Key points• Advancing age is the major risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases.• Arterial endothelial dysfunction, characterized by impaired endothelium-dependent dilatation (EDD), is a key antecedent to age-associated clinical cardiovascular disease.• We tested the hypothesis that changes in autophagy, the process by which cells recycle damaged biomolecules, may be an underlying cause of the age-related reduction in EDD.• We show that autophagy is impaired in arteries of older humans and mice with reduced EDD, and that enhancing autophagy restores EDD by reducing superoxide-dependent oxidative stress and inflammation, and increasing nitric oxide bioavailability.• Our results identify impaired autophagy as a potential cause of age-related arterial dysfunction and suggest that boosting autophagy may be a novel strategy for the treatment of arterial endothelial dysfunction and prevention of cardiovascular diseases with ageing.Abstract Ageing causes arterial endothelial dysfunction that increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), but the underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. The aim of the present study was to determine the role of autophagy, the cellular process of recycling damaged biomolecules, in endothelial dysfunction with ageing. In older humans, expression of autophagy markers in arterial endothelial cells was impaired by ∼50% (P < 0.05) and was associated with an ∼30% (P < 0.05) reduction in arterial endothelium-dependent dilatation (EDD). Similarly, in C57BL/6 control mice ageing was associated with an ∼40% decrease (P < 0.05) in arterial markers of autophagy and an ∼25% reduction (P < 0.05) in EDD. In both humans and mice, impaired EDD was mediated by reduced nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability and was associated with increased oxidative stress and inflammation (P < 0.05).In old mice, treatment with the autophagy-enhancing agent trehalose restored expression of autophagy markers, rescued NO-mediated EDD by reducing oxidative stress, and normalized inflammatory cytokine expression. In cultured endothelial cells, inhibition of autophagy increased oxidative stress and reduced NO production, whereas trehalose enhanced NO production via an autophagy-dependent mechanism. These results provide the first evidence that autophagy is impaired with ageing in vascular tissues. Our findings also suggest that autophagy preserves arterial endothelial function by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation and increasing
SummaryTo determine if short-term calorie restriction reverses vascular endothelial dysfunction in old mice, old (O, n = 30) and young (Y, n = 10) male B6D2F1 mice were fed ad libitum (AL) or calorie restricted (CR, approximately 30%) for 8 weeks. Ex vivo carotid artery endothelium-dependent dilation (EDD) was impaired in old ad libitum (OAL) vs. young ad libitum (YAL) (74 ± 5 vs. 95 ± 2% of maximum dilation, P < 0.05), whereas old calorie-restricted (OCR) and YCR did not differ (96 ± 1 vs. 94 ± 3%). Impaired EDD in OAL was mediated by reduced nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability associated with decreased endothelial NO synthase expression (aorta) (P < 0.05), both of which were restored in OCR. Nitrotyrosine, a cellular marker of oxidant modification, was markedly elevated in OAL (P < 0.05), whereas OCR was similar to Y. Aortic superoxide production was 150% greater in OAL vs. YAL (P < 0.05), but normalized in OCR, and TEMPOL, a superoxide dismutase (SOD) mimetic that restored EDD in OAL (to 97 ± 2%), had no effect in Y or OCR. OAL had increased expression and activity of the oxidant enzyme, NADPH oxidase, and its inhibition (apocynin) improved EDD, whereas NADPH oxidase in OCR was similar to Y. Manganese SOD activity and sirtuin1 expression were reduced in OAL (P < 0.05), but restored to Y in OCR. Inflammatory cytokines were greater in OAL vs. YAL (P < 0.05), but unaffected by CR. Carotid artery endothelium-independent dilation did not differ among groups. Short-term CR initiated in old age reverses age-associated vascular endothelial dysfunction by restoring NO bioavailability, reducing oxidative stress (via reduced NADPH oxidase-mediated superoxide production and stimulation of anti-oxidant enzyme activity), and upregulation of sirtuin-1.
Key pointsr The development of age-related arterial endothelial dysfunction, a key antecedent of increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, is mediated largely by reduced nitric oxide bioavailability as a consequence of oxidative stress.r Mitochondria are critical signalling organelles in the vasculature, which, when dysregulated, become a source of excessive reactive oxygen species; the role of mitochondria-derived oxidative stress in age-related vascular dysfunction is unknown.r We show that a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant, MitoQ, ameliorates vascular endothelial dysfunction in old mice and that these improvements are associated with the normalization of mitochondria-derived oxidative stress and markers of arterial mitochondrial health.r These results indicate that mitochondria-derived oxidative stress is an important mechanism underlying the development of age-related vascular endothelial dysfunction and therefore may be a promising therapeutic target.r Mitochondria-targeted antioxidants represent a novel strategy for preserving healthy vascular endothelial function in primary ageing and preventing age-related CVD in humans.Abstract Age-related arterial endothelial dysfunction, a key antecedent of the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD), is largely caused by a reduction in nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability as a consequence of oxidative stress. Mitochondria are a major source and target of vascular oxidative stress when dysregulated. Mitochondrial dysregulation is associated with primary ageing, but its role in age-related endothelial dysfunction is unknown. Our aim was to determine the efficacy of a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant, MitoQ, in ameliorating vascular endothelial dysfunction in old mice. Ex vivo carotid artery endothelium-dependent dilation (EDD) to increasing doses of acetylcholine was impaired by ß30% in old (ß27 months) compared with young (ß8 months) mice as a result of reduced NO bioavailability (P < 0.05). Acute (ex vivo) and chronic (4 weeks in drinking water) administration of MitoQ completely restored EDD in older mice by improving NO bioavailability. There were no effects of age or MitoQ on endothelium-independent dilation to sodium nitroprusside. The improvements in endothelial function with MitoQ supplementation were associated with the normalization of age-related increases in total and mitochondria-derived arterial superoxide production and oxidative stress (nitrotyrosine abundance), as well as with increases in markers of vascular mitochondrial health, including antioxidant status. MitoQ also reversed the age-related increase in endothelial susceptibility to acute mitochondrial damage (rotenone-induced impairment in EDD). Our results suggest that mitochondria-derived oxidative stress is an important mechanism underlying the development of endothelial dysfunction in primary ageing. Mitochondria-targeted antioxidants such as MitoQ represent a promising novel strategy for the preservation of vascular endothelial function with advancing age and the prevention of age-rela...
Telomere length (TL), a measure of replicative senescence, decreases with aging, but the factors involved are incompletely understood. To determine if age-associated reductions in TL are related to habitual endurance exercise and maximal aerobic exercise capacity (maximal oxygen consumption, VO 2 max), we studied groups of young (18 -32 years; n = 15, 7m) and older (55 -72 years; n = 15, 9m) sedentary and young (n = 10, 7m) and older endurance exercise-trained (n = 17, 11m) healthy adults. Leukocyte TL (LTL) was shorter in the older (7059 ± 141 bp) vs. young (8407 ± 218) sedentary adults (P < 0.01). LTL of the older endurance-trained adults (7992 ± 169 bp) was 900 bp greater than their sedentary peers (P < 0.01) and was not significantly different (P=0.12) from young exercise-trained adults (8579 ± 413). LTL was positively related to VO 2 max due to a significant association in older adults (r = 0.44, P < 0.01). Stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that VO 2 max independently explained ~60% of the variance in LTL. Our results indicate that LTL is preserved in healthy older adults who perform vigorous aerobic exercise and is positively related to maximal aerobic exercise capacity. This may represent a novel molecular mechanism underlying the "anti-aging" effects of maintaining high aerobic fitness.Telomere length (TL) is a measure of replicative senescence (Aubert & Lansdorp, 2008) and a proposed marker of biological aging (Bekaert et al., 2007). TL decreases progressively with aging (Gilley et al., 2008) and is associated with numerous pathologies (Brouilette et al., 2007;Demissie et al., 2006;Fitzpatrick et al., 2007) and all-cause mortality (Cawthon et al., 2003;Farzaneh-Far et al., 2008). Moreover, cellular senescence induced by telomere shortening is a potential mechanism underlying reductions in physiological function with aging (Muller, 2009;Fuster & Andrés, 2006). At any age, TL is determined by the combination of the TL at birth and the rate of age-related decline (Aubert & Lansdorp, 2008). Despite its biological and biomedical importance, the factors that influence the age-associated decrease in TL are incompletely understood, particularly with regard to factors that may act to preserve TL. In this context, habitual aerobic exercise and high aerobic exercise capacity generally are associated with better maintenance of cellular function with aging compared with a sedentary lifestyle. However, associations between TL and habitual physical activity are inconsistent (Cherkas et al., 2008;Woo et al., 2008;Ludlow et al., 2008, Shin et al., 2008 and there is no information on TL and objective measures of aerobic capacity. Publisher's Disclaimer: This is a PDF file of an unedited manuscript that has been accepted for publication. As a service to our customers we are providing this early version of the manuscript. The manuscript will undergo copyediting, typesetting, and review of the resulting proof before it is published in its final citable form. Please note that during the production proces...
Most nations of the world are undergoing rapid and dramatic population ageing, which presents great socio-economic challenges, as well as opportunities, for individuals, families, governments and societies. The prevailing biomedical strategy for reducing the healthcare impact of population ageing has been 'compression of morbidity' and, more recently, to increase healthspan, both of which seek to extend the healthy period of life and delay the development of chronic diseases and disability until a brief period at the end of life. Indeed, a recently established field within biological ageing research, 'geroscience' , is focused on healthspan extension. Superimposed on this background are new attitudes and demand for 'optimal longevity' -living long, but with good health and quality of life. A key obstacle to achieving optimal longevity is the progressive decline in physiological function that occurs with ageing, which causes functional limitations (e.g. reduced mobility) and increases the risk of chronic diseases, disability and mortality. Current efforts to increase healthspan centre on slowing the fundamental biological processes of ageing such as inflammation/oxidative stress, increased senescence, mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired proteostasis and reduced stress resistance. We propose that optimization of physiological function throughout the lifespan should be a major emphasis of any contemporary biomedical policy addressing global ageing. Effective strategies should delay, reduce in magnitude or abolish reductions in function with ageing (primary prevention) and/or improve function or slow further declines in older adults with already impaired function (secondary prevention). Healthy lifestyle practices featuring regular physical activity and ideal energy intake/diet composition represent first-line function-preserving strategies, with pharmacological agents, including existing and new pharmaceuticals and novel 'nutraceutical' compounds, serving as potential complementary approaches. Future research efforts should focus on defining the temporal patterns of functional declines with ageing, identifying the underlying mechanisms and modulatory factors involved, and establishing the most effective lifestyle practices and pharmacological options for maintaining function. Continuing development of effective behavioural approaches for enhancing adherence to healthy ageing practices in diverse populations, and ongoing analysis of the socio-economic costs and benefits of healthspan extension will be important supporting goals. To meet the demands created by rapid population ageing, a new emphasis in physiological geroscience is needed, which will require the collaborative, interdisciplinary efforts of investigators working throughout the translational research continuum from basic science to public health.
Arterial aging, characterized by stiffening of large elastic arteries and the development of arterial endothelial dysfunction, increases cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. We tested the hypothesis that spermidine, a nutrient associated with the anti-aging process autophagy, would improve arterial aging. Aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV), a measure of arterial stiffness, was ~20% greater in old (O, 28 months) compared with young C57BL6 mice (Y, 4 months, P < 0.05). Arterial endothelium-dependent dilation (EDD), a measure of endothelial function, was ~25% lower in O (P < 0.05 vs. Y) due to reduced nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability. These impairments were associated with greater arterial oxidative stress (nitrotyrosine), superoxide production, and protein cross-linking (advanced glycation end-products, AGEs) in O (all P < 0.05). Spermidine supplementation normalized aPWV, restored NO-mediated EDD and reduced nitrotyrosine, superoxide, AGEs and collagen in O. These effects of spermidine were associated with enhanced arterial expression of autophagy markers, and in vitro experiments demonstrated that vascular protection by spermidine was autophagy-dependent. Our results indicate that spermidine exerts a potent anti-aging influence on arteries by increasing NO bioavailability, reducing oxidative stress, modifying structural factors and enhancing autophagy. Spermidine may be a promising nutraceutical treatment for arterial aging and prevention of age-associated CVD.
A senescent phenotype in endothelial cells is associated with increased apoptosis, reduced endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and inflammation, which are implicated in arterial dysfunction and disease in humans. We tested the hypothesis that changes in microRNAs are associated with a senescent phenotype in human aortic endothelial cells (HAEC). Compared with early-passage HAEC, late-passage HAEC had a reduced proliferation rate and increased staining for senescence-associated beta-galactosidase and the tumor suppressor p16INK4a. Late-passage senescent HAEC had reduced expression of proliferation-stimulating/apoptosis-suppressing miR-21, miR-214 and miR-92 and increased expression of tumor suppressors and apoptotic markers. eNOS-suppressing miR-221 and miR-222 were increased and eNOS protein and eNOS activation (phosphorylation at serine1177) were lower in senescent HAEC. Caveolin-1 inhibiting miR-133a was reduced and caveolin-1, a negative regulator of eNOS activity, was elevated in senescent HAEC. Inflammation-repressing miR-126 was reduced and inflammation–stimulating miR-125b was increased, whereas inflammatory proteins were greater in senescent HAEC. Development of a senescent arterial endothelial cell phenotype featuring reduced cell proliferation, enhanced apoptosis and inflammation and reduced eNOS is associated with changes in miRNAs linked to the regulation of these processes. Our results support the hypothesis that miRNAs could play a critical role in arterial endothelial cell senescence.
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