Rapamycin, an inhibitor of mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), extends the lifespans of yeast, flies, and mice. Calorie restriction, which increases lifespan and insulin sensitivity, is proposed to function by inhibition of mTORC1, yet paradoxically, chronic administration of rapamycin substantially impairs glucose tolerance and insulin action. We demonstrate that rapamycin disrupted a second mTOR complex, mTORC2, in vivo and that mTORC2 was required for the insulin-mediated suppression of hepatic gluconeogenesis. Further, decreased mTORC1 signaling was sufficient to extend lifespan independently from changes in glucose homeostasis, as female mice heterozygous for both mTOR and mLST8 exhibited decreased mTORC1 activity and extended lifespan, but had normal glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Thus, mTORC2 disruption is an important mediator of the effects of rapamycin in vivo.
Rapamycin, an inhibitor of mTOR kinase, increased median lifespan of genetically heterogeneous mice by 23% (males) to 26% (females) when tested at a dose threefold higher than that used in our previous studies; maximal longevity was also increased in both sexes. Rapamycin increased lifespan more in females than in males at each dose evaluated, perhaps reflecting sexual dimorphism in blood levels of this drug. Some of the endocrine and metabolic changes seen in diet-restricted mice are not seen in mice exposed to rapamycin, and the pattern of expression of hepatic genes involved in xenobiotic metabolism is also quite distinct in rapamycin-treated and diet-restricted mice, suggesting that these two interventions for extending mouse lifespan differ in many respects.
We know a great deal about the cellular response to starvation via AMPK, but less is known about the reaction to nutrient excess. Insulin resistance may be an appropriate response to nutrient excess, but the cellular sensors that link these parameters remain poorly defined. In the present study we provide evidence that mitochondrial superoxide production is a common feature of many different models of insulin resistance in adipocytes, myotubes, and mice. In particular, insulin resistance was rapidly reversible upon exposure to agents that act as mitochondrial uncouplers, ETC inhibitors, or mitochondrial superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) mimetics. Similar effects were observed with overexpression of mitochondrial MnSOD. Furthermore, acute induction of mitochondrial superoxide production using the complex III antagonist antimycin A caused rapid attenuation of insulin action independently of changes in the canonical PI3K/Akt pathway. These results were validated in vivo in that MnSOD transgenic mice were partially protected against HFD induced insulin resistance and MnSOD؉/؊ mice were glucose intolerant on a standard chow diet. These data place mitochondrial superoxide at the nexus between intracellular metabolism and the control of insulin action potentially defining this as a metabolic sensor of energy excess.diabetes ͉ mitochondria ͉ superoxide
The widely accepted oxidative stress theory of aging postulates that aging results from accumulation of oxidative damage. Surprisingly, data from the longest-living rodent known, naked molerats [MRs; mass 35 g; maximum lifespan (MLSP) > 28.3 years], when compared with mice (MLSP 3.5 years) exhibit higher levels of lipid peroxidation, protein carbonylation, and DNA oxidative damage even at a young age. We hypothesize that age-related changes in protein structural stability, oxidation, and degradation are abrogated over the lifespan of the MR. We performed a comprehensive study of oxidation states of protein cysteines [both reversible (sulfenic, disulfide) and indirectly irreversible (sulfinic/sulfonic acids)] in liver from young and old C57BL/6 mice (6 and 28 months) and MRs (2 and >24 years). Furthermore, we compared interspecific differences in urea-induced protein unfolding and ubiquitination and proteasomal activity. Compared with data from young mice, young MRs have 1.6 times as much free protein thiol groups and similar amounts of reversible oxidative damage to cysteine. In addition, they show less urea-induced protein unfolding, less protein ubiquitination, and higher proteasome activity. Mice show a significant age-related increase in cysteine oxidation and higher levels of ubiquitination. In contrast, none of these parameters were significantly altered over 2 decades in MRs. Clearly MRs have markedly attenuated age-related accrual of oxidation damage to thiol groups and age-associated up-regulation of homeostatic proteolytic activity. These pivotal mechanistic interspecies differences may contribute to the divergent aging profiles and strongly implicate maintenance of protein stability and integrity in successful aging.cysteine oxidation ͉ Heterocephalus glaber ͉ mechanisms of aging ͉ proteasome activity ͉ protein homeostasis
SummaryThe National Institute on Aging Interventions Testing Program (ITP) evaluates agents hypothesized to increase healthy lifespan in genetically heterogeneous mice. Each compound is tested in parallel at three sites, and all results are published. We report the effects of lifelong treatment of mice with four agents not previously tested: Protandim, fish oil, ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) and metformin – the latter with and without rapamycin, and two drugs previously examined: 17‐α‐estradiol and nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA), at doses greater and less than used previously. 17‐α‐estradiol at a threefold higher dose robustly extended both median and maximal lifespan, but still only in males. The male‐specific extension of median lifespan by NDGA was replicated at the original dose, and using doses threefold lower and higher. The effects of NDGA were dose dependent and male specific but without an effect on maximal lifespan. Protandim, a mixture of botanical extracts that activate Nrf2, extended median lifespan in males only. Metformin alone, at a dose of 0.1% in the diet, did not significantly extend lifespan. Metformin (0.1%) combined with rapamycin (14 ppm) robustly extended lifespan, suggestive of an added benefit, based on historical comparison with earlier studies of rapamycin given alone. The α‐glucosidase inhibitor, acarbose, at a concentration previously tested (1000 ppm), significantly increased median longevity in males and 90th percentile lifespan in both sexes, even when treatment was started at 16 months. Neither fish oil nor UDCA extended lifespan. These results underscore the reproducibility of ITP longevity studies and illustrate the importance of identifying optimal doses in lifespan studies.
The oxidative stress theory of aging predicts that manipulations that alter oxidative stress/damage will alter aging. The gold standard for determining whether aging is altered is lifespan, i.e., does altering oxidative stress/damage change lifespan? Mice with genetic manipulations in the antioxidant defense system designed to directly address this prediction have, with few exceptions, shown no change in lifespan. However, when these transgenic/knockout mice are tested using models that develop various types of age-related pathology, they show alterations in progression and/or severity of pathology as predicted by the oxidative stress theory; increased oxidative stress accelerates pathology and reduced oxidative stress retards pathology. These contradictory observations might mean a) oxidative stress plays a very limited, if any, role in aging but a major role in healthspan; and/or b) the role that oxidative stress plays in aging depends on environment. In environments with minimal stress, as expected under optimal husbandry, oxidative damage plays little role in aging. However, under chronic stress, including pathological phenotypes that diminish optimal health, oxidative stress/damage plays a major role in aging. Under these conditions, enhanced antioxidant defenses exert an “anti-aging” action, leading to changes in lifespan, age-related pathology, and physiological function as predicted by the oxidative stress theory of aging.
Oxidative stress has been implicated in the etiology of age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia). However, the underlying mechanisms by which oxidative stress contributes to sarcopenia have not been thoroughly investigated. To directly examine the role of chronic oxidative stress in vivo, we used a mouse model that lacks the antioxidant enzyme CuZnSOD (Sod1). Sod1(-/-) mice are characterized by high levels of oxidative damage and an acceleration of sarcopenia. In the present study, we demonstrate that muscle atrophy in Sod1(-/-) mice is accompanied by a progressive decline in mitochondrial bioenergetic function and an elevation of mitochondrial generation of reactive oxygen species. In addition, Sod1(-/-) muscle exhibits a more rapid induction of mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis and loss of myonuclei. Furthermore, aged Sod1(-/-) mice show a striking increase in muscle mitochondrial content near the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Despite the increase in content, the function of mitochondria is significantly impaired, with increased denervated NMJs and fragmentation of acetylcholine receptors. As a consequence, contractile force in aged Sod1(-/-) muscles is greatly diminished. Collectively, we show that Sod1(-/-) mice display characteristics of normal aging muscle in an accelerated manner and propose that the superoxide-induced NMJ degeneration and mitochondrial dysfunction are potential mechanisms of sarcopenia.
Previous studies have shown that dermal fibroblast cell lines derived from young adult mice of the long-lived Snell dwarf mutant stock are resistant, in vitro, to the cytotoxic effects of H2O2, cadmium, UV light, paraquat, and heat. We show here that similar resistance profiles are seen in fibroblast cells derived from a related mutant, the Ames dwarf mouse, and that cells from growth hormone receptor-null mice are resistant to H2O2, paraquat, and UV but not to cadmium. Resistance to UV light, cadmium, and H2O2are similar in cells derived from 1-wk-old Snell dwarf or normal mice, and thus the resistance of cell lines derived from young adult donors reflects developmental processes, presumably hormone dependent, that take place in the first few months of life. The resistance of cells from Snell dwarf mice to these stresses does not reflect merely antioxidant defenses: dwarf-derived cells are also resistant to the DNA-alkylating agent methyl methanesulfonate. Furthermore, inhibitor studies show that fibroblast resistance to UV light is unaffected by the antioxidants ascorbic acid and N-acetyl-l-cysteine. These data suggest that postnatal exposure to altered levels of pituitary hormones leads to development of cellular resistance to oxidative and nonoxidative stressors, which are stable through many rounds of in vitro cell division and could contribute to the remarkable disease resistance of long-lived mutant mice.
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