Imbalance between proliferation and cell death accounts for several age-linked diseases. Aging, calorie restriction (CR), and fat source are all factors that may influence apoptotic signaling in liver, an organ that plays a central metabolic role in the organism. Here, we have studied the combined effect of these factors on a number of apoptosis regulators and effectors. For this purpose, animals were fed diets containing different fat sources (lard, soybean oil, or fish oil) under CR for 6 or 18 months. An age-linked increase in the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway was detected with CR, including a decrease in Bcl-2/Bax ratio, an enhanced release of cytochrome c to the cytosol and higher caspase-9 activity. However, these changes were not fully transmitted to the effectors apoptosis-inducing factor and caspase-3. CR (which abated aging-related inflammatory responses) and dietary fat altered the activities of caspases-8, -9, and -3. Apoptotic index (DNA fragmentation) and mean nuclear area were increased in aged animals with the exception of calorie-restricted mice fed a lard-based fat source. These results suggest possible protective changes in hepatic homeostasis with aging in the calorie-restricted lard group.
Statins may have beneficial vascular effects in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) beyond their cholesterol-lowering action, although the mechanisms involved are not completely understood. We investigated potential mechanisms involved in the efficacy of fluvastatin in preventing atherothrombosis in SLE.
In this paper we analyzed changes in hepatocyte mitochondrial mass and ultrastructure as well as in mitochondrial markers of fission/fusion and biogenesis in mice subjected to 40% calorie restriction (CR) for 18 months versus ad libitum-fed controls. Animals subjected to CR were separated into three groups with different dietary fats: soybean oil (also in controls), fish oil and lard. Therefore, the effect of the dietary fat under CR was studied as well. Our results show that CR induced changes in hepatocyte and mitochondrial size, in the volume fraction occupied by mitochondria, and in the number of mitochondria per hepatocyte. Also, mean number of mitochondrial cristae and lengths were significantly higher in all CR groups compared with controls. Finally, CR had no remarkable effects on the expression levels of fission and fusion protein markers. However, considerable differences in many of these parameters were found when comparing the CR groups, supporting the idea that dietary fat plays a relevant role in the modulation of CR effects in aged mice.
Increased expression of SIRT1 extends the lifespan of lower organisms and delays the onset of age-related diseases in mammals. Here, we show that SRT2104, a synthetic small molecule activator of SIRT1, extends both mean and maximal lifespan of mice fed a standard diet. This is accompanied by improvements in health, including enhanced motor coordination, performance, bone mineral density, and insulin sensitivity associated with higher mitochondrial content and decreased inflammation. Short-term SRT2104 treatment preserves bone and muscle mass in an experimental model of atrophy. These results demonstrate it is possible to design a small molecule that can slow aging and delay multiple age-related diseases in mammals, supporting the therapeutic potential of SIRT1 activators in humans.
We analyzed ultrastructural changes and markers of fission/fusion in hepatocyte mitochondria from mice submitted to 40% calorie restriction (CR) for 6 months versus ad-libitum-fed controls. To study the effects of dietary fat under CR, animals were separated into three CR groups with soybean oil (also in controls), fish oil, and lard. CR induced differential changes in hepatocyte and mitochondrial size, in the volume fraction occupied by mitochondria, and in the number of mitochondria per hepatocyte. The number of cristae per mitochondrion was significantly higher in all CR groups compared with controls. Proteins related to mitochondrial fission (Fis1 and Drp1) increased with CR, but no changes were detected in proteins involved in mitochondrial fusion (Mfn1, Mfn2, and OPA1). Although many of these changes could be attributed to CR regardless of dietary fat, changing membrane lipid composition by different fat sources did modulate the effects of CR on hepatocyte mitochondria.
Calorie restriction decreases skeletal muscle apoptosis, and this phenomenon has been mechanistically linked to its protective action against sarcopenia of aging. Alterations in lipid composition of membranes have been related with the beneficial effects of calorie restriction. However, no study has been designed to date to elucidate if different dietary fat sources with calorie restriction modify apoptotic signaling in skeletal muscle. We show that a 6-month calorie restriction decreased the activity of the plasma membrane neutral sphingomyelinase, although caspase-8/10 activity was not altered, in young adult mice. Lipid hydroperoxides, Bax levels, and cytochrome c and AIF release/accumulation into the cytosol were also decreased, although caspase-9 activity was unchanged. No alterations in caspase-3 and apoptotic index (DNA fragmentation) were observed, but calorie restriction improved structural features of gastrocnemius fibers by increasing cross-sectional area and decreasing circularity of fibers in cross sections. Changing dietary fat with calorie restriction produced substantial alterations of apoptotic signaling. Fish oil augmented the protective effect of calorie restriction decreasing plasma membrane neutral sphingomyelinase, Bax levels, caspase-8/10, and -9 activities, while increasing levels of the antioxidant coenzyme Q at the plasma membrane, and potentiating the increase of cross-sectional area and the decrease of fiber circularity in cross sections. Many of these changes were not found when we used lard. Our data support that dietary fish oil with calorie restriction produces a cellular anti-apoptotic environment in skeletal muscle with a downregulation of components involved in the initial stages of apoptosis engagement, both at the plasma membrane and the mitochondria.
The exact mechanisms underlying the role of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis and the prothrombotic or proinflammatory status of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) remain unknown. Here, we investigate the role of oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in the proatherothrombotic status of APS patients induced by IgG-antiphospholipid antibodies and the beneficial effects of supplementing cells with coenzyme Q(10) (CoQ(10)). A significant increase in relevant prothrombotic and inflammatory parameters in 43 APS patients was found compared with 38 healthy donors. Increased peroxide production, nuclear abundance of Nrf2, antioxidant enzymatic activity, decreased intracellular glutathione, and altered mitochondrial membrane potential were found in monocytes and neutrophils from APS patients. Accelerated atherosclerosis in APS patients was found associated with their inflammatory or oxidative status. CoQ(10) preincubation of healthy monocytes before IgG-antiphospholipid antibody treatment decreased oxidative stress, the percentage of cells with altered mitochondrial membrane potential, and the induced expression of tissue factor, VEGF, and Flt1. In addition, CoQ(10) significantly improved the ultrastructural preservation of mitochondria and prevented IgG-APS-induced fission mediated by Drp-1 and Fis-1 proteins. In conclusion, the oxidative perturbation in APS patient leukocytes, which is directly related to an inflammatory and pro-atherothrombotic status, relies on alterations in mitochondrial dynamics and metabolism that may be prevented, reverted, or both by treatment with CoQ(10).
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