Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most prevalent arrhythmia in the world, due both to its tenacious treatment resistance, and to the tremendous number of risk factors that set the stage for the atria to fibrillate. Cardiopulmonary, behavioral, and psychological risk factors generate electrical and structural alterations of the atria that promote reentry and wavebreak. These culminate in fibrillation once atrial ectopic beats set the arrhythmia process in motion. There is growing evidence that chronic stress can physically alter the emotion centers of the limbic system, changing their input to the hypothalamic-limbic-autonomic network that regulates autonomic outflow. This leads to imbalance of the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, most often in favor of sympathetic overactivation. Autonomic imbalance acts as a driving force behind the atrial ectopy and reentry that promote AF. Careful study of AF pathophysiology can illuminate the means that enable AF to elude both pharmacological control and surgical cure, by revealing ways in which antiarrhythmic drugs and surgical and ablation procedures may paradoxically promote fibrillation. Understanding AF pathophysiology can also help clarify the mechanisms by which emerging modalities aiming to correct autonomic imbalance, such as renal sympathetic denervation, may offer potential to better control this arrhythmia. Finally, growing evidence supports lifestyle modification approaches as adjuncts to improve AF control.
Flavonoids are known to trigger the intrinsic genetic adaptive programs to hypoxic or oxidative stress via estrogen receptor engagement or upstream kinase activation. To reveal specific structural requirements for direct stabilization of the transcription factors responsible for triggering the antihypoxic and antioxidant programs, we studied flavones, isoflavones and catechols including dihydroxybenzoate, didox, levodopa, and nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA), using novel luciferase-based reporters specific for the first step in HIF1 or Nrf2 protein stabilization. Distinct structural requirements for either transcription factor stabilization have been found: as expected, these requirements for activation of HIF ODD-luc reporter correlate with in silico binding to HIF prolyl hydroxylase. By contrast, stabilization of Nrf2 requires the presence of 3,4-dihydroxy- (catechol) groups. Thus, only some but not all flavonoids are direct activators of the hypoxic and antioxidant genetic programs. NDGA from the Creosote bush resembles the best flavonoids in their ability to directly stabilize HIF1 and Nrf2 and is superior with respect to LOX inhibition thus favoring this compound over others. Given much higher bioavailability and stability of NDGA than any flavonoid, NDGA has been tested in a 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-animal model of Parkinson’s Disease and demonstrated neuroprotective effects.
Muscle power is a strong predictor of functional status in the elderly population and is required to perform different daily activities. To compare the effects of different weekly training frequencies on muscle power and muscle quality induced by concurrent training (resistance + aerobic) in previously trained elderly men. Twenty-four trained elderly men (65 ± 4 years), previously engaged in a regular concurrent training program, three times per week, for the previous five months, were randomly allocated to concurrent training programs in which training was performed either twice a week (2·week-1, n = 12) or three times per week (3·week-1, n = 12). The groups trained with an identical exercise intensity and volume per session for 10 weeks. Before and after the exercise training, we examined muscle power, as estimated by countermovement jump height; knee extensor isokinetic peak torque at 60 and 180o.s-1; and muscle quality, a quotient between the one-repetition maximum of the knee extensors and the sum of quadriceps femoris muscle thickness determined by ultrasonography. Additionally, as secondary outcomes, blood pressure and reactive hyperemia were evaluated. Two-way ANOVA with repeated measures were used and statistical significance was set at α = 0.05. Muscular power (2·week-1: 7%, and 3·week-1: 10%) and muscle quality (2·week-1: 15%, and 3·week-1: 8%) improved with the concurrent exercise training (p < 0.001) but with no differences between groups. The isokinetic peak torque at 60 (2·week-1: 4%, and 3·week-1: 2%) and 180o.s-1 (2·week-1: 7%, and 3·week-1: 1%) increased in both groups (p = 0.036 and p=0.014, respectively). There were no changes in blood pressure or reactive hyperemia with the concurrent training. Concurrent training performed twice a week promotes similar adaptations in muscular power and muscle quality when compared with the same program performed three times per week in previously trained elderly men.
Post-stroke depression (PSD) is a common psychiatric complication of stroke that is associated with a poor outcome in stroke patients. Our aim was to assess the association between the serum magnesium levels and the presence of PSD in Chinese patients. Two hundred nine stroke patients were included in the study. Depressive symptoms were measured by the 17-Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression at 3 months after stroke. Based on the depressive symptoms, diagnoses of depression were made in line with the DSM-IV criteria for PSD. Serum magnesium levels were evaluated using the dimethyl aniline blue colorimetric method at admission. Multivariate analyses were conducted using logistic regression models. Further, 120 normal subjects were recruited, and their serum magnesium levels were also measured as control. At 3 months, fifty-nine patients (28.2%) were diagnosed as PSD. The serum magnesium levels were significantly lower in both PSD patients and non-PSD patients than in normal subjects (p < 0.001). Indeed, patients with PSD showed lower serum magnesium levels (p < 0.001) than did non-PSD patients at admission. In the multivariate analyses, after adjusting for potential variables, we found that an increased risk of PSD was associated with serum magnesium levels ≤ 0.84mmol/L (OR 2.614, 95% CI 1.178-5.798, p=0.018). Low serum magnesium levels at admission were found to be associated with the presence of PSD at 3 months after stroke.
Long non-coding RNA H19 (lncRNA H19) was found to be upregulated by hypoxia, its expression and function have never been tested in cerebral ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) injury. This study intended to investigate the role of lncRNA H19 and H19 gene variation in cerebral I/R injury with focusing on its relationship with autophagy activation. Cerebral I/R was induced in rats by middle cerebral artery occlusion followed by reperfusion. SH-SY5Y cells were subjected to oxygen and glucose deprivation and reperfusion (OGD/R) to simulate I/R injury. Real-time PCR, flow cytometry, immunofluorescence and Western blot were used to evaluate the level of lncRNA H19, apoptosis, autophagy and some related proteins. The modified multiple ligase reaction was used to analyze the gene polymorphism of six SNPs in H19, rs217727, rs2067051, rs2251375, rs492994, rs2839698 and rs10732516 in ischemic stroke patients. We found that the expression of lncRNA H19 was upregulated by cerebral I/R in rats, as well as by OGD/R in vitro in the cells. Inhibition of lncRNA H19 and autophagy protected cells from OGD/R-induced death, respectively. Autophagy activation induced by OGD/R was prevented by H19 siRNA. Autophagy inducer, rapamycin, abolished lncRNA H19 effect. Furthermore, we found that lncRNA H19 inhibited autophagy through DUSP5-ERK1/2 axis. The result from blood samples of ischemic patients revealed that the variation of H19 gene increased the risk of ischemic stroke. Taken together, the results of present study suggest that LncRNA H19 could be a new therapeutic target of ischemic stroke.
Cellular senescence can be described as a complex stress response that leads to irreversible cell cycle arrest. This process was originally described as an event that primary cells go through after many passages of cells during cell culture. More recently, cellular senescence is viewed as a programmed process by which the cell displays a senescence phenotype when exposed to a variety of stresses. Cellular senescence has been implicated in tumor suppression and aging such that senescence may contribute to both tumor progression and normal tissue repair. Here, we review different forms of cellular senescence, as well as current biomarkers used to identify senescent cells in vitro and in vivo. Additionally, we highlight the role of senescence-associated long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs).
Subclinical hyperthyroidism is known to be associated with the risk of fractures in elderly people. However, there are few studies assessing whether low normal thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels affect bone density and geometry. Here, we aimed to assess the influence of the TSH level on bone mineral density (BMD) and geometry in elderly euthyroid subjects. This was a cross-sectional cohort study. A total of 343 men and 674 women with euthyroidism were included and analyzed separately. The subjects were divided into tertiles based on the serum TSH level. The BMD and geometry were measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and a hip structural analysis program. Multiple regression analysis was used to compute the odds ratios of osteoporosis in the lower TSH tertile group and the association between geometry parameters and the TSH level. We found that the femoral neck and total hip BMDs were lower in the lower TSH tertile group. In women, the cross-sectional area and cortical thickness of the femur were negatively associated with the TSH level in all three regions (the narrow neck, intertrochanter, and femoral shaft); however, in men, these geometry parameters were significantly associated with the TSH level only in the intertrochanter region. The buckling ratio, a bone geometry parameter representing cortical instability, was significantly higher in the lower TSH tertile group in all three regions in women, but not in men. Our results indicated that lower TSH levels in the euthyroid range are related to lower BMD and weaker femoral structure in elderly women.
MicroRNA-181 (miR-181) is highly expressed in the brain, and downregulated in miRNA expression profiles of acute ischemic stroke patients. However, the roles of miR-181c in stroke are not known. The clinical relevance of miR-181c in acute stroke patients was evaluated by real-time PCR and correlation analyses. Proliferation and apoptosis of BV2 microglial cells and Neuro-2a cells cultured separately or together under oxidative stress or inflammation were assessed with the Cell Counting Kit-8 and by flow cytometry, respectively. Cerebral ischemia was induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in C57/BL6 mice, and cerebral infarct volume, microglia activation, and expression of pro-apoptotic factors were evaluated by 2,3,5-triphenyl-2H-tetrazolium chloride staining, immunocytochemistry, and western blotting, respectively. Plasma levels of miR-181c were decreased in stroke patients relative to healthy individuals, and were positively correlated with neutrophil number and blood platelet count and negatively correlated with lymphocyte number. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)/hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) treatment inhibited BV2 microglia proliferation without inducing apoptosis, while miR-181c reduced proliferation but increased the apoptosis of these cells with or without LPS/H2O2 treatment. LPS/H2O2 induced apoptosis in Neuro-2a cells co-cultured with BV2 cells, an effect that was potentiated by miR-181c. In the MCAO model, miR-181c agomir modestly increased infarct volume, markedly decreased microglia activation and B cell lymphoma-2 expression, and increased the levels of pro-apoptotic proteins in the ischemic brain. Our data indicate that miR-181c contributes to brain injury in acute ischemic stroke by promoting apoptosis of microglia and neurons via modulation of pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins.
We previously demonstrated that serotonin (5-HT) and 5-HT2A receptor (5-HT2AR) levels in platelets were up- or down-regulated after myocardial infarction (MI) associated with depression. In this study, we further evaluated the effects of pretreatment with ginseng fruit saponins (GFS) on the expression of 5-HT and 5-HT2AR in MI with or without depression. Eighty Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were treated with saline and GFS (n=40 per group). The animals were then randomly divided into four subgroups: sham, MI, depression, and MI + depression (n=10 per subgroup). Protein levels of 5-HT and 5-HT2AR in the serum, platelets and brain tissues were determined with ELISA. The results demonstrated that serum 5-HT levels was significantly increased by GFS pretreatment in all subgroups (except the sham subgroup) when compared with saline-treated counterparts (p<0.01). In platelets, GFS pretreatment significantly increased 5-HT levels in all subgroups when compared with their respective saline-treated counterparts (p<0.01). Brain 5-HT levels also declined with GFS pretreatment in the MI-only and depression-only subgroups (p<0.05 vs. saline pretreatment). With respect to 5-HT2AR levels, platelet 5-HT2AR was decreased in GFS pretreated MI, depression and MI + depression subgroups (p<0.01 vs. saline pretreatment). Similarly, brain 5-HT2AR levels decreased in all four subgroups pretreated with GFS (p<0.01 vs. saline pretreatment). We conclude that GFS plays a clear role in modulating 5-HT and 5-HT2AR expressions after MI and depression. Although the effects of GFS on brain 5-HT remain to be elucidated, its therapeutic potential for comorbidities of acute cardiovascular events and depression appears to hold much promise.
Accumulating evidence has shown that the lung is one of the target organs for microangiopathy in patients with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). Diabetes is associated with physiological and structural abnormalities in the diabetic lung concurrent with attenuated lung function. Despite intensive investigations in recent years, the pathogenic mechanisms of diabetic lung injury remain largely elusive. In this review, we summarize currently postulated mechanisms of diabetic lung injury. We mainly focus on the pathogenesis of diabetic lung injury that implicates key pathways, including oxidative stress, non-enzymatic protein glycosylation, polyol pathway, NF-κB pathway, and protein kinase c pathway. We also highlight that while numerous studies have mainly focused on tissue or cell damage in the lung, studies focusing on mitochondrial dysfunction in the diabetic lung have remained sketchy. Hence, further understanding of mitochondrial mechanisms of diabetic lung injury should provide invaluable insights into future therapeutic approaches for diabetic lung injury.
Among various therapeutic approaches for stroke, treatment with human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSCs) has acquired some promising results. However, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We analyzed the protein expression spectrum of the cortical peri-infarction region after ischemic stroke followed by treatment with hUC-MSCs, and found 16 proteins expressed differentially between groups treated with or without hUC-MSCs. These proteins were further determined by Gene Ontology term analysis and network with CD200-CD200R1, CCL21-CXCR3 and transcription factors. Three of them: Abca13, Grb2 and Ptgds were verified by qPCR and ELISA. We found the protein level of Abca13 and the mRNA level of Grb2 consistent with results from the proteomic analysis. Finally, the function of these proteins was described and the potential proteins that deserve to be further studied was also highlighted. Our data may provide possible underlying mechanisms for the treatment of stroke using hUC-MSCs.
Although the geroprotectors discovery is a new biomedicine trend and more than 200 compounds can slow aging and increase the lifespan of the model organism, there are still no geroprotectors on the market. The reasons may be partly related to the lack of a unified concept of geroprotector, accepted by the scientific community. Such concept as a system of criteria for geroprotector identification and classification can form a basis for an analytical model of anti-aging drugs, help to consolidate the efforts of various research initiatives in this area and compare their results. Here, we review the existing classification and characteristics of geroprotectors based on their effect on the survival of a group of individuals or pharmaceutics classes, according to the proposed mechanism of their geroprotective action or theories of aging. After discussing advantages and disadvantages of these approaches, we offer a new concept based on the maintenance of homeostatic capacity because aging can be considered as exponential shrinkage of homeostatic capacity leading to the onset of age-related diseases and death. Besides, we review the most promising current screening approaches to finding new geroprotectors. Establishing the classification of existing geroprotectors based on physiology and current understanding of the nature of aging is essential for putting the existing knowledge into a single system. This system could be useful to formulate standards for finding and creating new geroprotectors. Standardization, in turn, would allow easier comparison and combination of experimental data obtained by different research groups.
The study was designed to investigate the clinical application and significance of the bulbocavernosus reflex (BCR) test for diagnosing diabetic neurogenic bladder (DNB) in female subjects. In this study, 68 female patients with DNB and 40 female normal controls were subjected to a nerve conduction study (NCS) of all four limbs and the BCR test. The data were analyzed and compared, and the corresponding diagnostic sensitivities were discussed. Mean BCR latency for female DNB patients was significantly prolonged, compared to that of the control group, suggesting pudendal nerve injuries in female DNB patients. Moreover, DNB patients were categorized according to the diabetes course. Compared to that of Group A (diabetes course < 5 y), the mean BCR latency was significantly prolonged in Group B (diabetes course between 5 and 10 y) and then further prolonged in Group C (diabetes course > 10 y), which were all longer than the control group. Furthermore, compared with that of the controls, the mean BCR latency was prolonged in DNB patients with or without NCS abnormalities in limbs. Nevertheless, no significant difference was observed in BCR latency between DNB patients with and without NCS abnormalities. Significantly increasing trends were also observed in the NCS and BCR abnormality rates along with increased diabetes course. Most importantly, compared with the NCS of limbs, the BCR test was more sensitive in diagnosing DNB in the female subjects. Overall, our findings suggest that the BCR test would help to assess the pudendal nerve injury in female DNB patients, which might be a potential diagnostic tool in the clinic.
Genetic and environmental protective factors and risks modulate brain structure and function in neurodegenerative diseases and their preclinical stages. We wanted to investigate whether the years of formal education, a proxy measure for cognitive reserve, would influence hippocampal structure in Alzheimer’s disease patients, and whether apolipoprotein Eε4 (APOE4) carrier status and a first-degree family history of the disease would change a possible association. Fifty-eight Alzheimer’s disease patients underwent 3T magnetic resonance imaging. We applied a cortical unfolding approach to investigate individual subregions of the medial temporal lobe. Among patients homozygous for the APOE4 genotype or carrying both APOE4 and family history risks, lower education was associated with a thinner cortex in multiple medial temporal regions, including the hippocampus. Our data suggest that the years of formal education and genetic risks interact in their influence on hippocampal structure in Alzheimer’s disease patients.
Vision, hearing, olfaction, and cognitive function are essential components of healthy and successful aging. Multiple studies demonstrate relationship between these conditions with cognitive function. The present article focuses on hearing loss, visual impairment, olfactory loss, and dual sensory impairments in relation to cognitive declination and neurodegenerative disorders. Sensorineural organ impairment is a predictive factor for mild cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative disorders in the elderly. We recommend early detection of sensorineural dysfunction by history, physical examination, and screening tests. Assisted device and early cognitive rehabilitation may be beneficial. Future research is warranted in order to explore advanced treatment options and method to slow progression for cognitive declination and sensorineural organ impairment.
A promising strategy for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the identification of age-related changes that place the brain at risk for the disease. Additionally, AD is associated with chronic dehydration, and one of the significant changes that are known to result in metabolic dysfunction is an increase in the endogenous formaldehyde (FA) level. Here, we demonstrate that the levels of uric formaldehyde in AD patients were markedly increased compared with normal controls. The brain formaldehyde levels of wild-type C57 BL/6 mice increased with age, and these increases were followed by decreases in their drinking frequency and water intake. The serum arginine vasopressin (AVP) concentrations were also maintained at a high level in the 10-month-old mice. An intravenous injection of AVP into the tail induced decreases in the drinking frequency and water intake in the mice, and these decreases were associated with increases in brain formaldehyde levels. An ELISA assay revealed that the AVP injection increased both the protein level and the enzymatic activity of semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase (SSAO), which is an enzyme that produces formaldehyde. In contrast, the intraperitoneal injection of formaldehyde increased the serum AVP level by increasing the angiotensin II (ANG II) level, and this change was associated with a marked decrease in water intake behavior. These data suggest that the interaction between formaldehyde and AVP affects the water intake behaviors of mice. Furthermore, the highest concentration of formaldehyde in vivo was observed in the morning. Regular water intake is conducive to eliminating endogenous formaldehyde from the human body, particularly when water is consumed in the morning. Establishing good water intake habits not only effectively eliminates excess formaldehyde and other metabolic products but is also expected to yield valuable approaches to reducing the risk of AD prior to the onset of the disease.
Guanosine is a purine nucleoside with important functions in cell metabolism and a protective role in response to degenerative diseases or injury. The past decade has seen major advances in identifying the modulatory role of extracellular action of guanosine in the central nervous system (CNS). Evidence from rodent and cell models show a number of neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects of guanosine preventing deleterious consequences of seizures, spinal cord injury, pain, mood disorders and aging-related diseases, such as ischemia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. The present review describes the findings of in vivo and in vitro studies and offers an update of guanosine effects in the CNS. We address the protein targets for guanosine action and its interaction with glutamatergic and adenosinergic systems and with calcium-activated potassium channels. We also discuss the intracellular mechanisms modulated by guanosine preventing oxidative damage, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammatory burden and modulation of glutamate transport. New and exciting avenues for future investigation into the protective effects of guanosine include characterization of a selective guanosine receptor. A better understanding of the neuromodulatory action of guanosine will allow the development of therapeutic approach to brain diseases.
This study analyzes the technologies used in dealing with frailty within the following areas: prevention, care, diagnosis and treatment. The aim of this paper is, on the one hand, to analyze the extent to which technology is present in terms of its relationship with frailty and what technological resources are used to treat it. Its other purpose is to define new challenges and contributions made by physiotherapy using technology. Eighty documents related to research, validation and/or the ascertaining of different types of hardware, software or both were reviewed in prominent areas. The authors used the following scales: in the area of diagnosis, Fried’s phenotype model of frailty and a model based on trials for the design of devices. The technologies developed that are based on these models accounted for 55% and 45% of cases respectively. In the area of prevention, the results proved similar regarding the use of wireless sensors with cameras (35.71%), and Kinect™ sensors (28.57%) to analyze movements and postures that indicate a risk of falling. In the area of care, results were found referring to the use of different motion, physiological and environmental wireless sensors (46,15%), i.e. so-called smart homes. In the area of treatment, the results show with a percentage of 37.5% that the Nintendo® Wii™ console is the most used tool for treating frailty in elderly persons. Further work needs to be carried out to reduce the gap existing between technology, frail elderly persons, healthcare professionals and carers to bring together the different views about technology. This need raises the challenge of developing and implementing technology in physiotherapy via serious games that may via play and connectivity help to improve the functional capacity, general health and quality of life of frail individuals.
Metformin is an oral anti-diabetic used as first-line therapy for type 2 diabetes. Because benefits of metformin extend beyond diabetes to other age-related pathology, and because its effect on gene expression profiles resembles that of caloric restriction, metformin has a potential as an anti-aging intervention and may soon be assessed as an intervention to extend healthspan. However, beneficial actions of metformin in the central nervous system have not been clearly established. The current study examined the effect of chronic oral metformin treatment on motor and cognitive function when initiated in young, middle-aged, or old male mice. C57BL/6 mice aged 4, 11, or 22 months were randomly assigned to either a metformin group (2 mg/ml in drinking water) or a control group. The mice were monitored weekly for body weight, as well as food and water intake and a battery of behavioral tests for motor, cognitive and visual function was initiated after the first month of treatment. Liver, hippocampus and cortex were collected at the end of the study to assess redox homeostasis. Overall, metformin supplementation in male mice failed to affect blood glucose, body weights and redox homeostasis at any age. It also had no beneficial effect on age-related declines in psychomotor, cognitive or sensory functions. However, metformin treatment had a deleterious effect on spatial memory and visual acuity, and reduced SOD activity in brain regions. These data confirm that metformin treatment may be associated with deleterious effect resulting from the action of metformin on the central nervous system.
This pilot study examined the status of the master iron regulatory peptide, hepcidin, and peripheral related iron parameters in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment patients, and evaluated the relationship between iron dyshomeostasis and amyloid-beta (Aβ), cognitive assessment tests, neuroimaging and clinical data. Frozen serum samples from the Oregon Tissue Bank were used to measure serum levels of hepcidin, ferritin, Aβ40, Aβ42 using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Serum transferrin levels were determined indirectly as total iron binding capacity, serum iron was measured and the percent saturation of transferrin calculated. The study variables were correlated with the patients’ existing cognitive assessment tests, neuroimaging, and clinical data. Hepcidin, and iron-related proteins tended to be higher in AD patients than controls, reaching statistical significance for ferritin, whereas Aβ40, Aβ42 serum levels tended to be lower. Patients with pure AD had three times higher serum hepcidin levels than controls; gender differences in hepcidin and iron-related proteins were observed. Patient stratification based on clinical dementia rating-sum of boxes revealed significantly higher levels of iron and iron-related proteins in AD patients in the upper 50% as compared to controls, suggesting that iron dyshomeostasis worsens as cognitive impairment increases. Unlike Aβ peptides, iron and iron-related proteins showed significant association with cognitive assessment tests, neuroimaging, and clinical data. Hepcidin and iron-related proteins comprise a group of serum biomarkers that relate to AD diagnosis and AD disease progression. Future studies should determine whether strategies targeted to diminishing hepcidin synthesis/secretion and improving iron homeostasis could have a beneficial impact on AD progression.
Allergy reactions are the most common immunological diseases and represent one of the most widespread and fast growing chronic human health problems among people over 15 years of age in developed countries. As populations get older worldwide, allergy manifestations in aged persons will occur more often in the future. To date, there has been much more studies on allergies in children than in adults. As the population ages, clinicians must be prepared to meet all the elderly's health care needs, including these new and emerging health issue. Allergic diseases represent an old/new emerging health issue. Because many common illnesses masquerade as atopic disease, the differential diagnosis of suspected allergic diseases becomes more expanded in an aging population. Research in the field needs to focus on both human and animal model systems to investigate the impact of the aging process on the immunologic pathways underpinning allergy and its different facets.
Ischemic stroke is a major cause of morbidity and mortality, incurring significant cost. Intracranial atherosclerotic disease (ICAD) accounts for 10-15% of ischemic stroke in Western societies, but is an underlying pathology in up to 54% of ischemic strokes in Asian populations. ICAD has largely been treated with medical management, although a few studies have examined outcomes following endovascular treatment. Our objective was to summarize the major trials that have been performed thus far in regard to the endovascular treatment of ICAD and to provide direction for future management of this disease process. Systematic review of the literature from 1966 to 2015, was conducted in regard to intracranial angioplasty and stenting. Studies were analyzed from PubMed, American Heart Association and Society of Neurointerventional Surgery databases. SAMMPRIS and VISSIT are the only randomized controlled trials from which Western guidelines of intracranial stenting have been derived, which have displayed the superiority of medical management. However, pooled reviews of smaller studies and other nonrandomized trials have shown better outcomes with endovascular therapy in select patient subsets, such as intracranial vertebrobasilar stenosis or in the presence of robust collaterals. Suboptimal cases, including longer lesions, bifurcations and significant tortuosity tend to fair better with medical management. Medical management has been shown to be more efficacious with less adverse outcomes than endovascular therapy. However, the majority of studies on endovascular management included a diverse patient population without ideal selection criteria, resulting in higher adverse outcomes. Population analyses and selective utilization of endovascular therapy have shown that the treatment may be superior to other management in select patients.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) represents one major health concern for our growing elderly population. It accounts for increasing impairment of cognitive capacity followed by loss of executive function in late stage. AD pathogenesis is multifaceted and difficult to pinpoint, and understanding AD etiology will be critical to effectively diagnose and treat the disease. An interesting hypothesis concerning AD development postulates a cause-effect relationship between accumulation of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations and neurodegenerative changes associated with this pathology. Here we propose a computerized method for an easy and fast mtDNA mutations-based characterization of AD. The method has been built taking into account the complexity of living being and fractal properties of many anatomic and physiologic structures, including mtDNA. Dealing with mtDNA mutations as gaps in the nucleotide sequence, fractal lacunarity appears a suitable tool to differentiate between aging and AD. Therefore, Chaos Game Representation method has been used to display DNA fractal properties after adapting the algorithm to visualize also heteroplasmic mutations. Parameter β from our fractal lacunarity method, based on hyperbola model function, has been measured to quantitatively characterize AD on the basis of mtDNA mutations. Results from this pilot study to develop the method show that fractal lacunarity parameter β of mtDNA is statistically different in AD patients when compared to age-matched controls. Fractal lacunarity analysis represents a useful tool to analyze mtDNA mutations. Lacunarity parameter β is able to characterize individual mutation profile of mitochondrial genome and appears a promising index to discriminate between AD and aging.
Glycosylation is one of the most common eukaryotic post-translational modifications, and aberrant glycosylation has been linked to many diseases. However, glycosylation and glycome analysis is a significantly challenging task. Although several lines of evidence have indicated that protein glycosylation is defective in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), only a few studies have focused on AD glycomics. The etiology of AD is unclear and there are no effective disease-modifying treatments for AD. In this study, we found that the object recognition memory, passive avoidance, and spatial learning and memory of senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8) strain, an AD animal model, were deficient, and LW-AFC, which was prepared from the traditional Chinese medicine prescription Liuwei Dihuang decoction, showed beneficial effects on the deterioration of cognitive capability in SAMP8 mice. Forty-three and 56 N-glycan were identified in the cerebral cortex and serum of SAMP8 mice, respectively. The N-glycan profile in SAMP8 mice was significantly different from that of senescence accelerated mouse resistant 1 (SAMR1) strains, the control of SAMP8 mice. Treatment with LW-AFC modulated the abundance of 21 and 6 N-glycan in the cerebral cortex and serum of SAMP8 mice, respectively. The abundance of (Hex)3(HexNAc)5(Fuc)1(Neu5Ac)1 and (Hex)2(HexNAc)4 decreased in the cerebral cortex and serum of SAMP8 mice compared with SAMR1 mice, decreases that were significantly correlated with learning and memory measures. The administration of LW-AFC could reverse or increase these levels in SAMP8 mice. These results indicated that the effects of LW-AFC on cognitive impairments in SAMP8 mice might be through modulation of N-glycan patterns, and LW-AFC may be a potential anti-AD agent.
As the population ages, the occurrence of chronic pathologies becomes more common. Leukocyte telomere shortening associates to ageing and age-related diseases. Recent studies suggest that environmental chemicals can affect telomere length. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are most relevant, since they are ingested with foods, and accumulate in the body for a long time. This longitudinal study was undertaken to test if circulating POPs predict telomere length and shortening in elderly people. We studied 1082 subjects belonging to the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study (born 1934-1944), undergoing two visits (2001-2004 and 2011-2014). POPs (oxychlordane, trans-nonachlor, p, p’-DDE, PCB 153, BDE 47, BDE 153) were analysed at baseline. Relative telomere length was measured twice, ’10 years apart, by quantitative real-time PCR. Oxychlordane, trans-nonachlor and PCB-153 levels were significant predictors of telomere length and shortening. In men, we did not find a linear relationship between POPs exposure and telomere shortening. In women, a significant reduction across quartiles categories of oxychlordane and trans-nonachlor exposure was observed. Baseline characteristics of subjects in the highest POPs categories included higher levels of C-reactive protein and fasting glucose, and lower body fat percentage. This is one of few studies combining POPs and telomere length. Our results indicate that exposure to oxychlordane, trans-nonachlor and PCB 153 predicts telomere attrition. This finding is important because concentrations of POPs observed here occur in contemporary younger people, and may contribute to an accelerated ageing.
In previous studies, we reported the presence of a large number of low-molecular-weight (LMW) peptides in aged and cataract human lens tissues. Among the LMW peptides, a peptide derived from αA-crystallin, αA66-80, was found in higher concentration in aged and cataract lenses. Additional characterization of the αA66-80 peptide showed beta sheet signature, and it formed well-defined unbranched fibrils. Further experimental data showed that αA66-80 peptide binds α-crystallin, impairs its chaperone function, and attracts additional crystallin proteins to the peptide α-crystallin complex, leading to the formation of larger light scattering aggregates. It is well established that Aβ peptide exhibits cell toxicity by the generation of hydrogen peroxide. The αA66-80 peptide shares the principal properties of Aβ peptide. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to determine whether the fibril-forming peptide αA66-80 has the ability to generate hydrogen peroxide. The results show that the αA66-80 peptide generates hydrogen peroxide, in the amount of 1.2 nM H2O2 per µg of αA66-80 peptide by incubation at 37°C for 4h. We also observed cytotoxicity and apoptotic cell death in αA66-80 peptide-transduced Cos7 cells. As evident, we found more TUNEL-positive cells in αA66-80 peptide transduced Cos7 cells than in control cells, suggesting peptide-mediated cell apoptosis. Additional immunohistochemistry analysis showed the active form of caspase-3, suggesting activation of the caspase-dependent pathway during peptide-induced cell apoptosis. These results confirm that the αA66-80 peptide generates hydrogen peroxide and promotes hydrogen peroxide-mediated cell apoptosis.
Interleukin-33 (IL-33), a newly recognized IL-1 family member, is expressed in various tissues and cells, and involved in pathogenesis of many human diseases. For example, IL-33 plays a protective role in cardiovascular diseases. However, the role of IL-33 in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) remains unclear. This study aims to investigate whether IL-33 level in AIS patient serum can be used as a potential diagnostic and prognostic marker. The study included two hundred and six patients with first-ever ischemic stroke, who were admitted within 72 hours after stroke onset. The serum level of IL-33 was measured with ELISA and the severity of AIS patients on admission was evaluated based on the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score. The functional outcome at 3 months was determined using the Barthel index (BI). We found that serum IL-33 was significantly higher (P < 0.001) in patients with AIS [57.68 ng/L (IQR, 44.95-76.73)] compared with healthy controls [47.48 ng/L (IQR, 38.67-53.78)]. IL-33 was an independent diagnostic biomarker for AIS with an OR of 1.051 (95%Cl, 1.018-1.085; P=0.002). Serum IL-33 was higher (P < 0.05) in the stroke patients with small cerebral infarction volume compared to AIS patients with large cerebral infarction. In addition, serum IL-33 was also significantly higher (P = 0.001) in the patients with mild stroke, compared to the patients with severe stroke. Furthermore, serum IL-33 level in AIS patients with a worse outcome was higher (P < 0.001) compared to AIS patients with a better outcome. IL-33 was also an independent predictor for the functional outcome with an adjusted OR of 0.932 (95% CI, 0.882-0.986). Our results suggest that the lower level of serum IL-33 is associated with large infarction volume and greater stroke severity in AIS patients. Thus, IL-33 can be used as a novel and independent diagnostic and predicting prognostic marker in AIS.
Accumulating epidemiological studies have implicated a strong link between age associated metabolic diseases and cancer, though direct and irrefutable evidence is missing. In this review, we discuss the connection between Warburg effects and tumorigenesis, as well as adaptive responses to environment such as circadian rhythms on molecular pathways involved in metabolism. We also review the central role of the sirtuin family of proteins in physiological modulation of cellular processes and age-associated metabolic diseases. We also provide a macroscopic view of how the circadian rhythm affects metabolism and may be involved in cell metabolism reprogramming and cancer pathogenesis. The aberrations in metabolism and the circadian system may lead to age-associated diseases directly or through intermediates. These intermediates may be either mutated or reprogrammed, thus becoming responsible for chromatin modification and oncogene transcription. Integration of circadian rhythm and metabolic reprogramming in the holistic understanding of metabolic diseases and cancer may provide additional insights into human diseases.
To investigate the changes of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and stromal cell-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α)/CXCR4 expression in patients with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) and the correlation between EPC level and the prognosis of mild TBI. 72 TBI patients (57 mild TBI, 15 moderate TBI patients) and 25 healthy subjects (control) were included. The number of circulating EPCs, CD34+, and CD133+ cells and the percentage of CXCR4+ cells in each cell population at 1,4,7,14,21 days after TBI were counted by flow cytometer. SDF-1α levels in serum were detected by ELISA assay. The patients were divided into poor and good prognosis groups based on Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale and Activity of Daily Living Scale at 3 months after TBI. Correlation analysis between each detected index and prognosis of mild TBI was performed. Moderate TBI patients have higher levels of SDF-1α and CXCR4 expression than mild TBI patients (P < 0.05). The percentage of CXCR4+ EPCs at day 7 post-TBI was significantly higher in mild TBI patients with poor prognosis than the ones with good prognosis (P < 0.05). HAMA and HAMD scores in mild TBI patients were significantly lower than moderate TBI patients (P < 0.05) in early term. The percentage of CXCR4+ EPCs at day 7 after TBI was significantly correlated with the prognosis outcome at 3 months. The mobilization of circulating EPCs can be induced in mild TBI. The expression of CXCR4+ in EPCs at 7 days after TBI reflects the short-term prognosis of brain injury, and could be a potential biological marker for prognosis prediction of mild TBI.
The effect of weight loss from long-term, mild-calorie diets (MCD) on plasma metabolites is unknown. This study was to examine whether MCD-induced weight reduction caused changes in the extended plasma metabolites. Overweight and obese subjects aged 40-59 years consumed a MCD (approximately 100 kcal/day deficit, n=47) or a weight-maintenance diet (control, n=47) in a randomized, controlled design with a three-year clinical intervention period and plasma samples were analyzed by using UPLC-LTQ-Orbitrap mass spectrometry. The three-year MCD intervention resulted in weight loss (-8.87%) and significant decreases in HOMA-IR and TG. The three-year follow-up of the MCD group showed reductions in the following 13 metabolites: L-leucine; L-phenylalanine; 9 lysoPCs; PC (18:0/20:4); and SM (d18:0/16:1). The three-year MCD group follow-up identified increases in palmitic amide, oleamide, and PC (18:2/18:2). Considering the age-related alterations in the identified metabolites, the MCD group showed a greater decrease in L-leucine, L-phenylalanine, and SM (d18:0/16:1) compared with those of the control group. Overall, the change (Δ) in BMI positively correlated with the ΔTG, ΔHOMA-IR, ΔL-leucine, and ΔSM (d18:0/16:1). The ΔHOMA-IR positively correlated with ΔTG, ΔL-leucine, ΔL-phenylalanine, and ΔSM (d18:0/16:1). The weight loss resulting from three-year mild-caloric restriction lessens the age-related increase in SM and reduces L-leucine and L-phenylalanine in overweight and obese subjects. These changes were coupled with improved insulin resistance (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02081898).