Age-related cognitive decline is a serious health concern in our aging society. Decreased cognitive function observed during healthy brain aging is most likely caused by changes in brain connectivity and synaptic dysfunction in particular brain regions. Here we show that aged C57BL/6J wild-type mice have hippocampus-dependent spatial memory impairments. To identify the molecular mechanisms that are relevant to these memory deficits, we investigated the temporal profile of mouse hippocampal synaptic proteome changes at 20, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and 100 weeks of age. Extracellular matrix proteins were the only group of proteins that showed robust and progressive up-regulation over time. This was confirmed by immunoblotting and histochemical analysis, which indicated that the increased levels of hippocampal extracellular matrix might limit synaptic plasticity as a potential cause of age-related cognitive decline. In addition, we observed that stochasticity in synaptic protein expression increased with age, in particular for proteins that were previously linked with various neurodegenerative diseases, whereas low variance in expression was observed for proteins that play a basal role in neuronal function and synaptic neurotransmission. Together, our findings show that both specific changes and increased variance in synaptic protein expression are associated with aging and may underlie reduced synaptic plasticity and impaired cognitive performance in old age.
Animal venoms are important sources for finding new pharmaceutical lead molecules. We used an analytical platform for initial rapid screening and identification of bioactive compounds from these venoms followed by fast and straightforward LC-MS only guided purification to obtain bioactives for further chemical and biological studies. The analytical platform consists of a nano-LC separation coupled post-column to high-resolution mass spectrometry and parallel on-line bioaffinity profiling for the acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP) in a chip based fluorescent enhancement based bioassay. AChBP is a stable structural homologue of the extracellular ligand binding domain of the ?7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (?7-nAChR). This receptor is an extensively studied medicinal target, previously associated with epilepsy, Alzheimers, schizophrenia and anxiety. The workflow is demonstrated with the venom of the Naja mossambica mossambica. Two medium affinity AChBP ligands were found. After subsequent LC-MS guided purification of the respective venom peptides, the purified peptides were sequenced and confirmed as Cytotoxin 1 and 2. These peptides were not reported before to have affinity for the AChBP. The purified peptides can be used for further biological studies.
Middle-aged offspring of nonagenarians, as compared to their spouses (controls), show a favorable lipid metabolism marked by larger LDL particle size in men and lower total triglyceride levels in women. To investigate which specific lipids associate with familial longevity, we explore the plasma lipidome by measuring 128 lipid species using liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry in 1526 offspring of nonagenarians (59 years ± 6.6) and 675 (59 years ± 7.4) controls from the Leiden Longevity Study. In men, no significant differences were observed between offspring and controls. In women, however, 19 lipid species associated with familial longevity. Female offspring showed higher levels of ether phosphocholine (PC) and sphingomyelin (SM) species (3.5-8.7%) and lower levels of phosphoethanolamine PE (38:6) and long-chain triglycerides (TG) (9.4-12.4%). The association with familial longevity of two ether PC and four SM species was independent of total triglyceride levels. In addition, the longevity-associated lipid profile was characterized by a higher ratio of monounsaturated (MUFA) over polyunsaturated (PUFA) lipid species, suggesting that female offspring have a plasma lipidome less prone to oxidative stress. Ether PC and SM species were identified as novel longevity markers in females, independent of total triglycerides levels. Several longevity-associated lipids correlated with a lower risk of hypertension and diabetes in the Leiden Longevity Study cohort. This sex-specific lipid signature marks familial longevity and may suggest a plasma lipidome with a better antioxidant capacity, lower lipid peroxidation and inflammatory precursors, and an efficient beta-oxidation function.
Plant sterols (PS) are well known to reduce serum levels of total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol. Lipidomics potentially provides detailed information on a wide range of individual serum lipid metabolites, which may further add to our understanding of the biological effects of PS. In this study, lipidomics analysis was applied to serum samples from a placebo-controlled, parallel human intervention study (n = 97) of 4-week consumption of two PS-enriched, yoghurt drinks differing in fat content (based on 0.1% vs. 1.5% dairy fat). A comprehensive data analysis strategy was developed and implemented to assess and compare effects of two different PS-treatments and placebo treatment. The combination of univariate and multivariate data analysis approaches allowed to show significant effects of PS intake on the serum lipidome, and helped to distinguish them from fat content and non-specific effects. The PS-enriched 0.1% dairy fat yoghurt drink had a stronger impact on the lipidome than the 1.5% dairy fat yoghurt drink, despite similar LDL-cholesterol lowering effects. The PS-enriched 0.1% dairy fat yoghurt drink reduced levels of several sphingomyelins which correlated well with the reduction in LDL-cholesterol and can be explained by co-localization of sphingomyelins and cholesterol on the surface of LDL lipoprotein. Statistically significant reductions in serum levels of two lysophosphatidylcholines (LPC(16:1), LPC(20:1)) and cholesteryl arachidonate may suggest reduced inflammation and atherogenic potential. ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11306-011-0384-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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