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.
NSAIDs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are one of the most commonly prescribed pain medications. It is a highly effective drug class for pain and inflammation; however, NSAIDs are known for multiple adverse effects, including gastrointestinal bleeding, cardiovascular side effects, and NSAID induced nephrotoxicity. As our society ages, it is crucial to have comprehensive knowledge of this class of medication in the elderly population. Therefore, we reviewed the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics, current guidelines for NSAIDs use, adverse effect profile, and drug interaction of NSAIDs and commonly used medications in the elderly.
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.
Muscle atrophy is an unfortunate effect of aging and many diseases and can compromise physical function and impair vital metabolic processes. Low levels of muscular fitness together with insufficient dietary intake are major risk factors for illness and mortality from all causes. Ultimately, muscle wasting contributes significantly to weakness, disability, increased hospitalization, immobility, and loss of independence. However, the extent of muscle wasting differs greatly between individuals due to differences in the aging process per se as well as physical activity levels. Interventions for sarcopenia include exercise and nutrition because both have a positive impact on protein anabolism but also enhance other aspects that contribute to well-being in sarcopenic older adults, such as physical function, quality of life, and anti-inflammatory state. The process of aging is accompanied by chronic immune activation, and sarcopenia may represent a consequence of a counter-regulatory strategy of the immune system. Thereby, the kynurenine pathway is induced, and elevation in the ratio of kynurenine to tryptophan concentrations, which estimates the tryptophan breakdown rate, is often linked with inflammatory conditions and neuropsychiatric symptoms. A combined exercise program consisting of both resistance-type and endurance-type exercise may best help to ameliorate the loss of skeletal muscle mass and function, to prevent muscle aging comorbidities, and to improve physical performance and quality of life. In addition, the use of dietary protein supplementation can further augment protein anabolism but can also contribute to a more active lifestyle, thereby supporting well-being and active aging in the older population.
Rhabdomyolysis is a syndrome caused by injury to skeletal muscle. There is limited data of rhabdomyolysis in the elderly. The objective of this study is to investigate demographic data, etiologies, laboratory values, prognostic factors, and mortality of rhabdomyolysis in the geriatric population. A 4-years retrospective chart review study was conducted. Our inclusion criteria were age above 65 years and creatinine kinase level excess five times of normal upper limit. Among 167 patients, 47.3% were male. The median age at diagnosis was 80.11 (66-101) years. The duration of follow up in the study ranged from 0 to 48 months. Fall (with or without immobilization) was the most frequent cause of rhabdomyolysis in 56.9%. The mean baseline glomerular filtration rate (GFR), GFR at diagnosis, and peak decline in GFR was 76.94, 48.96, and 54.41 cc/min respectively. The mean CK at diagnosis and peak CK was 5097.22 and 6320.07. There were 45 deaths (21%) over the span of 4 years. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that number of medications pre-admission (Meds No.), peak decline in GFR, and acute kidney injury (AKI) are independent predictors for overall survival for rhabdomyolysis in the elderly. To our knowledge, this is the first epidemiological study of rhabdomyolysis in the elderly. Falls (with and without immobilization) were the most common etiology. Meds No. (>8), peak decline in GFR (<30 cc/min), and evidence of AKI are associated with shorter overall survival and can serve as potential independent prognostic markers for rhabdomyolysis in elderly patients.
Elucidating the normal structure and distribution of cerebral vascular system is fundamental for understanding its function. However, studies on visualization and whole-brain quantification of vasculature with cellular resolution are limited. Here, we explored the structure of vasculature at the whole-brain level using the newly developed CLARITY technique. Adult male C57BL/6J mice undergoing transient middle cerebral artery occlusion and Tie2-RFP transgenic mice were used. Whole mouse brains were extracted for CLARITY processing. Immunostaining was performed to label vessels. Customized MATLAB code was used for image processing and quantification. Three-dimensional images were visualized using the Vaa3D software. Our results showed that whole mouse brain became transparent using the CLARITY method. Three-dimensional imaging and visualization of vasculature were achieved at the whole-brain level with a 1-μm voxel resolution. The quantitative results showed that the fractional vascular volume was 0.018 ± 0.004 mm3 per mm3, the normalized vascular length was 0.44 ± 0.04 m per mm3, and the mean diameter of the microvessels was 4.25 ± 0.08 μm. Furthermore, a decrease in the fractional vascular volume and a decrease in the normalized vascular length were found in the penumbra of ischemic mice compared to controls (p < 0.05). In conclusion, CLARITY provides a novel approach for mapping vasculature in the whole mouse brain at cellular resolution. CLARITY-optimized algorithms facilitate the assessment of structural change in vasculature after brain injury.
Owing to a dramatic increase in average life expectancy and the Family Planning program of the 1970s - 1990s, China is rapidly becoming an aging society. Therefore, the investigation of healthspan-extending drugs becomes more urgent. Astragalus membranaceus (Huangqi) is a major medicinal herb that has been commonly used in many herbal formulations in the practice of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to treat a wide variety of diseases and body disorders, or marketed as life-prolonging extracts for human use in China, for more than 2000 years. The major components of Astragalus membranaceus are polysaccharides, flavonoids, and saponins. Pharmacological research indicates that the extract component of Astragalus membranaceus can increase telomerase activity, and has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunoregulatory, anticancer, hypolipidemic, antihyperglycemic, hepatoprotective, expectorant, and diuretic effects. A proprietary extract of the dried root of Astragalus membranaceus, called TA-65, was associated with a significant age-reversal effect in the immune system. Our review focuses on the function and the underlying mechanisms of Astragalus membranaceus in lifespan extension, anti-vascular aging, anti-brain aging, and anti-cancer effects, based on experimental and clinical studies.
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.
There has been increasing interest and research into sarcopenia in community-dwelling older adults since the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) agreed a consensus definition in 2010. Sarcopenia has been defined as loss of muscle mass with loss of muscle function (strength or physical performance), with measurements two Standard Deviations (SDs) below the mean of a young reference population. This definition does not necessitate longitudinal measurements, or the absence of acute illness and diagnosis can be made from single measurements. We hypothesise that hospitalisation, due to a combination of acute inflammatory burden and muscle disuse, leads to an acute decline in muscle mass and function and may lead to some individuals meeting criteria for sarcopenia, acutely, based on the EWGSOP definition. This may be partially recoverable or may lead to increased risk of developing sarcopenia long-term. We have denoted the term “acute sarcopenia” to refer to acute loss of muscle mass and function associated with hospitalisation. This review discusses some of the current available research in this context and also identifies some of the knowledge gaps and potential areas for future research.
Endotoxemia-induced inflammation has been associated with insulin resistance and atherosclerosis, ultimately increasing the risk of coronary heart disease. Increased intestinal permeability is an important event leading to endotoxemia. This study aims to elucidate the possible association between endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide) and zonulin (a biomarker of intestinal permeability) levels and the risk of coronary heart disease, and thus healthy aging. Serum levels of zonulin, lipopolysaccharide and soluble CD14 (a protein that binds lipopolysaccharide) were measured in disease-free centenarians, young healthy controls and patients with precocious acute myocardial infarction. Disease-free centenarians had significantly lower levels of serum zonulin (P<0.01) and lipopolysaccharide (P<0.001) than young patients with acute myocardial infarction, and had significantly lower concentrations of serum lipopolysaccharide than young healthy controls (P<0.05). No significant differences were found for soluble CD14 between groups. Our findings may stimulate further research into the role played by intestinal permeability and endotoxemia not only in coronary heart disease but also in lifespan modulation.
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.
The Bristol Foot Score is considered an instrument for measuring the impact of foot problems and pain. It was developed and validated in United Kingdom. Therefore, this aim was to perform the transcultural adaptation and validation of the Spanish version. The recommended forward/backward translation protocol was applied for the procedure of translation, transcultural adaptation and validation to Spain. Considering each domain and question, internal consistency and reliability were analyzed through the Crombach alpha (α) and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) with a 95% confidence interval (95% CI). A very good internal consistency was shown for the 3 domains: concern and pain showed a Cronbach of 0.896, footwear and general foot health of 0.790, mobility 0.887. Each question had a very good test-retest reliability, ranged from 0.721 to 0.963 with no systematic differences (P>0.05) in each question of the Spanish Bristol Foot Score (BFS-S) questionnaire. The test-retest reliability was excellent (ICC 95%): concern and foot pain 0.950 (0.913-0971); footwear and general foot health 0.914 (0.851-0.950), mobility 0.973 (0.953-0.984) and there were no sistematic differences in any domain (P > 0.05). The BFS-S was shown to be a valid and reliable tool with an acceptable use in the Spanish population.
SIRT3 is a class III histone deacetylase that modulates energy metabolism, genomic stability and stress resistance. It has been implicated as a potential therapeutic target in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease (PD). Our previous study demonstrates that SIRT3 had a neuroprotective effect on a rotenone-induced PD cell model, however, the exact mechanism is unknown. In this study, we investigated the underlying mechanism. We established a SIRT3 stable overexpression cell line using lentivirus infection in SH-SY5Y cells. Then, a PD cell model was established using rotenone. Our data demonstrate that overexpression of SIRT3 increased the level of the autophagy markers LC3 II and Beclin 1. After addition of the autophagy inhibitor 3-MA, the protective effect of SIRT3 diminished: the cell viability decreased, while the apoptosis rate increased; α-synuclein accumulation enhanced; ROS production increased; antioxidants levels, including SOD and GSH, decreased; and MMP collapsed. These results reveal that SIRT3 has neuroprotective effects on a PD cell model by up-regulating autophagy. Furthermore, SIRT3 overexpression also promoted LKB1 phosphorylation, followed by activation of AMPK and decreased phosphorylation of mTOR. These results suggest that the LKB1-AMPK-mTOR pathway has a role in induction of autophagy. Together, our findings indicate a novel mechanism by which SIRT3 protects a rotenone-induced PD cell model through the regulation of autophagy, which, in part, is mediated by activation of the LKB1-AMPK-mTOR pathway.
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.
The Cistanche species (“Rou Cong Rong” in Chinese) is an endangered wild species growing in arid or semi-arid areas. The dried fleshy stem of Cistanches has been used as a tonic in China for many years. Modern pharmacological studies have since demonstrated that Herba Cistanches possesses broad medicinal functions, especially for use in anti-senescence, anti-oxidation, neuroprotection, anti-inflammation, hepatoprotection, immunomodulation, anti-neoplastic, anti-osteoporosis and the promotion of bone formation. This review summarizes the up-to-date and comprehensive information on Herba Cistanches covering the aspects of the botany, traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology, to lay ground for fully elucidating the potential mechanisms of Herba Cistanches’ anti-aging effect and promote its clinical application as an anti-aging herbal medicine.
The objective of this study was to explore the causes of death in Chinese patients with multiple system atrophy (MSA) as well as differences in the cause of death according to sex, subtype, disease onset, and whether the disease was accompanied by nocturnal stridor. A total of 131 MSA patients were enrolled and followed up once every year until their deaths. Clinical information was collected by neurologists, and the cause of death of the MSA patients was obtained from the patients’ relatives or caregivers. The current study included 62 MSA with predominant parkinsonism (MSA-P) and 69 MSA with predominant cerebellar ataxia (MSA-C) patients. Median survival time from disease onset to death of the MSA patients was 5.59 years. The most common cause of death was respiratory infection (65.6%). The second most common cause of death was sudden death (14.5%). Other causes included nutritional disorder due to dysphagia (9.2%), urinary tract infection (3.1%), suicide (2.3%), choking (1.5%), cerebrovascular accident (1.5%), myocardial infarction (1.5%), and lymphoma (0.8%). We found that sudden death was more likely to occur in patients with nocturnal stridor than in those without (P<0.001). There were no significant differences in the cause of death according to subtype, sex, or onset symptoms (autonomic failure or motor symptoms). Sudden death is a relatively common cause of death in MSA patients, second only to respiratory infection, especially in patients with nocturnal stridor. The information provided by our study may help to provide better medical care to MSA patients.
In a previously reported double-blind, randomized controlled trial (RCT), we demonstrated that daily supplementation with anserine (750 mg) and carnosine (250 mg) improves brain blood flow and memory function in elderly people. Here, we conducted a sub-analysis of MRI data and test scores from the same RCT to determine whether anserine/carnosine supplementation specifically benefits elderly people carrying the APOE e4 allele, which is a risk gene for accelerated brain aging and for the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease. We collected data from 68 participants aged 65 years or older who received anserine/carnosine supplementation (ACS) or placebo for 12 months. Subjects were assessed at the start and end of the trial using several neuropsychological tests, including the Wechsler Memory Scale-Logical Memory (WMS-LM). We also collected two types of MRI data, arterial spin labeling (ASL) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) at the start and end of the trial. We found that ACS significantly preserved verbal memory (WMS-LM, F[1,65] = 4.2003, p = 0.0445) and blood flow at frontal areas of the brain (FWEcluster level, p < 0.001). Sub-analysis based on the APOE4 genotype showed a significant preservation of blood flow (p = 0.002, by ASL analysis) and white-matter microstructure (p = 0.003, by DTI analysis) at prefrontal areas in APOE4+ subjects in the active group, while there was no significant difference between APOE4- subjects in the active and placebo groups. The effect of ACS in preserving brain structure and function in elderly people carrying APOE4 should be verified by further studies.
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.
Rhythmic auditory cueing has been widely used in gait rehabilitation over the past decade. The entrainment effect has been suggested to introduce neurophysiological changes, alleviate auditory-motor coupling and reduce cognitive-motor interferences. However, a consensus as to its influence over aging gait is still warranted. A systematic review and meta-analysis was carried out to analyze the effects of rhythmic auditory cueing on spatiotemporal gait parameters among healthy young and elderly participants. This systematic identification of published literature was performed according to PRISMA guidelines, from inception until May 2017, on online databases: Web of science, PEDro, EBSCO, MEDLINE, Cochrane, EMBASE, and PROQUEST. Studies were critically appraised using PEDro scale. Of 2789 records, 34 studies, involving 854 (499 young/ 355 elderly) participants met our inclusion criteria. The meta-analysis revealed enhancements in spatiotemporal parameters of gait i.e. gait velocity (Hedge’s g: 0.85), stride length (0.61), and cadence (1.1), amongst both age groups. This review, for the first time, evaluates the effects of auditory entrainment on aging gait and discusses its implications under higher and lower information processing constraints. Clinical implications are discussed with respect to applications of auditory entrainment in rehabilitation settings.
The population in the United States is aging and presents many challenges in the healthcare world. According to the report released by United States Census Bureau in June 2017, there are around 50 million residents aged 65 years and over as of 2016. Among the multiple healthcare challenges, kidney disease is a significant one because of its high burden, high cost and low awareness. Medicare spending on chronic kidney disease for 65 plus aged patients exceeded $ 50 billion in 2013. Different studies based on different calculations have estimated that at least one-third of chronic kidney disease patients are aged above 65 years. Most of the chronic kidney disease patients have multiple medical co-morbidities but geriatric syndromes are added factors that may be challenging for nephrologists. There is scarcity of well-trained geriatricians and in most instances, nephrologists take over the role of internist or geriatrician. This article outlines the need and importance of collaboration and coordination between geriatrics and nephrology for the best patient care and better healthcare outcomes.
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.
Aging is the greatest risk factor for human diseases, as it results in cellular growth arrest, impaired tissue function and metabolism, ultimately impacting life span. Two different mechanisms are thought to be primary causes of aging. One is cumulative DNA damage induced by a perpetuating cycle of oxidative stress; the other is nutrient-sensing adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and rapamycin (mTOR)/ ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6) pathways. As the main bioactive component of natural Chinese medicine rhizoma coptidis (RC), berberine has recently been reported to expand life span in Drosophila melanogaster, and attenuate premature cellular senescence. Most components of RC including berberine, coptisine, palmatine, and jatrorrhizine have been found to have beneficial effects on hyperlipidemia, hyperglycemia and hypertension aging-related diseases. The mechanism of these effects involves multiple cellular kinase and signaling pathways, including anti-oxidation, activation of AMPK signaling and its downstream targets, including mTOR/rpS6, Sirtuin1/ forkhead box transcription factor O3 (FOXO3), nuclear factor erythroid-2 related factor-2 (Nrf2), nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) pathways. Most of these mechanisms converge on AMPK regulation on mitochondrial oxidative stress. Therefore, such evidence supports the possibility that rhizoma coptidis, in particular berberine, is a promising anti-aging natural product, and has pharmaceutical potential in combating aging-related diseases via anti-oxidation and AMPK cellular kinase activation.
Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) is the most common sensory disorder in the elderly population. SAMP8 mouse model presents accelerated senescence and has been identified as a model of gerontological research. SAMP8 displays a progressive age-related decline in brain function associated with a progressive hearing loss mimicking human aging memory deficits and ARHL. The molecular mechanisms associated with SAMP8 senescence process involve oxidative stress leading to chronic inflammation and apoptosis. Here, we studied the effect of N-acetylcysteine (NAC), an antioxidant, on SAMP8 hearing loss and memory to determine the potential interest of this model in the study of new antioxidant therapies. We observed a strong decrease of auditory brainstem response thresholds from 45 to 75 days of age and an increase of distortion product amplitudes from 60 to 75 days in NAC treated group compared to vehicle. Moreover, NAC treated group presented also an increase of memory performance at 60 and 105 days of age. These results confirm that NAC delays the senescence process by slowing the age-related hearing loss, protecting the cochlear hair cells and improving memory, suggesting that antioxidants could be a pharmacological target for age-related hearing and memory loss.
Normal aging is associated with both structural changes in many brain regions and functional declines in several cognitive domains with advancing age. Advanced neuroimaging techniques enable explorative analyses of structural alterations that can be used as assessments of such age-related changes. Here we used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to investigate regional and global brain volume differences among four groups of healthy adults from the IXI Dataset: older females (OF, mean age 68.35 yrs; n=69), older males (OM, 68.43 yrs; n=66), young females (YF, 27.09 yrs; n=71), and young males (YM, 27.91 yrs; n=71), using 3D T1-weighted MRI data. At the global level, we investigated the influence of age and gender on brain volumes using a two-way analysis of variance. With respect to gender, we used the Pearson correlation to investigate global brain volume alterations due to age in the older and young groups. At the regional level, we used a flexible factorial statistical test to compare the means of gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) volume alterations among the four groups. We observed different patterns in both the global and regional GM and WM alterations in the young and older groups with respect to gender. At the global level, we observed significant influences of age and gender on global brain volumes. At the regional level, the older subjects showed a widespread reduction in GM volume in regions of the frontal, insular, and cingulate cortices compared to the young subjects in both genders. Compared to the young subjects, the older subjects showed a widespread WM decline prominently in the thalamic radiations, in addition to increased WM in pericentral and occipital areas. Knowledge of these observed brain volume differences and changes may contribute to the elucidation of mechanisms underlying aging as well as age-related brain atrophy and disease.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been associated with an increased risk of frailty, but the direction of the association remains unclear. This study set out to examine the bidirectional longitudinal association between CVD and frailty over an extended period of time. Data are from 1432 older adults (aged 65-88yrs) of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA), who were followed for 17 years. At baseline and follow-up, CVD was assessed through self-report, medication use and medical records, and classified as angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, heart failure (HF), stroke, and peripheral artery disease. Throughout the study, frailty was assessed using Fried’s frailty criteria. Cox regression models showed that patients with HF had an increased frailty risk (HR 2.7; 95%CI: 1.5-5.1) after a median follow-up of 8.4 yrs. This finding was independent of potential confounders (age, sex, several comorbidities). Examinations of the reverse association revealed that frail older adults were not at risk of incident CVD. Of all older adults with CVD, those with HF have an increased risk of frailty and frail older adults do not have an increased risk of CVD. Our findings emphasize the need for cardiac rehabilitation programs evaluating the effect of physical exercise programs in order to prevent frailty and therewith improve quality of life and independence of care in CVD patients.
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.
Elastic therapeutic taping (ET) has been widely used for a series of musculoskeletal diseases in recent years. However, there remains clinical uncertainty over its efficiency for knee osteoarthritis (knee OA) management. To assess the effects of ET on patients with knee OA, we investigated outcomes including self-reported pain, knee flexibility, knee-related health status, adverse events, muscle strength, and proprioceptive sensibility. Ten databases including PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, Web of Science, PEDro, Research Gate, CNKI, CBM, and Wanfang were systematically searched. Eleven randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with 168 participants with knee OA provided data for the meta-analysis. Statistical significance was reported in four from five outcomes, such as self-related pain (during activity, MD -0.85, 95% CI, -1.55 to -0.14; P =0.02), knee flexibility (MD 7.59, 95% CI, 0.61 to 14.57; P =0.03), knee-related health status (WOMAC scale, MD -4.10, 95% CI, -7.75 to -0.45; P =0.03), and proprioceptive sensibility (MD -4.69, 95% CI, -7.75 to -1.63; P =0.003), while no significant enhancement was reported regarding knee muscle strength (MD 1.25, 95% CI, -0.03 to 2.53; P =0.06). Adverse events were not reported in any of the included trials. The overall quality of evidence was from moderate to very low. In conclusion, there is underpowered evidence to suggest that ET is effective in the treatment of knee OA. Large, well-designed RCTs with better designs are needed.
Lycium barbarum has been used in China for more than 2,000 years as a traditional medicinal herb and food supplement. Lycium barbarum contains abundant Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBPs), betaine, phenolics, carotenoids (zeaxanthin and β-carotene), cerebroside, 2-O-β-d-glucopyranosyl-l-ascorbic acid (AA-2βG), β-sitosterol, flavonoids and vitamins (in particular, riboflavin, thiamine, and ascorbic acid). LBPs are the primary active components of Lycium barbarum. In this review, we discuss the pharmacological activities of LBPs and other major components. They have been reported to mediate significant anti-aging effects, through antioxidant, immunoregulative, anti-apoptotic activities and reducing DNA damage. Thus, the basic scientific evidence for anti-aging effects of LBPs is already available. However, additional studies are needed to understand mechanisms by which LBPs mediate anti-aging properties. Novel findings from such studies would likely pave the way for the clinical application of traditional chinese medicine Lycium barbarum in modern evidence-based medicine.
Neural stem cells (NSCs) are special types of cells with the potential for self-renewal and multi-directional differentiation. NSCs are regulated by multiple pathways and pathway related transcription factors during the process of proliferation and differentiation. Numerous studies have shown that the compound medicinal preparations, single herbs, and herb extracts in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) have specific roles in regulating the proliferation and differentiation of NSCs. In this study, we investigate the markers of NSCs in various stages of differentiation, the related pathways regulating the proliferation and differentiation, and the corresponding transcription factors in the pathways. We also review the influence of TCM on NSC proliferation and differentiation, to facilitate the development of TCM in neural regeneration and neurodegenerative diseases.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive pathology, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. The hallmarks of AD, such as amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) in senile plaque and neurofibrillary tangles, are strongly intertwined with oxidative stress, which is considered one of the common effectors of the cascade of degenerative events. The endogenous nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is the "master regulator" of the antioxidant response and it is known as an indicator and regulator of oxidative stress. The present study aimed to determine the potential neuroprotective activity of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), a polyphenolic compound abundant in honeybee, against the neurotoxicity of Aβ1-42 oligomers (AβO) in mice. An intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of AβO into the mouse brain triggered increased reactive oxygen species levels, neurodegeneration, neuroinflammation, and memory impairment. In contrast, the intraperitoneal administration of CAPE (10 mg/kg) after i.c.v. AβO-injection counteracted oxidative stress accompanied by an induction of Nrf2 and heme oxygenase-1 via the modulation of glycogen synthase kinase 3β in the hippocampus of mice. Additionally, CAPE treatment decreased AβO-induced neuronal apoptosis and neuroinflammation, and improved learning and memory, protecting mice against the decline in spatial cognition. Our findings demonstrate that CAPE could potentially be considered as a promising neuroprotective agent against progressive neurodegenerative diseases such as AD.
Diabetes milieu is a complex metabolic disease that has been known to associate with high risk of various neurological disorders. Hyperglycemia in diabetes could dramatically increase neuronal glucose levels which leads to neuronal damage, a phenomenon referred to as glucose neurotoxicity. On the other hand, the impact of hyperglycemia on astrocytes has been less explored. Astrocytes play important roles in brain energy metabolism through neuron-astrocyte coupling. As the component of blood brain barrier, glucose might be primarily transported into astrocytes, hence, impose direct impact on astrocyte metabolism and function. In the present study, we determined the effect of high glucose on the energy metabolism and function of primary astrocytes. Hyperglycemia level glucose (25 mM) induced cell cycle arrest and inhibited proliferation and migration of primary astrocytes. Consistently, high glucose decreased cyclin D1 and D3 expression. High glucose enhanced glycolytic metabolism, increased ATP and glycogen content in primary astrocytes. In addition, high glucose activated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway in astrocytes. In summary, our in vitro study indicated that hyperglycemia might impact astrocyte energy metabolism and function phenotype. Our study provides a potential mechanism which may underlie the diabetic cerebral neuropathy and warrant further in vivo study to determine the effect of hyperglycemia on astrocyte metabolism and function.
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
Immune responses are a double-edged sword. Effective and appropriate immune responses capable of controlling viral infection while also largely preserving tissue integrity, are critical for host survival. Too strong immune responses might result in immune pathology, while too weak immune responses might cause viral persistence. Physiologic ageing is accompanied with a decline in the normal functioning of the immune system, which is termed as "immunosenescence". We show that aged mice (16-19 months old) are more resistant to influenza A virus (IAV) infection than the young mice. Strong immune responses in the young mice after IAV infection result in faster clearance of virus, but also cause severe lung injury and higher mortality rate. While in the aged mice, the delayed and milder immune responses contribute to reduced pulmonary damage, and are still capable to clear the infection even with a slower kinetics, displaying a more resistant phenotype during IAV infection. Hence, our work demonstrates that moderate immune responses as a decline with ageing in the aged mice balance the immune pathology and viral clearance, might be beneficial for the host during certain circumstances. Our results provide important insight to our basic knowledge of immunosenescence and immune defenses to invading pathogens. Further, our results indicate that age factors should be considered when investigating the vaccination and therapeutic strategies for severe IAV infection.
The mitochondrion is susceptible to neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD). Mitochondrial dysfunction has been considered to play an important role in the dopaminergic degeneration in PD. However, there are no effective drugs to protect mitochondria from dysfunction during the disease development. In the present study, fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide derived from Laminaria japonica, was investigated and characterized for its protective effect on the dopamine system and mitochondrial function of dopaminergic neurons in a rotenone-induced rat model of PD. We found that chronic treatment with fucoidan significantly reversed the loss of nigral dopaminergic neurons and striatal dopaminergic fibers and the reduction of striatal dopamine levels in PD rats. Fucoidan also alleviated rotenone-induced behavioral deficits. Moreover, the mitochondrial respiratory function as detected by the mitochondrial oxygen consumption and the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1α) and nuclear transcription factor 2 (NRF2) were reduced in the substantia nigra of PD rats, which were markedly reversed by fucoidan. Oxidative products induced by rotenone were significantly reduced by fucoidan. Taken together, these results demonstrate that fucoidan possesses the ability to protect the dopamine system in PD rats. The neuroprotective effect of fucoidan may be mediated via reserving mitochondrial function involving the PGC-1α/NRF2 pathway. This study provides new evidence that fucoidan can be explored in PD therapy.
The prevalence of degenerative disorders in public health has promoted in-depth investigations of the underlying pathogenesis and the development of new treatment drugs. Ginkgo biloba leaves extract (EGb) is obtained from Ginkgo biloba leaves and has been used for thousands of years. In recent decades, both basic and clinical studies have established the effects of EGb. It is widely used in various degenerative diseases such as cerebrovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, macroangiopathy and more. Here, we reviewed several pharmacological mechanisms of EGb, including its antioxidant properties, prevention of mitochondrial dysfunctions, and effect on apoptosis. We also described some clinical applications of EGb, such as its effect on neuro and cardiovascular protection, and anticancer properties. The above biological functions of EGb are mainly focused on aging-related disorders, but its effect on other diseases remains unclear. Thus, through this review, we aim to encourage further studies on EGb and discover more potential applications