysosome pathway represents an excellent target for treatments that seek to slow biological ageing and increase health-span in humans.
    Keywords:  Lysosome; age-related disease; aging; autophagy; lysophagy; mTOR
  17. J Clin Invest. 2021 Dec 07. pii: e145071. [Epub ahead of print]
      Oligodendrocytes are the primary target of demyelinating disorders and progressive neurodegenerative changes may evolve in the CNS. DNA damage and oxidative stress are considered key pathogenic events, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Moreover, animal models do not fully recapitulate human diseases, complicating the path to effective treatments. Here we report that mice with cell autonomous deletion of the nuclear COP9 signalosome component CSN5 (JAB1) in oligodendrocytes develop DNA damage and defective DNA repair in myelinating glial cells. Interestingly, oligodendrocytes lacking JAB1 expression underwent a senescence-like phenotype that fostered chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. These mutants developed progressive CNS demyelination, microglia inflammation and neurodegeneration, with severe motor deficits and premature death. Notably, blocking microglia inflammation did not prevent neurodegeneration, whereas the deletion of p21CIP1 but not p16INK4a pathway ameliorated the disease. We suggest that senescence is key to sustaining neurodegeneration in demyelinating disorders and may be considered a potential therapeutic target.
    Keywords:  Cellular senescence; Demyelinating disorders; Inflammation; Mouse models; Neuroscience
  18. Ageing Res Rev. 2021 Dec 06. pii: S1568-1637(21)00283-X. [Epub ahead of print] 101536
      The pursuit to discover the fundamental biology and mechanisms of aging within the context of the physical and social environment is critical to designing interventions to prevent and treat its complex phenotypes. Aging research is critically linked to understanding health disparities because these inequities shape minority aging, which may proceed on a different trajectory than the overall population. Health disparities are characteristically seen in commonly occurring age-associated diseases such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease as well as diabetes mellitus and cancer. The early appearance and increased severity of age-associated disease among African American and low socioeconomic status (SES) individuals suggests that the factors contributing to the emergence of health disparities may also induce a phenotype of 'premature aging' or 'accelerated aging' or 'weathering'. In marginalized and low SES populations with high rates of early onset age-associated disease the interaction of biologic, psychosocial, socioeconomic and environmental factors may result in a phenotype of accelerated aging biologically similar to premature aging syndromes with increased susceptibility to oxidative stress, premature accumulation of oxidative DNA damage, defects in DNA repair and higher levels of biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation. Health disparities, therefore, may be the end product of this complex interaction in populations at high risk. This review will examine the factors that drive both health disparities and the accelerated aging phenotype that ultimately contributes to premature mortality.
    Keywords:  African Americans; Hispanics; age; epigenetics; genetics; health disparities; inflammation; minority aging
  19. J Physiol Sci. 2021 Dec 04. 71(1): 38
      "Inflammaging" refers to the chronic, low-grade inflammation that characterizes aging. Aging, like obesity, is associated with visceral adiposity and insulin resistance. Adipose tissue macrophages (ATMs) have played a major role in obesity-associated inflammation and insulin resistance. Macrophages are elevated in adipose tissue in aging. However, the changes and also possibly functions of ATMs in aging and aging-related diseases are unclear. In this review, we will summarize recent advances in research on the role of adipose tissue macrophages with aging-associated insulin resistance and discuss their potential therapeutic targets for preventing and treating aging and aging-related diseases.
    Keywords:  Adipose tissue macrophages; Age; Insulin resistance
  20. Free Radic Biol Med. 2021 Dec 07. pii: S0891-5849(21)00860-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      The prevalence of obesity is a worldwide phenomenon in all age groups and is associated with aging-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, as well metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. The use of dietary restriction (DR) while avoiding malnutrition has many profound beneficial effects on aging and metabolic health, and dietary protein or specific amino acid (AA) restrictions, rather than overall calorie intake, are considered to play key roles in the effects of DR on host health. Whereas comprehensive reviews of the underlying mechanisms are limited, protein restriction and methionine (Met) restriction improve metabolic health and aging-related neurodegenerative diseases, and may be associated with FGF21, mTOR and autophagy, improved mitochondrial function and oxidative stress. Circulating branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are inversely correlated with metabolic health, and BCAAs and leucine restriction promote metabolic homeostasis in rodents. Although tryptophan (Trp) restriction extends the lifespan of rodents, the Trp-restricted diet is reported to increase inflammation in aged mice, while severe Trp restriction has side effects such as anorexia. Furthermore, inadequate protein intake in the elderly increases the risk of muscle-centric health. Therefore, the restriction of specific AAs may be an effective and executable dietary manipulation for metabolic and aging-related health in humans, which warrants further investigation to elucidate the underlying mechanisms.
    Keywords:  Aging; Branched-chain amino acids; Metabolic health; Methionine; Mitochondrial function; Protein restriction; Tryptophan
  21. JCI Insight. 2021 Dec 08. pii: e146334. [Epub ahead of print]6(23):
      Cancer cell radioresistance is the primary cause of the decreased curability of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) observed in patients receiving definitive radiotherapy (RT). Following RT, a set of microenvironmental stress responses is triggered, including cell senescence. However, cell senescence is often ignored in designing effective strategies to resolve cancer cell radioresistance. Herein, we identify the senescence-like characteristics of cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) after RT and clarify the formidable ability of senescence-like CAFs in promoting NSCLC cell proliferation and radioresistance through the JAK/STAT pathway. Specific induction of senescence-like CAF apoptosis using FOXO4-DRI, a FOXO4-p53-interfering peptide, resulted in remarkable effects on radiosensitizing NSCLC cells in vitro and in vivo. In addition, in this study, we also uncovered an obvious therapeutic effect of FOXO4-DRI on alleviating radiation-induced pulmonary fibrosis (RIPF) by targeting senescence-like fibroblasts in vivo. In conclusion, by targeting senescence, we offer a strategy that simultaneously decreases radioresistance of NSCLC and the incidence of RIPF.
    Keywords:  Cellular senescence; Fibrosis; Oncology; Radiation therapy
  22. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2021 Dec 07. pii: glab356. [Epub ahead of print]
      Growing old is patently among the most prominent risk factors for lifestyle related diseases and deterioration in physical performance. Aging in particular affects mitochondrial homeostasis and maintaining a well-functioning mitochondrial pool is imperative in order to avoid age-associated metabolic decline. White adipose tissue (WAT) is a key organ in energy balance and impaired mitochondrial function in adipocytes has been associated with increased low-grade inflammation, altered metabolism, excessive ROS production and an accelerated aging phenotype. Exercise training improves mitochondrial health but whether lifelong exercise training can sufficiently maintain WAT mitochondrial function is currently unknown. Therefore, to dissect the role and dose-dependence of lifelong exercise training on aging WAT metabolic parameters and mitochondrial function, young and older untrained, as well as moderately and highly exercise trained older male subjects were recruited and abdominal subcutaneous (s)WAT biopsies and venous blood samples were obtained to measure mitochondrial function and key metabolic factors in WAT and plasma. Mitochondrial intrinsic respiratory capacity was lower in sWAT from older than in young subjects. In spite of this, maximal mitochondrial respiration per wet weight, markers of oxidative capacity, and mitophagic capacity were increased in sWAT from lifelong highly exercise trained than all other groups. Furthermore, ROS emission was generally lower in sWAT from lifelong highly exercise trained than older untrained subjects. Taken together, aging reduces intrinsic mitochondrial respiration in human sWAT, but lifelong high volume exercise training increases oxidative capacity by increasing mitochondrial volume likely contributing to healthy aging.
  23. Cell Rep. 2021 Dec 07. pii: S2211-1247(21)01594-1. [Epub ahead of print]37(10): 110100
      Older age is a strong risk factor for several diseases, including cancer. The etiology and biology of age-associated differences among cancers are poorly understood. To address this knowledge gap, we aim to delineate differences in tumor molecular characteristics between younger and older patients across a variety of tumor types from The Cancer Genome Atlas. We show that these groups exhibit widespread molecular differences in select tumor types. Our work shows that tumors in younger individuals exhibit a dysregulated molecular aging phenotype and are associated with hallmarks of premature senescence. Additionally, we find that these tumors are enriched for driver gene mutations, resulting in homologous recombination defects. Lastly, we observe a trend toward decreased immune infiltration and function in older patients and find that, immunologically, young tumor tissue resembles aged healthy tissue. Taken together, we find that tumors from young individuals possess unique characteristics that may be leveraged for therapy.
    Keywords:  TCGA; aging; cancer; genomics
  24. Aging Cell. 2021 Dec 07. e13526
      DNA methylation alterations play mechanistic roles in aging; however, the epigenetic regulators/mediators causally involved in renal aging remain elusive. Here, we report that natural and D-galactose (D-gal)-induced aging kidneys display marked suppression of antiaging factor NRF2 (nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-like 2) and KLOTHO, accompanied by upregulations of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) 1/3a/3b and NRF2/KLOTHO gene promoter hypermethylations. Administration of a DNMT inhibitor SGI-1072 effectively hypomethylated the promoters, derepressed NRF2/KLOTHO, and mitigated the structural and functional alterations of renal aging in D-gal mice. Moreover, oleuropein (OLP), an olive-derived polyphenol, also displayed similar epigenetic modulation and antiaging effects. OLP inhibited the epigenetic NRF2/KLOTHO suppressions in a gain of DNMT-sensitive manner in cultured renal cells, demonstrating a strong DNA-demethylating capacity. In NRF2 knockout and KLOTHO knockdown D-gal mice, OLP exhibited reduced antiaging effects with KLOTHO displaying a prominent gene effect and effect size; consistently in KLOTHO knockdown mice, the antiaging effects of SGI-1027 were largely abrogated. Therefore, the KLOTHO recovery is critical for the antiaging effects of DNA demethylation. Collectively, our data indicate that aberrant DNMT1/3a/3b elevations and the resultant suppression of antiaging factors contribute significantly to epigenetic renal aging, which might be targeted for epigenetic intervention by synthetic or natural DNA-demethylating agents.
    Keywords:  DNA methylation; KLOTHO; NRF2; epigenetics; renal aging
  25. Nature. 2021 Dec 08.
      Physical exercise is generally beneficial to all aspects of human and animal health, slowing cognitive ageing and neurodegeneration1. The cognitive benefits of physical exercise are tied to an increased plasticity and reduced inflammation within the hippocampus2-4, yet little is known about the factors and mechanisms that mediate these effects. Here we show that 'runner plasma', collected from voluntarily running mice and infused into sedentary mice, reduces baseline neuroinflammatory gene expression and experimentally induced brain inflammation. Plasma proteomic analysis revealed a concerted increase in complement cascade inhibitors including clusterin (CLU). Intravenously injected CLU binds to brain endothelial cells and reduces neuroinflammatory gene expression in a mouse model of acute brain inflammation and a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Patients with cognitive impairment who participated in structured exercise for 6 months had higher plasma levels of CLU. These findings demonstrate the existence of anti-inflammatory exercise factors that are transferrable, target the cerebrovasculature and benefit the brain, and are present in humans who engage in exercise.
  26. Free Radic Biol Med. 2021 Dec 04. pii: S0891-5849(21)00848-0. [Epub ahead of print]178 147-160
      Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness characterized by degeneration of retina pigment epithelium (RPE) and photoreceptors in the macular region. Activation of the innate immune cGAS-STING signaling has been detected in RPE of dry AMD patients, but the regulatory basis is largely unexplored. Heterochromatin is a highly compact, transcription inert chromatin status. We have recently shown that heterochromatin is required for RPE survival through epigenetically silencing p53-mediated apoptosis signaling. Here, we found that cGAS and STING were dose-dependently upregulated in mouse RPE and retina during oxidative injury, correlated with decreased chromatin compaction in their gene loci. Genetic or pharmaceutical disruption of heterochromatin leads to elevated cGAS and STING expression and enhanced inflammatory response in oxidative stress-induced RPE and retina degeneration. In contrast, application of methotrexate (MTX), a recently identified heterochromatin-promoting drug, inhibits cGAS and STING in both RPE and retina, attenuates RPE/retina degeneration and inflammation. Further, we show that intact heterochromatin is required for MTX to repress cGAS and STING. Together, we demonstrated an unrevealed regulatory function of heterochromatin on cGAS and STING expression and provide potential new therapeutic strategy for AMD treatment.
    Keywords:  Age-related macular degeneration; Heterochromatin; Inflammation; Methotrexate; STING; cGAS