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.
This retrospective cohort study investigated dementia risk associated with metformin use in type 2 diabetes patients by using the reimbursement database of the Taiwan’s National Health Insurance. The patients had new-onset diabetes during 1999-2005 and were followed up until December 31, 2011. An unmatched cohort of 147,729 ever users and 15,676 never users of metformin were identified, and a matched-pair cohort of 15,676 ever users and 15,676 never users was created by propensity score (PS). Hazard ratios were estimated by Cox regression incorporated with the inverse probability of treatment weighting using PS. Results showed that in the unmatched cohort, 713 never users and 3943 ever users developed dementia with respective incidence of 1029.20 and 570.03 per 100,000 person-years. The overall hazard ratio was 0.550 (95% confidence interval: 0.508-0.596). The hazard ratio for the first (<27.0 months), second (27.0-58.1 months) and third (>58.1 months) tertile of cumulative duration of metformin therapy was 0.975 (0.893-1.066), 0.554 (0.506-0.607) and 0.286 (0.259-0.315), respectively. Analyses in the matched cohort showed an overall hazard ratio of 0.707 (0.632-0.791) and the hazard ratio for the respective tertile was 1.279 (1.100-1.488), 0.704 (0.598-0.829) and 0.387 (0.320-0.468). In conclusion, metformin use is associated with a reduced dementia risk.
Thyroid dysfunction is involved in several types of carcinoma. Hypothyroidism is one of the most common medical morbidities among patients with endometrial cancer; however, the related mechanism is unclear. Among the risk factors related to endometrial cancer, hypothyroidism interacts with metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome and infertility or directly acts on the endometrium itself, which may influence the development and progression of endometrial cancer. We summarize recent studies on the relationship between hypothyroidism and endometrial cancer and its risk factors to provide references for basic research as well as for clinical treatment and prognostic evaluation.
The prevalence of age-related diseases is in an upward trend due to increased life expectancy in humans. Age-related conditions are among the leading causes of morbidity and death worldwide currently. Therefore, there is an urgent need to find apt interventions that slow down aging and reduce or postpone the incidence of debilitating age-related diseases. This review discusses the efficacy of emerging anti-aging approaches for maintaining better health in old age. There are many anti-aging strategies in development, which include procedures such as augmentation of autophagy, elimination of senescent cells, transfusion of plasma from young blood, intermittent fasting, enhancement of adult neurogenesis, physical exercise, antioxidant intake, and stem cell therapy. Multiple pre-clinical studies suggest that administration of autophagy enhancers, senolytic drugs, plasma from young blood, drugs that enhance neurogenesis and BDNF are promising approaches to sustain normal health during aging and also to postpone age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Stem cell therapy has also shown promise for improving regeneration and function of the aged or Alzheimer’s disease brain. Several of these approaches are awaiting critical appraisal in clinical trials to determine their long-term efficacy and possible adverse effects. On the other hand, procedures such as intermittent fasting, physical exercise, intake of antioxidants such as resveratrol and curcumin have shown considerable promise for improving function in aging, some of which are ready for large-scale clinical trials, as they are non-invasive, and seem to have minimal side effects. In summary, several approaches are at the forefront of becoming mainstream therapies for combating aging and postponing age-related diseases in the coming years.
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.
Although the 3-m timed up-and-go test (TUG) is reliable for evaluating mobility, TUG time is insufficient to evaluate mild gait disturbance; we, therefore aimed to investigate other measurements with instrumented TUG (iTUG) using a free smartphone application. Our inclusion criterion in this study is only that participants can walk without any assistance. This study included three heterogeneous groups; patients who underwent a tap test or shunt surgery, 29 inpatients hospitalized for other reasons, and 87 day-care users. After the tap test, 28 were diagnosed with tap-positive idiopathic normal-pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) and 8 were diagnosed with tap-negative. Additionally, 18 patients were assessed iTUG before and after shunt surgery. During iTUG, time and 3-dimensional (3D) acceleration were automatically recorded every 0.01 s. A volume of the 95% confidence ellipsoid (95%CE) of all plots for 3D acceleration was calculated. Additionally, an iTUG score was defined as (95%CE volume) 0.8 / 1.9 - 1.9 × (time) + 60. The measurement reliability was evaluated using intraclass correlations and Bland-Altman plots. The participants with mild gait disturbance who accomplished within 13.5 s on the iTUG time had the 95%CE volumes for 3D acceleration of ≥70 m3/s6 and iTUG scores of ≥50. The mean iTUG time was shortened and the mean 95%CE volumes and iTUG scores were increased after the tap test among 28 patients with tap-positive iNPH and after shunt surgery among 18 patients with definite iNPH. Conversely, the mean iTUG score among 8 patients with tap-negative was decreased after the tap test. The intraclass correlations for the time, 95%CE volume and iTUG score were 0.97, 0.80 and 0.90, respectively. Not only the iTUG time but also the 95%CE volume was important for evaluating mobility. Therefore, the novel iTUG score consisting both is useful for the quantitative assessment of mobility.
Metformin is currently the most effective treatment for type-2 diabetes. The beneficial actions of metformin have been found even beyond diabetes management and it has been considered as one of the most promising drugs that could potentially slow down aging. Surprisingly, the effect of metformin on brain function and metabolism has been less explored given that brain almost exclusively uses glucose as substrate for energy metabolism. We determined the effect of metformin on locomotor and cognitive function in normoglycemic mice. Metformin enhanced locomotor and balance performance, while induced anxiolytic effect and impaired cognitive function upon chronic treatment. We conducted in vitro assays and metabolomics analysis in mice to evaluate metformin’s action on the brain metabolism. Metformin decreased ATP level and activated AMPK pathway in mouse hippocampus. Metformin inhibited oxidative phosphorylation and elevated glycolysis by inhibiting mitochondrial glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (mGPDH) in vitro at therapeutic doses. In summary, our study demonstrated that chronic metformin treatment affects brain bioenergetics with compound effects on locomotor and cognitive brain function in non-diabetic mice.
Age-associated chronic inflammation is characterized by unresolved and uncontrolled inflammation with multivariable low-grade, chronic and systemic responses that exacerbate the aging process and age-related chronic diseases. Currently, there are two major hypotheses related to the involvement of chronic inflammation in the aging process: molecular inflammation of aging and inflammaging. However, neither of these hypotheses satisfactorily addresses age-related chronic inflammation, considering the recent advances that have been made in inflammation research. A more comprehensive view of age-related inflammation, that has a scope beyond the conventional view, is therefore required. In this review, we discuss newly emerging data on multi-phase inflammatory networks and proinflammatory pathways as they relate to aging. We describe the age-related upregulation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB signaling, cytokines/chemokines, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, inflammasome, and lipid accumulation. The later sections of this review present our expanded view of age-related senescent inflammation, a process we term “senoinflammation”, that we propose here as a novel concept. As described in the discussion, senoinflammation provides a schema highlighting the important and ever-increasing roles of proinflammatory senescence-associated secretome, inflammasome, ER stress, TLRs, and microRNAs, which support the senoinflammation concept. It is hoped that this new concept of senoinflammation opens wider and deeper avenues for basic inflammation research and provides new insights into the anti-inflammatory therapeutic strategies targeting the multiple proinflammatory pathways and mediators and mediators that underlie the pathophysiological aging process.
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.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which is the most major cause of dementia, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects cognitive functions. Even though the prevalence of AD is continuously increasing, few drugs including cholinesterase inhibitors and N-methyl D-aspartate-receptor antagonists were approved to treat AD. Because the clinical trials of AD drugs with single targets, such as β-amyloid and tau, have failed, the development of multi-target drugs that ameliorate many of the symptoms of AD is needed. Thus, recent studies have investigated the effects and underlying mechanisms of herbal formulae consisting of various herb combinations used to treat AD. This review discusses the results of clinical and nonclinical studies of the therapeutic efficacy in AD and underlying mechanisms of the herbal formulae of traditional Oriental medicines and bioactive compounds of medicinal plants.
Oxidative stress is defined as an imbalance between production of free radicals and reactive metabolites or [reactive oxygen species (ROS)] and their elimination by through protective mechanisms, including (antioxidants). This Such imbalance leads to damage of cells and important biomolecules and cells, with hence posing a potential adverse impact on the whole organism. At the center of the day-to-day biological response to oxidative stress is the Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1) - nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)- antioxidant response elements (ARE) pathway, which regulates the transcription of many several antioxidant genes that preserve cellular homeostasis and detoxification genes that process and eliminate carcinogens and toxins before they can cause damage. The redox-sensitive signaling system Keap1/Nrf2/ARE plays a key role in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis under stress, inflammatory, carcinogenic, and pro-apoptotic conditions, which allows us to consider it as a pharmacological target. Herein, we review and discuss the recent advancements in the regulation of the Keap1/Nrf2/ARE system, and its role under physiological and pathophysiological conditions, e.g. such as in exercise, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, stroke, liver and kidney system, etc. and such.
Gardeniae fructus (GF), an evergreen Rubiaceae shrub, is one of the most commonly used Chinese herbs in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and has been used for over a thousand years. It is usually prescribed for the treatment of brain aging, vascular aging, bone and joint aging, and other age-related diseases. It has been demonstrated that several effective compounds of GF, such as geniposide, genipin and crocin, have neuroprotective or related activities which are involved in senile disease treatment. These bioactivities include the mitochondrion dysfunction, antioxidative activity, apoptosis regulation and an anti-inflammatory activity, which related to multiple signaling pathways such as the nuclear factor-κB pathway, AMP-activated protein kinase signaling pathway, and the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. To lay the ground for fully elucidating the potential mechanisms of GF in treating age-related pathologies, we summarized the available research conducted in the last fifteen years about GF and its effective components, which have been studied in vivo and in vitro
Despite increasing research efforts, there is a lack of consensus on defining aging or health. To understand the underlying processes, and to foster the development of targeted interventions towards increasing one’s health, there is an urgent need to find a broadly acceptable and useful definition of health, based on a list of (molecular) features; to operationalize features of health so that it can be measured; to identify predictive biomarkers and (molecular) pathways of health; and to suggest interventions, such as nutrition and exercise, targeted at putative causal pathways and processes. Based on a survey of the literature, we propose to define health as a state of an individual characterized by the core features of physiological, cognitive, physical and reproductive function, and a lack of disease. We further define aging as the aggregate of all processes in an individual that reduce its wellbeing, that is, its health or survival or both. We define biomarkers of health by their attribute of predicting future health better than chronological age. We define healthspan pathways as molecular features of health that relate to each other by belonging to the same molecular pathway. Our conceptual framework may integrate diverse operationalizations of health and guide precision prevention efforts.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are an attractive cell source for regenerative medicine. However, MSCs age rapidly during long-term ex vivo culture and lose their therapeutic potential before they reach effective cell doses (ECD) for cell therapy. Thus, a prerequisite for effective MSC therapy is the development of cell culture methods to preserve the therapeutic potential during long-term ex vivo cultivation. Resveratrol (RSV) has been highlighted as a therapeutic candidate for bone disease. Although RSV treatment has beneficial effects on bone-forming cells, in vivo studies are lacking. The current study showed that long-term (6 weeks from primary culture date)-cultured MSCs with RSV induction retained their proliferative and differentiation potential despite reaching ECD. The mechanism of RSV action depends entirely on the SIRT1-SOX2 axis in MSC culture. In a rat calvarial defect model, RSV induction significantly improved bone regeneration after MSC transplantation. This study demonstrated an example of efficient MSC therapy for treating bone defects by providing a new strategy using the plant polyphenol RSV.
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.
Astrocytes, the largest and most numerous glial cells in the central nervous system (CNS), play a variety of important roles in regulating homeostasis, increasing synaptic plasticity and providing neuroprotection, thus helping to maintain normal brain function. At the same time, astrocytes can participate in the inflammatory response and play a key role in the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Reactive astrocytes are strongly induced by numerous pathological conditions in the CNS. Astrocyte reactivity is initially characterized by hypertrophy of soma and processes, triggered by different molecules. Recent studies have demonstrated that neuroinflammation and ischemia can elicit two different types of reactive astrocytes, termed A1s and A2s. However, in the case of astrocyte reactivity in different neurodegenerative diseases, the recently published research issues remain a high level of conflict and controversy. So far, we still know very little about whether and how the function or reactivity of astrocytes changes in the progression of different neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we aimed to briefly discuss recent studies highlighting the complex contribution of astrocytes in the process of various neurodegenerative diseases, which may provide us with new prospects for the development of an excellent therapeutic target for neurodegenerative diseases.
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.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is well-known to exert complications such as retinopathy, cardiomyopathy and neuropathy. However, in recent years, an elevated osteoarthritis (OA) complaints among diabetics have been observed, portending the risk of diabetic OA. Since formation of advanced glycation end products (AGE) is believed to be the etiology of various diseases under hyperglycemic conditions, we firstly established that streptozotocin-induced DM could potentiate the development of OA in C57BL/6J mouse model, and further explored the intra-articularly administered adipose-derived stem cell (ADSC) therapy focusing on underlying AGE-associated mechanism. Our results demonstrated that hyperglycemic mice exhibited OA-like structural impairments including a proteoglycan loss and articular cartilage fibrillations in knee joint. Highly expressed levels of carboxymethyl lysine (CML), an AGE and their receptors (RAGE), which are hallmarks of hyperglycemic microenvironment were manifested. The elevated oxidative stress in diabetic OA knee-joint was revealed through increased levels of malondialdehyde (MDA). Further, oxidative stress-activated nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), the marker of proinflammatory signalling pathway was also accrued; and levels of matrix metalloproteinase-1 and 13 were upregulated. However, ADSC treatment attenuated all OA-like changes by 4 weeks, and dampened levels of CML, RAGE, MDA, NF-κB, MMP-1 and 13. These results suggest that during repair and regeneration, ADSCs inhibited glycation-mediated inflammatory cascade and rejuvenated cartilaginous tissue, thereby promoting knee-joint integrity in diabetic milieu.
Mitochondrial creatine kinase (MtCK) is vital in the process of mitochondrial energy metabolism, and mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Therefore, we speculated that MtCK activity could be altered in the serum of PD patients. However, no studies to date have investigated this specific topic, so we sought to investigate the serum MtCK activities among a cohort of PD patients. 50 patients with PD and 30 age-matched controls were recruited for this study. Serum ubiquitous MtCK (uMtCK) and sarcomeric MtCK (sMtCK) activities were assayed using an immunoinhibition method. Correlations between serum uMtCK/sMtCK activities and clinical features/parameters were explored in the PD group. Our study revealed a significant decrease in the uMtCK activity in the PD group when compared with the control group. No significant difference was found in the serum sMtCK activity between the PD and control groups. There was a significant correlation between serum uMtCK activities and the disease progression rate, duration, and age at onset in PD patients. While no significant relationship was found between the serum uMtCK activities and the Hoehn & Yahr stage or main non-motor symptoms scale. There was a significant decrease in the uMtCK activity in the serum of PD patients, which was associated with the rate of disease progression, duration, and age at onset of disease. Therefore, uMtCK activity in serum offers a useful clue for identification of PD biomarkers.
The innate immune system is an ancient and primary component system that rapidly reacts to defend the body against external pathogens. C1 is the initial responder of classical pathway of the innate immune system. C1 is comprised of C1q, C1r, and C1s. Among them, C1q is known to interact with diverse ligands, which can perform various functions in physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Because C1q participates in the clearance of pathogens, its interaction with novel receptors is expected to facilitate apoptosis induction, which could prevent the onset or progression of neurodegenerative diseases and could delay the aging process. Because senescence-associated secreting phenotype determinants are generally inflammatory cytokines or immune factors to activate immune cells. In the central nervous system, C1q has diverse neuroprotective roles against pathogens and inflammation. Most of neurodegenerative diseases show region specific pathology feature in the brain. It has been suggested the evidences that the active site and amount of C1q may be disease specific. This review considers currently the emerging and under-recognized roles of C1q in neurodegeneration and highlights the need for further research to clarify these roles. Future studies on the roles of C1q in regulating disease progression should consider these aspects, including the age-dependent onset time of each neurodegenerative disease progression.
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.
Societies in developed countries are aging at an unprecedented rate. Considering that aging is the most significant risk factor for many chronic lung diseases (CLDs), understanding this process may facilitate the development of new interventionist approaches. Skeletal muscle dysfunction is a serious problem in older adults with CLDs, reducing their quality of life and survival. In this study, we reviewed the possible links between handgrip strength (HGS)—a simple, noninvasive, low-cost measure of muscle function—and CLDs in the elderly. Different mechanisms appear to be involved in this association, including systemic inflammation, chronic hypoxemia, physical inactivity, malnutrition, and corticosteroid use. Respiratory and peripheral myopathy, associated with muscle atrophy and a shift in muscle fiber type, also seem to be major etiological contributors to CLDs. Moreover, sarcopenic obesity, which occurs in older adults with CLDs, impairs common inflammatory pathways that can potentiate each other and further accelerate the functional decline of HGS. Our findings support the concept that the systemic effects of CLDs may be determined by HGS, and HGS is a relevant measurement that should be considered in the clinical assessment of the elderly with CLDs. These reasons make HGS a useful practical tool for indirectly evaluating functional status in the elderly. At present, early muscle reconditioning and optimal nutrition appear to be the most effective approaches to reduce the impact of CLDs and low muscle strength on the quality of life of these individuals. Nonetheless, larger in-depth studies are needed to evaluate the link between HGS and CLDs.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease characterized by irreversible decline in cognition with unclear pathogenesis. Recently, accumulating evidence has revealed that CD2 associated protein (CD2AP), a scaffolding molecule regulates signal transduction and cytoskeletal molecules, is implicated in AD pathogenesis. Several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in CD2AP gene are associated with higher risk for AD and mRNA levels of CD2AP are decreased in peripheral lymphocytes of sporadic AD patients. Furthermore, CD2AP loss of function is linked to enhanced Aβ production, Tau-induced neurotoxicity, abnormal neurite structure modulation and reduced blood-brain barrier integrity. This review is to summarize the recent discoveries about the genetics and known functions of CD2AP. The recent evidence concerning the roles of CD2AP in the AD pathogenesis is summarized and CD2AP can be a promising therapeutic target for AD.
Although aging is a physiological process, it has raised interest in the science of aging and rejuvenation because of the increasing burden on the rapidly aging global population. With advanced age, there is a decline in homeostatic maintenance and regenerative responsiveness to the injury of various tissues, thereby contributing to the incidence of age-related diseases. The primary cause of the functional declines that occur along with aging is considered to be the exhaustion of stem cell functions in their corresponding tissues. Age-related changes in the systemic environment, the niche, and stem cells contribute to this loss. Thus, the reversal of stem cell aging at the cellular level might lead to the rejuvenation of the animal at an organismic level and the prevention of aging, which would be critical for developing new therapies for age-related dysfunction and diseases. Here, we will explore the effects of aging on stem cells in different tissues. The focus of this discussion is on pro-youth interventions that target intrinsic stem cell properties, environmental niche component, systemic factors, and senescent cellular clearance, which are promising for developing strategies related to the reversal of aged stem cell function and optimizing tissue repair processes.
As the population ages, the medical and socioeconomic impact of age-related bone disorders will further increase. An imbalance between osteogenesis and adipogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can lead to various bone and metabolic diseases such as osteoporosis. Thus, understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying MSC osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation is important for the discovery of novel therapeutic paradigms for these diseases. miR-10b has been widely reported in tumorigenesis, cancer invasion and metastasis. However, the effects and potential mechanisms of miR-10b in the regulation of MSC adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation have not been explored. In this study, we found that the expression of miR-10b was positively correlated with bone formation marker genes ALP, RUNX2 and OPN, and negatively correlated with adipogenic markers CEBPα, PPARγ and AP2 in clinical osteoporosis samples. Overexpression of miR-10b enhanced osteogenic differentiation and inhibited adipogenic differentiation of human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hADSCs) in vitro, whereas downregulation of miR-10b reversed these effects. Furthermore, miR-10b promoted ectopic bone formation in vivo. Target prediction and dual luciferase reporter assays identified SMAD2 as a potential target of miR-10b. Silencing endogenous SMAD2 expression in hADSCs enhanced osteogenesis but repressed adipogenesis. Pathway analysis indicated that miR-10b promotes osteogenic differentiation and bone formation via the TGF-β signaling pathway, while suppressing adipogenic differentiation may be primarily mediated by other pathways. Taken together, our findings imply that miR-10b acts as a critical regulator for balancing osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation of hADSCs by repressing SMAD2 and partly through the TGF-β pathway. Our study suggests that miR-10b is a novel target for controlling bone and metabolic diseases.
Skeletal muscle aging is characterized by decline in skeletal muscle mass and function along with growing age, which consequently leads to age-related sarcopenia, if without any preventive timely treatment. Moreover, age-related sarcopenia in elder people would contribute to falls and fractures, disability, poor quality of life, increased use of hospital services and even mortality. Whey protein (WP) and/or resistance training (RT) has shown promise in preventing and treating age-related sarcopenia. It seems that sex hormones could be potential contributors for gender differences in skeletal muscle and age-related sarcopenia. In addition, skeletal muscle and the development of sarcopenia are influenced by gut microbiota, which in turn is affected by WP or RT. Gut microbiota may be a key factor for WP and/or RT against age-related sarcopenia. Therefore, focusing on sex hormones and gut microbiota may do great help for preventing, treating and better understanding age-related sarcopenia.
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.
In this review we explore the importance of epigenetics as a contributing factor for aging adult stem cells. We summarize the latest findings of epigenetic factors deregulated as adult stem cells age and the consequence on stem cell self-renewal and differentiation, with a focus on adult stem cells in the bone marrow. With the latest whole genome bisulphite sequencing and chromatin immunoprecipitations we are able to decipher an emerging pattern common for adult stem cells in the bone marrow niche and how this might correlate to epigenetic enzymes deregulated during aging. We begin by briefly discussing the initial observations in yeast, drosophila and Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) that led to the breakthrough research that identified the role of epigenetic changes associated with lifespan and aging. We then focus on adult stem cells, specifically in the bone marrow, which lends strong support for the deregulation of DNA methyltransferases, histone deacetylases, acetylates, methyltransferases and demethylases in aging stem cells, and how their corresponding epigenetic modifications influence gene expression and the aging phenotype. Given the reversible nature of epigenetic modifications we envisage “epi” targeted therapy as a means to reprogram aged stem cells into their younger counterparts.
Dementia increases the risk of mortality (ROM) in the elderly and estimates of hazard ratio (HR) of dementia for mortality have ranged from 1.7 to 6.3. However, previous studies may have underestimated ROM of dementia due to length bias, which occurs when failing to include the persons with rapidly progressive diseases, who died before they could be included in the study. This population-based prospective cohort study conducted on 6,752 randomly sampled Koreans, aged 60 years or older (the Korean Longitudinal Study on Cognitive Aging and Dementia). Cognitive disorders were evaluated at baseline and 2-year follow-up using the Korean version of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Packet (CERAD-K), and prevalent and incident cases of dementia were identified. The participants’ deaths were confirmed through the National Mortality Database of Statistics Korea. We compared the ROM between prevalent and incident dementia, and estimated HR of dementia for mortality using Cox proportional hazards model. Of the 5,097 responders to the 2-year follow-up assessment, 150 participants had dementia from the baseline (prevalent dementia), and 95 participants developed dementia during the 2-year follow-up period (incident dementia). The ROM of participants with incident dementia was about 3 times higher than the ROM of those with prevalent dementia (HR = 3.04, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.34-6.91). Compared to cognitively normal participants at both the baseline and 2-year follow-up assessments, the ROM of those with incident dementia approximately 8 times higher (HR = 8.37, 95 % CI = 4.23-16.54). In conclusion, the ROM of dementia using prevalent cases was underestimated due to length bias, and dementia may be much more fatal than previously estimated. In clinical settings, the ROM of dementia warrants the attention of physicians, particularly in recently incident dementia cases.
The global incidence of age-associated neurological diseases is expected to rise with increasingly greying societies. In the aged brain, there is a dramatic decrease in the number of stem cells, which is a main cause for the decrease in brain function. Intrinsic factors, such as cell metabolism, have been studied but its role in neurogenesis is still unknown. Therefore, this study sought to establish whether AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling does indeed regulate hippocampal neurogenesis in the aged brain. We found that i) AMPKα2 was the predominant catalytic subunit in the subgranular and subventricular zones; ii) AMPK activation was at a significantly higher level in the aged vs. young hippocampus; iii) short term (7 days) treatment with selective AMPK signaling inhibitor Compound C (10 mg/kg/day, i.p.) significantly increased the numbers of newborn (BrdU+), Type 2 (MCM2+), and Type 3 (DCX+) neural stem cells, but not Type 1 (GFAP+/Sox2+) cells, in the aged hippocampus. Taken together, our results demonstrate that AMPK signaling plays a critical role in the age-related decline of hippocampal neurogenesis.
Neuroglia is an umbrella term indicating different cellular types that play a pivotal role in the brain, being involved in its development and functional homeostasis. Glial cells are becoming the focus of recent researches pertaining the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders, Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) in particular. In fact, activated microglia is the main determinant of neuroinflammation, contributing to neurodegeneration. In addition, the oxidative insult occurring during pathological brain aging can activate glial cells that, in turn, can favor the production of free radicals. Moreover, the recent Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 (GSK-3) hypothesis of AD suggests that GSK3, involved in the regulation of glial cells functioning, could exert a role in amyloid deposition and tau hyper-phosphorylation. In this review, we briefly describe the main physiological functions of the glial cells and discuss the link between neuroglia and the most studied molecular bases of AD. In addition, we dedicate a section to the glial changes occurring in AD, with particular attention to their role in terms of neurodegeneration. In the light of the literature data, neuroglia could play a fundamental role in AD pathogenesis and progression. Further studies are needed to shed light on this topic.
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.
Osteoporosis is a prevalent bone condition, characterised by low bone mineral density and increased fracture risk. Currently, the gold standard for identifying osteoporosis and increased fracture risk is through quantification of bone mineral density using dual energy X-ray absorption. However, many studies have shown that bone strength, and consequently the probability of fracture, is a combination of both bone mass and bone ‘quality’ (architecture and material chemistry). Although the microarchitecture of both non-fracture and osteoporotic bone has been previously investigated, many of the osteoporotic studies are constrained by factors such as limited sample number, use of ovariectomised animal models, and lack of male and female discrimination. This study reports significant differences in bone quality with respect to the microarchitecture between fractured and non-fractured human femur specimens. Micro-computed tomography was utilised to investigate the microarchitecture of femoral head trabecular bone from a relatively large cohort of non-fracture and fracture human donors. Various microarchitectural parameters have been determined for both groups, providing an understanding of the differences between fracture and non -fracture material. The microarchitecture of non-fracture and fracture bone tissue is shown to be significantly different for many parameters. Differences between sexes also exist, suggesting differences in remodelling between males and females in the fracture group. The results from this study will, in the future, be applied to develop a fracture model which encompasses bone density, architecture and material chemical properties for both female and male tissues.
In this study, we investigated the relationship between sarcopenia (evaluated in term of fibers atrophy), vitamin d receptor protein expression and TaqI/Cdx2/FokI VDR genotypes in an Italian cohort of osteoporosis(n=44) and osteoarthritis (n=55) patients. Muscle biopsies were fixed and investigated by both immunohistochemistry (vitamin d receptor expression) and transmission electron microscopy (satellite stem cells niches). Vitamin d receptor polymorphisms were studied on DNA extracted from muscle paraffin sections. For the first time, we reported that aging differently affects the VDR activation in OA and OP patients. In particular, while in OP patients we observed a significant reduction of VDR positive myonuclei with age, no “age effect” was observed in OA patients. The frequent activation of VDR could explain the lower number of atrophic fiber that we observed in OA patients respect to OP. From genetic point of view, we showed a putative association among polymorphisms FokI and Cdx2 of VDR gene, vitamin d receptor activation and the occurrence of sarcopenia. Altogether these data open new prospective for the prevention and cure of age-related muscle disorders.
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.
Advanced chronic liver disease (aCLD) represents a major public health concern. aCLD is more prevalent and severe in the elderly, carrying a higher risk of decompensation. We aimed at understanding how aging may impact on the pathophysiology of aCLD in aged rats and humans and secondly, at evaluating simvastatin as a therapeutic option in aged animals. aCLD was induced in young (1 month) and old (16 months) rats. A subgroup of aCLD-old animals received simvastatin (5 mg/kg) or vehicle (PBS) for 15 days. Hepatic and systemic hemodynamic, liver cells phenotype and hepatic fibrosis were evaluated. Additionally, the gene expression signature of cirrhosis was evaluated in a cohort of young and aged cirrhotic patients. Aged animals developed a more severe form of aCLD. Portal hypertension and liver fibrosis were exacerbated as a consequence of profound deregulations in the phenotype of the main hepatic cells: hepatocytes presented more extensive cell-death and poorer function, LSEC were further capillarized, HSC over-activated and macrophage infiltration was significantly increased. The gene expression signature of cirrhosis significantly differed comparing young and aged patients, indicating alterations in sinusoidal-protective pathways and confirming the pre-clinical observations. Simvastatin administration for 15-day to aged cirrhotic rats improved the hepatic sinusoidal milieu, leading to significant amelioration in portal hypertension. This study provides evidence that aCLD pathobiology is different in aged individuals. As the median age of patients with aCLD is increasing, we propose a real-life pre-clinical model to develop more reliable therapeutic strategies. Simvastatin effects in this model further demonstrate its translational potential.
Pharmacological studies have indirectly shown that necroptosis participates in ischemic neuronal death. However, its mechanism has yet to be elucidated in the ischemic brain. TNFα-triggered RIPK1 kinase activation could initiate RIPK3/MLKL-mediated necroptosis under inhibition of caspase-8. In the present study, we performed middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) to induce cerebral ischemia in rats and used immunoblotting and immunostaining combined with pharmacological analysis to study the mechanism of necroptosis in ischemic brains. In the ipsilateral hemisphere, we found that ischemia induced the increase of (i) RIPK1 phosphorylation at the Ser166 residue (p-RIPK1), representing active RIPK1 kinase and (ii) the number of cells that were double stained with P-RIPK1 (Ser166) (p-RIPK1+) and TUNEL, a label of DNA double-strand breaks, indicating cell death. Furthermore, ischemia induced activation of downstream signaling factors of RIPK1, RIPK3 and MLKL, as well as the formation of mature interleukin-1β (IL-1β). Treatment with necrostatin-1 (Nec-1), an inhibitor of necroptosis, significantly decreased ischemia-induced increase of p-RIPK1 expression and p-RIPK1+ neurons, which showed protection from brain damage. Meanwhile, Nec-1 reduced RIPK3, MLKL and p-MLKL expression levels and mature IL-1β formation in Nec-1 treated ischemic brains. Our results clearly demonstrated that phosphorylation of RIPK1 at the Ser166 residue was involved in the pathogenesis of necroptosis in the brains after ischemic injury. Nec-1 treatment protected brains against ischemic necroptosis by reducing the activation of RIPK1 and inhibiting its downstream signaling pathways. These results provide direct in vivo evidence that phosphorylated RIPK1 (Ser 166) plays an important role in the initiation of RIPK3/MLKL-dependent necroptosis in the pathogenesis of ischemic stroke in the rodent brain.