A coronavirus (HCoV-19) has caused the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Wuhan, China. Preventing and reversing the cytokine storm may be the key to save the patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been shown to possess a comprehensive powerful immunomodulatory function. This study aims to investigate whether MSC transplantation improves the outcome of 7 enrolled patients with COVID-19 pneumonia in Beijing YouAn Hospital, China, from Jan 23, 2020 to Feb 16, 2020. The clinical outcomes, as well as changes of inflammatory and immune function levels and adverse effects of 7 enrolled patients were assessed for 14 days after MSC injection. MSCs could cure or significantly improve the functional outcomes of seven patients without observed adverse effects. The pulmonary function and symptoms of these seven patients were significantly improved in 2 days after MSC transplantation. Among them, two common and one severe patient were recovered and discharged in 10 days after treatment. After treatment, the peripheral lymphocytes were increased, the C-reactive protein decreased, and the overactivated cytokine-secreting immune cells CXCR3+CD4+ T cells, CXCR3+CD8+ T cells, and CXCR3+ NK cells disappeared in 3-6 days. In addition, a group of CD14+CD11c+CD11bmid regulatory DC cell population dramatically increased. Meanwhile, the level of TNF-α was significantly decreased, while IL-10 increased in MSC treatment group compared to the placebo control group. Furthermore, the gene expression profile showed MSCs were ACE2- and TMPRSS2- which indicated MSCs are free from COVID-19 infection. Thus, the intravenous transplantation of MSCs was safe and effective for treatment in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, especially for the patients in critically severe condition.
The World health organization (WHO) declared Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) a global pandemic and a severe public health crisis. Drastic measures to combat COVID-19 are warranted due to its contagiousness and higher mortality rates, specifically in the aged patient population. At the current stage, due to the lack of effective treatment strategies for COVID-19 innovative approaches need to be considered. It is well known that host cellular miRNAs can directly target both viral 3'UTR and coding region of the viral genome to induce the antiviral effect. In this study, we did in silico analysis of human miRNAs targeting SARS (4 isolates) and COVID-19 (29 recent isolates from different regions) genome and correlated our findings with aging and underlying conditions. We found 848 common miRNAs targeting the SARS genome and 873 common microRNAs targeting the COVID-19 genome. Out of a total of 848 miRNAs from SARS, only 558 commonly present in all COVID-19 isolates. Interestingly, 315 miRNAs are unique for COVID-19 isolates and 290 miRNAs unique to SARS. We also noted that out of 29 COVID-19 isolates, 19 isolates have identical miRNA targets. The COVID-19 isolates, Netherland (EPI_ISL_422601), Australia (EPI_ISL_413214), and Wuhan (EPI_ISL_403931) showed six, four, and four unique miRNAs targets, respectively. Furthermore, GO, and KEGG pathway analysis showed that COVID-19 targeting human miRNAs involved in various age-related signaling and diseases. Recent studies also suggested that some of the human miRNAs targeting COVID-19 decreased with aging and underlying conditions. GO and KEGG identified impaired signaling pathway may be due to low abundance miRNA which might be one of the contributing factors for the increasing severity and mortality in aged individuals and with other underlying conditions. Further, in vitro and in vivo studies are needed to validate some of these targets and identify potential therapeutic targets.
A new study published by the journal Aging & Disease reported that intravenous administration of clinical-grade human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) resulted in improved functional outcomes (Leng et al., Aging Dis, 11:216-228, 2020). This study demonstrated that intravenous infusion of MSCs is a safe and effective approach for treating patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, including elderly patients displaying severe pneumonia. COVID-19 is a severe acute respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Currently, treating COVID-19 patients, particularly those afflicted with severe pneumonia, is challenging as no specific drugs or vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 are available. Therefore, MSC therapy inhibiting the overactivation of the immune system and promoting endogenous repair by improving the lung microenvironment after the SARS-CoV-2 infection found in this study is striking. Additional studies in a larger cohort of patients are needed to validate this therapeutic intervention further, however.
The ongoing Corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic has witnessed global political responses of unimaginable proportions. Many nations have implemented lockdowns that involve mandating citizens not to leave their residences for non-essential work. The Indian government has taken appropriate and commendable steps to curtail the community spread of COVID-19. While this may be extremely beneficial, this perspective discusses the other reasons why COVID-19 may have a lesser impact on India. We analyze the current pattern of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, testing, and mortality in India with an emphasis on the importance of mortality as a marker of the clinical relevance of COVID-19 disease. We also analyze the environmental and biological factors which may lessen the impact of COVID-19 in India. The importance of cross-immunity, innate immune responses, ACE polymorphism, and viral genetic mutations are discussed.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) bear a promising potential for regenerative medicine therapies and they repair damaged tissue through secretion of immune modulatory and anti-inflammatory molecules acting in a paracrine fashion. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread all over the world with high morbidity and mortality rates and there is no specific treatment for this infection. A recent study published in the journal reports that MSC infusion is safe and effective in patients suffering from COVID-19 induced pneumonia. In the light of this study and previous reports, we make additional comments about possible therapeutic effects of MSCs in COVID-19 infection.
Physical inactivity and resultant lower energy expenditure contribute unequivocally to cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary artery disease and stroke, which are considered major causes of disability and mortality worldwide.
The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of physical activity (PA) and exercise on different aspects of health - genetics, endothelium function, blood pressure, lipid concentrations, glucose intolerance, thrombosis, and self - satisfaction. Materials and
In this article, we conducted a narrative review of the influence PA and exercise have on the cardiovascular system, risk factors of cardiovascular diseases, searching the online databases; Web of Science, PubMed and Google Scholar, and, subsequently, discuss possible mechanisms of this action.
Based on our narrative review of literature, discussed the effects of PA on telomere length, nitric oxide synthesis, thrombosis risk, blood pressure, serum glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides levels, and indicated possible mechanisms by which physical training may lead to improvement in chronic cardiovascular diseases.
PA is effective for the improvement of exercise tolerance, lipid concentrations, blood pressure, it may also reduce the serum glucose level and risk of thrombosis, thus should be advocated concomitant to, or in some cases instead of, traditional drug-therapy.
The ketogenic diet (KD) has been widely used in clinical studies and shown to hace an anti-diabetic effect, but the underlying mechanisms have not been fully elaborated. Our aim was to investigate the effects and the underling mechanisms of the KD on cardiac function in db/db mice. In the present study, db/db mice were subjected to a normal diet (ND) or KD. Fasting blood glucose, cardiac function and morphology, mitochondrial dynamics, oxidative stress, and apoptosis were measured 8 weeks post KD treatment. Compared with the ND, the KD improved glycemic control and protected against diabetic cardiomyopathy in db/db mice, and improved mitochondrial function, as well as reduced oxidative stress were observed in hearts. In addition, KD treatment exerted an anti-apoptotic effect in the heart of db/db mice. Further data showed that the PI3K/Akt pathway was involved in this protective effect. Our data demonstrated that KD treatment ameliorates cardiac dysfunction by inhibiting apoptosis via activating the PI3K-Akt pathway in type 2 diabetic mice, suggesting that the KD is a promising lifestyle intervention to protect against diabetic cardiomyopathy.
Gut microbiome refers to the microbes that live in human digestive tract and are symbiotic with the human body. They participate in the regulation of various physiological and pathological processes of the human body and are associated with various diseases. The pathological process of osteoporosis is affected by gut microbes. The molecular mechanisms of osteoporosis mainly include: 1) Intestinal barrier and nutrient absorption (involving SCFAs). 2) Immunoregulation (Th-17 and T-reg cells balance). 3) Regulation of intestinal-brain axis (involving 5-HT). Gut microbes can increase bone mass and improve osteoporosis by inhibiting osteoclast proliferation and differentiation, inducing apoptosis, reducing bone resorption, or promoting osteoblast proliferation and maturation. However, the therapeutic effect of gut microbes on osteoporosis remains to be further proven. At present, some of the findings on the impact of gut microbes on osteoporosis has been applied in clinical, including early diagnosis and intervention of osteoporosis and adjuvant therapy. In this article, we reviewed the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulatory effect of gut microbes on osteoporosis and the clinical practice of using gut microbes to improve bone health.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has resulted in considerable morbidity and mortality worldwide since December 2019. In order to explore the effects of comorbid chronic diseases on clinical outcomes of COVID-19, a search was conducted in PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, CDC, and NIH databases to April 25, 2020. A total of 24 peer-reviewed articles, including 10948 COVID-19 cases were selected. We found diabetes was present in 10.0%, coronary artery disease/cardiovascular disease (CAD/CVD) was in 8.0%, and hypertension was in 20.0%, which were much higher than that of chronic pulmonary disease (3.0%). Specifically, preexisting chronic conditions are strongly correlated with disease severity [Odds ratio (OR) 3.50, 95% CI 1.78 to 6.90], and being admitted to intensive care unit (ICU) (OR 3.36, 95% CI 1.67 to 6.76); in addition, compared to COVID-19 patients with no preexisting chronic diseases, COVID-19 patients who present with either diabetes, hypertension, CAD/CVD, or chronic pulmonary disease have a higher risk of developing severe disease, with an OR of 2.61 (95% CI 1.93 to 3.52), 2.84 (95% CI 2.22 to 3.63), 4.18 (95% CI 2.87 to 6.09) and 3.83 (95% CI 2.15 to 6.80), respectively. Surprisingly, we found no correlation between chronic conditions and increased risk of mortality (OR 2.09, 95% CI 0.26 to16.67). Taken together, cardio-metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension and CAD/CVD were more common than chronic pulmonary disease in COVID-19 patients, however, each comorbid disease was correlated with increased disease severity. After active treatment, increased risk of mortality in patients with preexisting chronic diseases may reduce.
Several studies have revealed that the transcription factor nuclear receptor related 1 (Nurr1) plays several roles not only in the regulation of gene expression related to dopamine synthesis, but also in alternative splicing, and miRNA targeting. Moreover, it regulates cognitive functions and protects against inflammation-induced neuronal death. In particular, the role of Nurr1 in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD) has been well investigated; for example, it has been shown that it restores behavioral and histological impairments in PD models. Although many studies have evaluated the connection between Nurr1 and PD pathogenesis, the role of Nurr1 in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) remain to be studied. There have been several studies describing Nurr1 protein expression in the AD brain. However, only a few studies have examined the role of Nurr1 in the context of AD. Therefore, in this review, we highlight the overall effects of Nurr1 under the neuropathologic conditions related to AD. Furthermore, we suggest the possibility of using Nurr1 as a therapeutic target for AD or other neurodegenerative disorders.
With advances in medical technology, the number of people over the age of 60 is on the rise, and thus, increasing the prevalence of age-related pathologies within the aging population. Neurodegenerative disorders, cancers, metabolic and inflammatory diseases are some of the most prevalent age-related pathologies affecting the growing population. It is imperative that a new treatment to combat these pathologies be developed. Although, still in its infancy, the CRISPR-Cas9 system has become a potent gene-editing tool capable of correcting gene-mediated age-related pathology, and therefore ameliorating or eliminating disease symptoms. Deleting target genes using the CRISPR-Cas9 system or correcting for gene mutations may ameliorate many different neurodegenerative disorders detected in the aging population. Cancer cells targeted by the CRISPR-Cas9 system may result in an increased sensitivity to chemotherapeutics, lower proliferation, and higher cancer cell death. Finally, reducing gene targeting inflammatory molecules production through microRNA knockout holds promise as a therapeutic strategy for both arthritis and inflammation. Here we present a review based on how the expanding world of genome editing can be applied to disorders and diseases affecting the aging population.
Sirtuins, initially described as histone deacetylases and gene silencers in yeast, are now known to have many more functions and to be much more abundant in living organisms. The increasing evidence of sirtuins in the field of ageing and age-related diseases indicates that they may provide novel targets for treating diseases associated with aging and perhaps extend human lifespan. Here, we summarize some of the recent discoveries in sirtuin biology that clearly implicate the functions of sirtuins in the regulation of aging and age-related diseases. Furthermore, human sirtuins are considered promising therapeutic targets for anti-aging and ageing-related diseases and have attracted interest in scientific communities to develop small molecule activators or drugs to ameliorate a wide range of ageing disorders. In this review, we also summarize the discovery and development status of sirtuin-targeted drug and further discuss the potential medical strategies of sirtuins in delaying aging and treating age-related diseases.
A recent and interesting study reported improved respiratory activity after intravenous administration of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into patients affected by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). These outcomes displayed that intravenous infiltration of MSCs is a safe and efficacy treatment for COVID-19 pneumonia, a severe acute respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Only 7 patients were treated, but with extraordinary results, opening a new strategy in COVID-19 therapy. Currently, no specific therapies against SARS-CoV-2 are available. The MSCs therapy outcomes reported, are striking, as these cells inhibit the over-activation of the immune system, promoting endogenous repair, by improving the lung microenvironment after the SARS-CoV-2 infection. The MSCs could represent an effective, autologous and safe therapy, and therefore, sharing these published results, here is reported the potential use possibilities in COVID-19 of the most common MSCs represented by Adipose Stem Cells (ASCs).
Cell cycle dysregulation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. Specialised function obligates neuronal cells to subsist in a quiescent state of cell cycle once differentiated and therefore the circumstances and mechanisms underlying aberrant cell cycle activation in post-mitotic neurons in physiological and disease conditions remains an intriguing area of research. There is a strict requirement of concurrence to cell cycle regulation for neurons to ensure intracellular biochemical conformity as well as interrelationship with other cells within neural tissues. This review deliberates on various mechanisms underlying cell cycle regulation in neuronal cells and underscores potential implications of their non-compliance in neural pathology. Recent research suggests that successful duplication of genetic material without subsequent induction of mitosis induces inherent molecular flaws that eventually assert as apoptotic changes. The consequences of anomalous cell cycle activation and subsequent apoptosis are demonstrated by the increased presence of molecular stress response and apoptotic markers. This review delineates cell cycle events under normal physiological conditions and deficits amalgamated by alterations in protein levels and signalling pathways associated with cell-division are analysed. Cell cycle regulators essentially, cyclins, CDKs, cip/kip family of inhibitors, caspases, bax and p53 have been identified to be involved in impaired cell cycle regulation and associated with neural pathology. The pharmacological modulators of cell cycle that are shown to impart protection in various animal models of neurological deficits are summarised. Greater understanding of the molecular mechanisms that are indispensable to cell cycle regulation in neurons in health and disease conditions will facilitate targeted drug development for neuroprotection.
This study aims to develop a new evaluation method for quickly and conveniently screening cognitive impairment in the elderly. The five-minute cognitive test (FCT) was designed to capture deficits in five domains of cognitive abilities, including episodic memory, language fluency, time orientation, visuospatial function, and executive function. Subsequently, FCT efficiencies in differentiating normally cognitive ability from cognitive impairment were explored and compared with that of the Mini-Mental Status Evaluation (MMSE). Equipercentile equating method was utilized to create a crosswalk between scores of the FCT and MMSE. Further, the association of scores of the FCT and MMSE with hippocampal volumes was investigated. There were 241 subjects aged 60 years or above enrolled in this study, including 107 adults with cognitive abilities in normal range, 107 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 27 patients with mild Alzheimer disease (AD). The AUC of FCT for detection of cognitive impairment (MCI and mild AD) was 0.885 (95% CI 0.838 to 0.922). The sensitivity and specificity of FCT for the diagnosis of cognitive impairment were 80.6% and 84.11 %, respectively. FCT’s diagnostic performance was superior to that of MMSE in the same cohort. Mean completion time of FCT was 339.9 ± 67.7 seconds (5-6 min). In addition, a conversion table between scores on the FCT and MMSE was created. Further, the FCT scores were positively correlated with hippocampal volumes. The FCT is a novel, reliable, and valid cognitive screening test for the detection of dementia at early stages.
Although age is a dominant risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), epidemiological studies have shown that physical activity may significantly decrease age-related risks for AD, and indeed mitigate the impact in existing diagnosis. The aim of this study was to perform a narrative review on the preventative, and mitigating, effects of physical activity on AD onset, including genetic factors, mechanism of action and physical activity typology. In this article, we conducted a narrative review of the influence physical activity and exercise have on AD, utilising key terms related to AD, physical activity, mechanism and prevention, searching the online databases; Web of Science, PubMed and Google Scholar, and, subsequently, discuss possible mechanisms of this action. On the basis of this review, it is evident that physical activity and exercise may be incorporated in AD, notwithstanding, a greater number of high-quality randomised controlled trials are needed, moreover, physical activity typology must be acutely considered, primarily due to a dearth of research on the efficacy of physical activity types other than aerobic.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a worldwide health problem associated with high morbidity and mortality, especially in elderly patients. Aging functions include mitochondrial dysfunction, cell-to-cell information exchange, protein homeostasis and extracellular matrix dysregulation, which are closely related to chronic inflammatory response and oxidation-antioxidant imbalance in the pathogenesis of COPD. COPD displays distinct inflammaging features, including increased cellular senescence and oxidative stress, stem cell exhaustion, alterations in the extracellular matrix, reduced levels of endogenous anti-inflammaging molecules, and reduced autophagy. Given that COPD and inflammaging share similar general features, it is very important to identify the specific mechanisms of inflammaging, which involve oxidative stress, inflammation and lung mesenchymal stem cell function in the development of COPD, especially in elderly COPD patients. In this review, we highlight the studies relevant to COPD progression, and focus on mechanisms associated with inflammaging.
Statins belong to the most pre-scribed cholesterol lowering drugs in western countries. Their competitive inhibition of the HMG-CoA reductase causes a reduction in the mevalonate pool, resulting in reduced cholesterol biosynthesis, impaired protein prenylation and glycosylation. Recently, a cohort study showed a decreased mortality rate in humans between age 78-90 going along with statin therapy, which is independent of blood cholesterol levels. As C. elegans harbors the mevalonate pathway, but is cholesterol-auxotroph, it is particularly suitable to study cholesterol-independent effects of statins on aging-associated phenotypes. Here, we show that low doses of lovastatin or a mild HMG-CoA reductase knockdown via hmgr-1(RNAi) in C. elegans substantially attenuate aging pigment accumulation, which is a well-established surrogate marker for biological age. Consistently, for two statins we found dosages, which prolonged the lifespan of C. elegans. Together with an observed reduced fertility, slower developmental timing and thermal stress resistance this complex of outcomes point to the involvement of DAF-16/hFOXO3a, the master regulator of stress resistance and longevity. Accordingly, prolonged low-dose statin exposure leads to an increased expression of jnk-1, a known activator of DAF-16. Moreover, the beneficial effects of statins on aging pigments and lifespan depend on DAF-16 and JNK-1, as shown in epistasis analyses. These effects can be reverted by mevalonate supplementation. In conclusion, we describe a lifespan extension in C. elegans, which is conferred via two well-conserved stress-related factors (JNK-1, DAF-16) and results from mevalonate depletion.
Sarcopenia is an age-related condition that is characterized by progressive and generalized loss of muscle mass and function. Exercise treatment has been the most commonly used intervention among elderly populations. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the available literature related to the effects of exercise interventions/programs on muscle mass, muscle strength and physical performance in older adults with sarcopenia. We searched PubMed, EMBASE, MEDLINE and the Web of Science for randomized controlled trials and controlled clinical trials exploring exercise in older adults with sarcopenia published through July 2019 without any language restrictions. Pooled analyses were conducted using Review Manager 5.3, with standardized mean differences (SMDs) and fixed-effect models. A total of 3898 titles and abstracts were initially identified, and 22 studies (1041 individuals, 80.75% females, mean age ranged from 60.51 to 85.90 years) were included in the meta-analysis. The exercise programs in the studies consisted of 30 to 80 min of training, with 1 to 5 training sessions weekly for 6 to 36 weeks. Muscle strength (grip strength [SMD 0.57, 95 % CI 0.42 to 0.73, P <0.00001] and timed five chair stands [SMD -0.56, 95 % CI -0.85 to -0.28, P < 0.0001]) and physical performance (gait speed [SMD 0.44, 95 % CI 0.26 to 0.61, P < 0.00001] and the timed up and go test [SMD -0.97, 95 % CI -1.22 to -0.72, P < 0.00001]) showed significant improvement following exercise treatment, while no differences in muscle mass (ASM [SMD 0.15, 95 % CI -0.05 to 0.36, P = 0.15] and ASM/height2 [SMD 0.21, 95 % CI -0.05 to 0.48, P = 0.12]) were detected. Exercise programs showed overall significant positive effects on muscle strength and physical performance but not on muscle mass in sarcopenic older adults.
The data on COVID-19 is clear on at least one point: Older adults are most vulnerable to hospitalization, disability and death following infection with the novel coronavirus. Therefore, therapeutically addressing degenerative aging processes as the main risk factors appears promising for tackling the present crisis and is expected to be relevant when tackling future infections, epidemics and pandemics. Therefore, utilizing a geroscience approach, targeting aging processes to prevent multimorbidity, via initiating broad clinical trials of potential geroprotective therapies, is recommended.
Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD) is a sleep behavior disorder characterized by abnormal behaviors and loss of muscle atonia during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. RBD is generally considered to be associated with synucleinopathies, such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and multiple system atrophy (MSA), and usually precedes years before the first symptom of these diseases. It is believed that RBD predicts the neurodegeneration in synucleinopathy. However, increasing evidences have shown that RBD is also found in non-synucleinopathy neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Huntington’s disease (HD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), etc. Sleep disturbance such as RBD may be an early sign of neurodegeneration in these diseases, and also serve as an assessment of cognitive impairments. In this review, we updated the clinical characteristics, diagnosis, and possible mechanisms of RBD in neurogenerative diseases. A better understanding of RBD in these neurogenerative diseases will provide biomarkers and novel therapeutics for the early diagnosis and treatment of the diseases.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia in older adults. However, the pathogenesis of AD remains to be fully understood and clinically effective treatments are lacking. Recent advances in single cell RNA sequencing offers an opportunity to characterize the heterogeneity of cell response and explore the molecular mechanism of complex diseases at a single cell level. Here, we present the application of the Ion AmpliSeq transcriptome approach to profile gene expression in single laser captured neurons as well as pooled 10 and 100 neurons from hippocampal CA1 of AD brains versus matching normal aged brains. Our results demonstrated the high sensitivity and high genome coverage of the AmpliSeq transcriptome in single cell sequencing. In addition to capturing the known changes related to AD, our data confirmed the diversity of neuronal profiles in AD brain, which allow the potential identification of single cell response that might be hidden in population analyses. Notably, we also revealed the extensive inhibition of olfactory signaling and confirmed the reduction of neurotransmitter receptors in AD hippocampus. We conclude that although single neuron data show more variance than data from 10 or 100 pooled neurons, single neuron data can be informative. These findings support the utility of the Ion AmpliSeq method for obtaining and analyzing gene expression data from single defined laser captured neurons.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, paralytic disorder caused by selective degeneration of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Our previous studies indicated that abnormal protein aggregation and dysfunctional autophagic flux might contribute to the disease pathogenesis. In this study, we have detected the role of the Ca2+ dependent autophagic pathway in ALS by using the L-type channel Ca2+ blocker, verapamil. We have found that verapamil significantly delayed disease onset, prolonged the lifespan and extended disease duration in SOD1G93A mice. Furthermore, verapamil administration rescued motor neuron survival and ameliorated skeletal muscle denervation in SOD1G93A mice. More interestingly, verapamil significantly reduced SOD1 aggregation and improved autophagic flux, which might be mediated the inhibition of calpain 1 activation in the spinal cord of SOD1G93A mice. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that verapamil reduced endoplasmic reticulum stress and suppressed glia activation in SOD1G93A mice. Collectively, our study indicated that verapamil is neuroprotective in the ALS mouse model and the Ca2+-dependent autophagic pathway is a possible therapeutic target for the treatment of ALS.
Aging is an inevitable time-dependent decline of various physiological functions that finally leads to death. Progressive protein damage and aggregation have been proposed as the root cause of imbalance in regulatory processes and risk factors for aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Oxygen is a modulator of aging. The oxygen-deprived conditions (hypoxia) leads to oxidative stress, cellular damage and protein modifications. Despite unambiguous evidence of the critical role of spontaneous non-enzymatic Degenerative Protein Modifications (DPMs) such as oxidation, glycation, carbonylation, carbamylation, and deamidation, that impart deleterious structural and functional protein alterations during aging and age-associated disorders, the mechanism that mediates these modifications is poorly understood. This review summarizes up-to-date information and recent developments that correlate DPMs, aging, hypoxia, and age-associated neurodegenerative diseases. Despite numerous advances in the study of the molecular hallmark of aging, hypoxia, and degenerative protein modifications during aging and age-associated pathologies, a major challenge remains there to dissect the relative contribution of different DPMs in aging (either natural or hypoxia-induced) and age-associated neurodegeneration.
Depression is one of the most prevalent neuropsychiatric disorders in modern society. However, traditional drugs, such as monoaminergic agents, have defect showing lag response requiring several weeks to months. Additionally, these drugs have limited efficacy and high resistance rates in patients with depression. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop novel drugs or approaches for the treatment of depression. Here, using biochemical, pharmacological, genetic and behavioral methods, we demonstrate that metformin imparts a fast-acting antidepressant-like effect in naïve mice as well as stressed mice subjected to chronic restraint stress model. Moreover, inhibition of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity by compound C or knock down of hippocampal AMPKα occluded the antidepressant-like effect induced by metformin. Our results suggest that metformin may be a viable therapeutic drug for the treatment of stress-induced depression via activation of AMPK.
Aging-related adipose tissue dysfunction contributes to the progression of chronic metabolic diseases. We investigated the role of age-dependent expression of a neurotrophin, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in adipose tissue. Pro-BDNF expression was elevated in epididymal white adipose tissue (eWAT) with advanced age, which was associated with the reduction in sympathetic innervation. Interestingly, BDNF expression was enriched in PDGFRα+ adipocyte progenitors isolated from eWAT, with age-dependent increase in expression. In vitro pro-BDNF treatment caused apoptosis in adipocytes differentiated from C3H10T1/2 cells, and siRNA knockdown of sortilin mitigated these effects. Tamoxifen-inducible PDGFRα+ cell-specific deletion of BDNF (BDNFPdgfra KO) reduced pro-BDNF expression in eWAT, prevented age-associated declines in sympathetic innervation and mitochondrial content in eWAT, and improved insulin sensitivity. Moreover, BDNFPdgfra KO mice showed reduced expression of aging-induced inflammation and senescence markers in eWAT. Collectively, these results identified the upregulation of pro-BDNF expression in adipocyte progenitors as a feature of visceral white adipose tissue aging and suggested that inhibition of BDNF expression in adipocyte progenitors is potentially beneficial to prevent aging-related adipose tissue dysfunction.
The neurovascular unit (NVU) plays an important role in maintaining the function of the central nervous system (CNS). Emerging evidence has indicated that the NVU changes function and molecules at the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which initiates multiple pathways of neurodegeneration. Cell types in the NVU have become attractive targets in the interventional treatment of AD. The NVU transportation system contains a variety of proteins involved in compound transport and neurotransmission. Brain transporters can be classified as members of the solute carrier (SLC) and ATP-binding cassette (ABC) families in the NVU. Moreover, the transporters can regulate both endogenous toxins, including amyloid-beta (Aβ) and xenobiotic homeostasis, in the brains of AD patients. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified some transporter gene variants as susceptibility loci for late-onset AD. Therefore, the present study summarizes changes in blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability in AD, identifies the location of SLC and ABC transporters in the brain and focuses on major SLC and ABC transporters that contribute to AD pathology.
Aging, type 2 diabetes, and male gender are major risk factors leading to increased COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. Thymic production and the export of naïve T cells decrease with aging through the effects of androgens in males and in type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, with aging, recovery of naïve T-cell populations after bone marrow transplantation is delayed and associated with an increased risk of chronic graft vs. host disease. Severe COVID-19 and SARS infections are notable for severe T-cell depletion. In COVID-19, there is unique suppression of interferon signaling by infected respiratory tract cells with intact cytokine signaling. A decreased naïve T-cell response likely contributes to an excessive inflammatory response and increases the odds of a cytokine storm. Treatments that improve naïve T-cell production may prove to be vital COVID-19 therapies, especially for these high-risk groups.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by selective impairment of upper and lower motor neurons. We aimed to investigate the genetic spectrum and variability in Chinese patients with ALS. A total of 24 familial ALS (FALS) and 21 early-onset sporadic ALS (SALS) of Chinese ancestry were enrolled. Targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) was performed in the probands, followed by verification by Sanger sequencing and co-segregation analysis. Clinical features of patients with pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants were present. The mutation frequency of ALS-related genes was then analyzed in Chinese population. In this cohort, 17 known mutations (9 SOD1, 5 FUS, 2 TARDBP and one SETX) were identified in 14 FALS and 6 early-onset SALS. Moreover, 7 novel variants (SOD1 c.112G>C, OPTN c.811C>T, ERBB4 c.965T>A, DCTN1 c.1915C>T, NEFH c.2602G>A, NEK1 c.3622G>A, and TAF15 c.1535G>A) were identified. In southeastern Chinese FALS, the mutation frequency of SOD1, FUS, and TARDBP was 52.9%, 8.8%, 8.8% respectively. In early-onset SALS, FUS mutations were the most common (22.6%). In Chinese ALS cases, p.H47R is most frequent SOD1 mutations, while p.R521 is most common FUS mutation and p.M337V is most common TARDBP mutation. Our results revealed that mutations in SOD1, FUS and TARDBP are the most common cause of Chinese FALS, while FUS mutations are the most common cause of early-onset SALS. The genetic spectrum is different between Chinese ALS and Caucasian ALS.
The receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) is expressed on human brain endothelial cells (HBEC) and is implicated in neuronal cell death after ischemia. We report that endogenous secretory RAGE (esRAGE) is a splicing variant form of RAGE that functions as a decoy against ischemia-induced neuronal cell damage. This study demonstrated that esRAGE was associated with heparan sulphate proteoglycans on HBEC. The parabiotic experiments between human esRAGE overexpressing transgenic (Tg), RAGE knockout (KO), and wild-type (WT) mice revealed a significant neuronal cell damage in the CA1 region of the WT side of parabiotic WT→WT mice, but not of Tg→WT mice, 7 days after bilateral common carotid artery occlusion. Human esRAGE was detected around the CA1 neurons in the WT side of the parabiotic Tg→WT pair, but not in the KO side of the Tg→KO pair. To elucidate the dynamic transfer of esRAGE into the brain, we used the blood-brain barrier (BBB) system (PharmaCo-Cell) with or without RAGE knockdown in endothelial cells. A RAGE-dependent transfer of esRAGE was demonstrated from the vascular to the brain side. These findings suggested that esRAGE is associated with heparan sulphate proteoglycans and is transferred into the brain via BBB to exert its neuroprotective effects in ischemia.
Declines in both physical and cognitive function are associated with increasing age. Understanding the physiological link between physical frailty and cognitive decline may allow us to develop interventions that prevent and treat both conditions. Although there is significant epidemiological evidence linking physical frailty to cognitive decline, a complete understanding of the underpinning biological basis of the two disorders remains fragmented. This narrative review discusses insights into the potential roles of chronic inflammation, impaired hypothalamic-pituitary axis stress response, imbalanced energy metabolism, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, and neuroendocrine dysfunction linking physical frailty with cognitive decline. We highlight the importance of easier identification of strategic approaches delaying the progression and onset of physical frailty and cognitive decline as well as preventing disability in the older population.
As a new class of antidiabetic drug, incretin-based therapies, which include dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors (DPP-4Is) and glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs), have raised concerns about symptoms of withdrawal in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), such as dizziness and headache. To systematically evaluate whether incretin-based therapies may lead to dizziness and headache in patients with T2DM compared to other traditional antidiabetic drugs or placebo. We searched Medline, Embase, the Cochrane library, and clinicaltrials.gov from inception through June 23, 2017, to identify randomized controlled trials of the safety of DPP-4Is or GLP-1 RAs versus placebo or other antidiabetic drugs in T2DM patients. We used the network meta-analysis under the frequentist framework to compare the association between multiple antidiabetic drugs and dizziness and headache. A total of 233 clinical trials with nine treatments and 147,710 patients were included: two incretin-based therapies, one placebo, and six traditional antidiabetic drugs (metformin, insulin, sulfonylurea, thiazolidinediones, alpha-glucosidase inhibitor, and sodium-glucose co-transporter 2). Compared to insulin, thiazolidinediones, or placebo, GLP-1 RAs statistically significantly increased the risk of dizziness (odds ratios [ORs]: 1.92, 1.57, and 1.40, respectively) and headache (ORs: 1.34, 1.41, and 1.18, respectively). DPP-4Is increased the risk of headache (OR: 1.22, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.02 to 1.46; moderate quality) and dizziness (OR: 1.46, 95% CI: 1.05 to 2.03; moderate quality) compared to insulin. Of the incretin-based therapies, DPP-4Is had a lower risk of dizziness than GLP-1 RAs (OR: 0.76, 95% CI: 0.67 to 0.87; high quality). Ranking probability analysis indicated that GLP-1 RAs may have the greatest risk of both dizziness and headache among the nine treatments (22.5% and 23.4%, respectively), whereas DPP-4Is were in the middle (46.2% and 45.0%, respectively). Incretin-based therapies increase the risk of dizziness and headache compared to insulin, thiazolidinediones, and placebo.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic metabolic disease with high morbidity and mortality. Recently, stem cell-based therapy for DM has shown considerable promise. Here, we undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis of published clinical studies to evaluate the efficacy and safety of stem cell therapy for both type 1 DM (T1DM) and type 2 DM (T2DM). The PubMed, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, EMBASE, and ClinicalTrials.gov databases were searched up to November 2018. We employed a fixed-effect model using 95% confidence intervals (CIs) when no statistically significant heterogeneity existed. Otherwise, a random-effects statistical model was used. Twenty-one studies met our inclusion criteria: ten T1DM studies including 226 patients and eleven T2DM studies including 386 patients. Stem cell therapy improved C-peptide levels (mean difference (MD), 0.41; 95% CI, 0.06 to 0.76) and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c; MD, -3.46; 95% CI, -6.01 to -0.91) for T1DM patients. For T2DM patients, stem cell therapy improved C-peptide levels (MD, 0.33; 95% CI, 0.07 to 0.59), HbA1c (MD, -0.87; 95% CI, -1.37 to -0.37) and insulin requirements (MD, -35.76; 95% CI, -40.47 to -31.04). However, there was no significant change in fasting plasma glucose levels (MD, -0.52; 95% CI, -1.38 to 0.34). Subgroup analyses showed significant HbA1c and C-peptide improvements in patients with T1DM treated with bone marrow hematopoietic stem cells (BM-HSCs), while there was no significant change in the mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) group. In T2DM, HbA1c and insulin requirements decreased significantly after MSC transplantation, and insulin requirements and C-peptide levels were significantly improved after bone marrow mononuclear cell (BM-MNC) treatment. Stem cell therapy is a relatively safe and effective method for selected individuals with DM. The data showed that BM-HSCs are superior to MSCs in the treatment of T1DM. In T2DM, MSC and BM-MNC transplantation showed favorable therapeutic effects.
Exosome, is identified as a nature nanocarrier and intercellular messenger that regulates cell to cell communication. Autophagy is critical in maintenance of protein homeostasis by degradation of damaged proteins and organelles. Autophagy and exosomes take pivotal roles in cellular homeostasis and cardiovascular disease. Currently, the coordinated mechanisms for exosomes and autophagy in the maintenance of cellular fitness are now garnering much attention. In the present review, we discussed the interplay of exosomes and autophagy in the context of physiology and pathology of the heart, which might provide novel insights for diagnostic and therapeutic application of cardiovascular diseases.
Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) generally have a higher proportion of suffering from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) than normal aged adults. This study aimed to identify the specific neuroanatomical alterations in early, drug-naive PD with MCI (PD-MCI) by comparing to those PD with normal cognition (PD-NC) and healthy controls (HCs), which could help to elucidate the underlying neuropathology and facilitate the development of early therapeutic strategies for treating this disease. Structural MRI data of 237 early, drug-naive non-demented PD patients (classified as 61 PD-MCI and 176 PD-NC) and 69 HCs were included from Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) database after data quality control. Within these data, a subset of 61 HCs and a subset of 61 PD-NC who were matched to the 61 PD-MCI group for age, gender, and education-level were selected to further eliminate the sample size effect. The gray matter (GM) volume changes between groups were analyzed using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Furthermore, correlations between GM volume alterations and neuropsychological performances and non-cognitive assessments (including olfactory performance) were further examined. Compared to HC, patients with PD-NC and PD-MCI commonly exhibited atrophies in the bilateral amygdala (AM) and the left primary motor cortex (M1). Patients with PD-MCI exclusively exhibited atrophy in the right entorhinal cortex (ENT) compared to PD-NC. Significantly negative correlations were found between GM loss in the bilateral AM and olfactory performance in all PD patients, and between ENT loss and memory performance in PD-MCI. The findings suggest that the right ENT atrophy may subserve as a biomarker in early, drug-naive PD-MCI, which shed light on the neural underpinnings of the disease and provide new evidence on differentiating the neuroanatomical states between PD-MCI and PD-NC.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a promising treatment for many memory-related disorders including dementia, anxiety, and addiction. However, the use of DBS can be a paradoxical conundrum—dementia treatments aim to improve memory, whereas anxiety or addiction treatments aim to suppress maladaptive memory. In this review, the key hypotheses on how DBS affects memory are highlighted. We consolidate the findings and conclusions from the current research on the effects of DBS on memory in attempt to make sense of the bidirectional nature of DBS in disrupting and enhancing memory. Based on the current literature, we hypothesize that the timing of DBS plays a key role in its contradictory effects, and therefore, we propose a consolidated model of how DBS can both disrupt and enhance memory.
Up to now, little is known about the detailed immune profiles of COVID-19 patients from admission to discharge. In this study we retrospectively reviewed the clinical and laboratory characteristics of 18 COVID-19 patients from January 30, 2020 to February 21, 2020. These patients were divided into two groups; group 1 had a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 nucleic acid-positive duration for more than 15 days (n = 6) and group 2 had a nucleic acid-positive duration for less than 15 days (n = 12). Group 1 patients had lower level of peripheral blood lymphocytes (0.40 vs. 0.78 ×109/L, p = 0.024) and serum potassium (3.36 vs. 3.79 mmol/L, p = 0.043) on admission but longer hospitalization days (23.17 vs. 15.75 days, p < 0.001) compared to Group 2 patients. Moreover, baseline level of lymphocytes (r = -0.62, p = 0.006) was negatively correlated with the nucleic acid-positive duration. Additionally, lymphocytes (420.83 vs. 1100.56 /μL), T cells (232.50 vs. 706.78 /μL), CD4+ T cells (114.67 vs. 410.44 /μL), and CD8+ T cells (94.83 vs. 257.44 /μL) in the peripheral blood analyzed by flow cytometry were significantly different between Group 1and Group 2. Furthermore, there was also a negative correlation between lymphocytes (r = -0.54, p = 0.038) or T cells (r = -0.55, p = 0.034) at diagnosis and the nucleic acid-positive duration, separately. In conclusion, the patients with nucleic acid-positive ≥ 15 days had significantly decreased lymphocytes, T cell and its subsets compared to those who remained positive for less than 15 days.
Neuroimaging-driven brain age estimation has introduced a robust (reliable and heritable) biomarker for detecting and monitoring neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we computed and compared brain age in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients using an advanced machine learning procedure involving T1-weighted MRI scans and gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) models. Brain age estimation frameworks were built using 839 healthy individuals and then the brain estimated age difference (Brain-EAD: chronological age subtracted from brain estimated age) was assessed in a large sample of PD patients (n = 160) and AD patients (n = 129), respectively. The mean Brain-EADs for GM were +9.29 ± 6.43 years for AD patients versus +1.50 ± 6.03 years for PD patients. For WM, the mean Brain-EADs were +8.85 ± 6.62 years for AD patients versus +2.47 ± 5.85 years for PD patients. In addition, PD patients showed a significantly higher WM Brain-EAD than GM Brain-EAD. In a direct comparison between PD and AD patients, we observed significantly higher Brain-EAD values in AD patients for both GM and WM. A comparison of the Brain-EAD between PD and AD patients revealed that AD patients may have a significantly “older-appearing” brain than PD patients.
Acoustic trauma is an important physical factor leading to cochlear damage and hearing impairments. Inflammation responds to this kind of cochlear damage stress. Macrophages, the major innate immune cells in the cochlea, are important drivers of inflammatory and tissue repair responses after cochlear injury. Recently, studies have shown that after noise exposure, the distribution, phenotype, and the number of cochlear macrophages have significantly changed, and the local environmental factors that shape macrophage differentiation and behavior are also drastically altered. However, the exact role of these immune cells in the cochlea after acoustic injury remains unknown. Here we review the properties of cochlear macrophages both under steady-state conditions and non-homeostatic conditions after cochlear acoustic injury and discuss their potential role in noise-exposed cochlea.
HIV infects the central nervous system and causes HIV/neuroAIDS, which is predominantly manifested in the form of mild cognitive and motor disorder in the era of combination antiretroviral therapy. HIV Tat protein is known to be a major pathogenic factor for HIV/neuroAIDS through a myriad of direct and indirect mechanisms. However, most, if not all of studies involve short-time exposure of recombinant Tat protein in vitro or short-term Tat expression in vivo. In this study, we took advantage of the doxycycline-inducible brain-specific HIV-1 Tat transgenic mouse model, fed the animals for 12 months, and assessed behavioral, pathological, and epigenetic changes in these mice. Long-term Tat expression led to poorer short-and long-term memory, lower locomotor activity and impaired coordination and balance ability, increased astrocyte activation and compromised neuronal integrity, and decreased global genomic DNA methylation. There were sex- and brain region-dependent differences in behaviors, pathologies, and epigenetic changes resulting from long-term Tat expression. All these changes are reminiscent of accelerated aging, raising the possibility that HIV Tat contributes, at least in part, to HIV infection-associated accelerated aging in HIV-infected individuals. These findings also suggest another utility of this model for HIV infection-associated accelerated aging studies.