Date Published: April 1, 2018
Publisher: JKL International LLC
Author(s): Changjun Yang, Kelly M. DeMars, Eduardo Candelario-Jalil.
Adropin is a peptide highly expressed in the brain. Emerging evidence indicates that low plasma levels of adropin are closely associated with aging and endothelial dysfunction. We hypothesized that aging reduces adropin levels in the brain, which correlates with reduced endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and increased oxidative stress associated with age-related endothelial dysfunction. Cortical brain tissue and plasma were collected from young (10-12 weeks old) and aged (18-20 months old) male Sprague-Dawley naïve rats. Using RT-qPCR, we quantified the mRNA levels of the energy homeostasis associated (Enho) gene encoding for adropin. Western blotting was utilized to measure adropin and markers of endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress in the brain tissue. Levels of adropin in plasma were measured using an ELISA kit. Compared to young rats, both Enho mRNA and protein levels were dramatically reduced in the aged rat brain, which was accompanied by a significant reduction in plasma adropin levels in aged compared to young rats. Additionally, total and phosphorylated levels of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) were significantly decreased in aged rat brains and were associated with dramatically increased gp91phox-containing NADPH oxidase (a major source of free radicals) and 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE), a lipid peroxidation marker. Brain levels of Akt and caveolin-1 were significantly reduced in aged rats compared with young animals. Collectively, these findings indicate that adropin levels negatively correlate with markers of endothelial dysfunction and oxidative injury, which raises the possibility that loss of brain adropin might play a role in the pathogenesis and development of aging-associated cerebrovascular dysfunction.
In the present study, we compared Enho mRNA and protein levels in brain as well as plasma adropin in young and aged rats. We found that both Enho mRNA and protein are significantly downregulated in aged rat brains compared to those of young animals in addition to reduced plasma adropin in aged rats. Additionally, total and phosphorylated eNOS were significantly decreased in aged rat brains, and this was associated with dramatic increases in oxidative damage markers, gp91phox and 4-HNE, which are important contributors to endothelial dysfunction.