Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
JIB
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING

Replenishment of GDF11 Reverses Cardiac Hypertrophy in Aging Animals

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 22 May 2013
Image: Senior author Dr. Richard Lee (left) with contributing author Dr. Amy J. Wagers (right) (Photo courtesy of Harvard University).
Image: Senior author Dr. Richard Lee (left) with contributing author Dr. Amy J. Wagers (right) (Photo courtesy of Harvard University).
Experimental data collected by a team of cardiovascular disease researchers identified the decline in levels of the blood-borne protein growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11) as contributing to deterioration of the heart muscle (cardiac hypertrophy) that occurs with advanced age and showed that restoration of GDF11 could reverse this process.

Investigators at Harvard University (Boston, MA, USA) searched for factors leading to the development of cardiac hypertrophy by using heterochronic parabiosis, a surgical technique in which joining of animals of different ages leads to a shared circulation.

The circulatory systems of old and young mice were surgically joined. After four weeks of exposure to the circulation of young mice, indicators of cardiac hypertrophy in old mice dramatically regressed. Changes included reduced cardiomyocyte size and molecular remodeling. This reversal of age-related hypertrophy was not attributable to hemodynamic or behavioral effects of the parabiosis procedure, implicating a blood-borne factor.

The investigators used modified aptamer-based proteomics to identify the TGF-beta superfamily member GDF11 as a circulating factor in young mice that declined with age. Aptamers are nucleic acid species that have been engineered through repeated rounds of in vitro selection to bind to various molecular targets such as small molecules, proteins, and nucleic acids. Aptamers are useful in biotechnological and therapeutic applications as they offer molecular recognition properties that rival that of antibodies. In addition to their discriminate recognition, aptamers offer advantages over antibodies as they can be engineered completely in a test tube, are readily produced by chemical synthesis, possess desirable storage properties, and elicit little or no immunogenicity in therapeutic applications.

GDF11 is a member of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) family and the TGF-beta (transforming growth factor beta) superfamily. This group of proteins is characterized by a polybasic proteolytic processing site, which is cleaved to produce a mature protein containing seven conserved cysteine residues. The members of this family are regulators of cell growth and differentiation in both embryonic and adult tissues. Studies in animals suggest that this protein is involved in mesodermal formation and neurogenesis during embryonic development.

Results published in the May 9, 2013, online edition of the journal Cell revealed that treatment of old mice that restored GDF11 to youthful levels replicated the effects of parabiosis by reversing age-related hypertrophy, a finding that implies a possible therapeutic use for this protein in geriatric medicine.

"There has been evidence that circulating bloodstream factors exist in mammals that can rejuvenate tissues, but they have not been identified. This study found the first factor like this," said senior study author Dr. Richard Lee, professor of medicine at Harvard University.

Related Links:

Harvard University



comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Drug Discovery

view channel

Ibuprofen May Restore Immune Function in Older Individuals

New research suggests that macrophages from the lungs of old mice respond differently to infections than those of young mice, and ibuprofen given to the mice reversed these changes. New research using lab mice suggests that the solution to more youthful immune function might already be a common over-the-counter pain reliever.... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel
Image: Hair follicle (blue) being attacked by T cells (green) (Photo courtesy of Christiano Lab/Columbia University Medical Center).

Hair Restoration Method Clones Patients’ Cells to Grow New Hair Follicles

Researchers have developed of a new hair restoration approach that uses a patient’s cells to grow new hair follicles. In addition, the [US] Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) recently approved a new drug... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: Leica Microsystems launches the inverted research microscope platform Leica DMi8 (Photo courtesy of Leica Microsystems).

New Inverted Microscope Designed to Readily Adapt to Changing Research Demands

A new inverted microscope for biotech and other life science laboratories was designed to readily accommodate modifications and upgrades to allow it to keep current with changing research demands and interests.... Read more

Business

view channel

Collaboration of Mayo Clinic and IBM Cognitive Computer Devised to Improve Clinical Trial Research

The Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN, USA) and IBM (Armonk, NY, USA) recently announced plans to pilot Watson, the IBM cognitive computer, to match patients more rapidly with suitable clinical trials. A proof-of-concept phase is currently ongoing, with the intent to introduce it into clinical use in early 2015.... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.